Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions most of our clients have while searching for Illinois health insurance plans.

How long does it take to enroll in a health insurance plan?

It only takes a couple of minutes to enroll in a health insurance plan.

Will I be asked questions about my health?

No. Since all plans are now guarantee issue health questions are no longer necessary.

Can my health insurance application be denied?

No. All health insurance plans issued after 1/1/2014 are guarantee issue which means you cannot be turned down for any reason.

Can I buy health insurance for less if I deal directly with an insurance company?

No. Health Insurance rates are strictly regulated by the state.  Health insurance will cost the same whether you use an independent health insurance agent, deal directly with an insurance company, or use a public health insurance exchange.

Why should I use an independent health insurance agent?

Because he/she is not an employee of insurance company, the independent agent can more objectively recommend the best health insurance company for your situation.  In addition, an independent agent will be familiar with insurance company bureaucracies, which can save you a lot of aggravation.  Further, if your circumstances change, an independent health insurance agent can recommend a more appropriate health insurance plan for you.

Must I pay a fee to an independent health insurance agent?

No. An independent health insurance agent is paid a commission by the health  insurance company.  No additional fees are added to your health insurance cost.

What are the options for making my initial health insurance premium payment?

An initial payment (usually one month of insurance premium) is usually required with your health insurance application.  Checks or money orders are acceptable.  Some health insurance companies allow initial payment by credit or debit card.  Health insurance companies will not accept cash.

Will a new health insurance policy cover my pre-existing condition?

Yes. Policies issued as of 1/1/2014 are all guarantee issue with all pre-existing conditions being covered.

I am pregnant.  Can I obtain health insurance?

Yes. Maternity and newborn care are essential benefits covered by all health insurance policies issued after 1/1/2014.

Can my weight make a difference in my health insurance rates?

No.  You cannot be discriminated against because of your height or weight.

Can my health insurance be terminated for any reason?

Illinois provides strong consumer protection.  In general, the insurance company can terminate your coverage for only the following reasons: (1) failure to make premium payment within the payment grace period, (2) the insurance company entirely withdraws from the individual health insurance business in your state.

Under a new health insurance plan, can I keep my doctor?

You should review a health insurance plan’s physician network before applying for any health insurance plan.

For how long am I committed to keep any health insurance I purchase?

Health insurance is generally purchased in one month increments (short-term plans are an exception), so your commitment is typically one month at a time.  If you stop making health insurance payments, the insurance company will simply terminate your coverage.

What is short-term health insurance?

Short-term health insurance is designed to fill temporary gaps in your “permanent” health insurance coverage.  These policies are relatively inexpensive and can go into effect very quickly.  Most short-term plans last for no more than six months.

You can purchase short-term health insurance coverage in one-month increments or in a single payment for one to six months of coverage.  All short-term plans exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.  Some applicants who would be denied by insurance companies providing “long-term” or “permanent” health coverage are able to obtain short-term health insurance.

Is a Discount Medical Program the same as Health Insurance?

Medical discount plans can be useful for some consumers looking to save money on health care. But they’re not the same as health insurance. Medical discount plans don’t pay any of your health care costs; instead, they require you to pay a fee for a list of health care providers and sellers of health-related products who are willing to offer discounts to members of the plan.

What is the difference between Blue Cross Blue Shield and other health insurance companies?

There is little difference.  However, the Blue Cross Blue Shield company in Illinois is a financially powerful health insurer with the largest market share in the state MedEquote represents Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, UnitedHealth Care, Humana, Assurant. We do not necessarily consider Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois to be superior to our other quality health insurance companies, but they do have the largest market share in the state of Illinois making them a very stable company.

Will this website keep my personal information private?

Yes.  What little personal information you may volunteer while visiting this website will not be distributed to any outside organizations — including health insurance companies.

How do PPO plans and HMO plans differ?

The primary difference is that HMOs limit your non-emergency health care coverage to a limited network of physicians and hospitals.  PPO plans insure covered services delivered by any licensed physician or hospital, though a PPO plan will offer improved benefits if you use physicians and hospitals participating in the PPO’s preferred network.

PPO networks are normally much larger than HMO networks, though HMOs provide higher benefit levels. For most individuals and families in Illinois and Indiana, PPO rates will be lower than HMO rates.  In addition, HMO plans are rarely an option for persons not participating in employer-sponsored programs.  The large majority of our individual and family health insurance clients enroll in PPO plans.

Do my health insurance premiums increase as I get older?

Yes.  As people get older they tend to have more health care expenses.  Correspondingly, health insurance companies providing individual coverage charge higher rates to older persons and lower rates to younger persons.  For example, the health insurance rate charged to a 50-year-old is typically more than twice the health insurance rate charged to a 25-year-old.

What is health insurance trend?

Health insurance trend is an annual percentage increase in health insurance claim costs.  The two primary components of health insurance trend are (1) inflation of costs physicians and hospitals charge for health care services and (2) increases in the average utilization of these services. UniCare has had the lowest trend in the health insurance industry over the past eight years. Typically with all companies the higher the deductible the lower the trend.

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