Mandate Will Change How We Buy Insurance

<b>Mandate Will Change How We Buy Insurance</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Both the House and Senate versions of the proposed health care bill include an individual mandate, which will require most people to buy health insurance. Luckily, those who find themselves shopping will be able to find affordable options — both bills make it impossible for insurance companies to deny coverage or to charge exorbitant prices to those with pre-existing health conditions.

The bill could provide coverage to as many as 31 million of America’s uninsured. And if the after-effects of the Massachusetts mandate, which went into effect in 2007, are any indication, we can expect to see some changes in the way that people purchase health insurance. For example, many more people will start searching for health insurance online.

“With a national health insurance mandate, the pool of online shoppers promises to grow as new legislation will shrink the ranks of the uninsured,” wrote the company All Web Leads, in summing up a new study.

In Massachusetts, the mandate has caused more state residents to shop online for coverage. In fact, Massachusetts tops the list of states whose residents shop for health insurance over the Web. This makes sense — those who do not have health insurance need to buy it, and those who have health insurance want more affordable plans that offer better coverage.

The Massachusetts plan includes something called “the Connector,” or an independent state agency designed to help residents find the coverage that they need. Insurance exchanges, like the Connector, promise to play a role in both versions of the health care bill.

Theoretically, insurance exchanges will make comparing private health insurance plans easier for consumers. The plans offered in these Web-accessible marketplaces will meet minimum federal standards for coverage, ensuring that consumers don’t buy plans with loopholes that allow companies to deny coverage.

As the mandate and federal restrictions eliminate the benefit and coverage differences between policies, finding multiple competitive quotes becomes more important. Web sites like www.healthinsuranceweb.com, which make comparing free health insurance quotes easy, will become a valuable resource for consumers buying health insurance for the first time or hoping to improve existing coverage.

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