Health insurance quotes can range from affordable to outrageous, and it might seem that you have to pay top-dollar to get the care you need. However, by learning more about quotes, you can find an affordable health insurance plan that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Quotes differ among states

Because each state has its own Department of Insurance, the regulations that determine prices vary by state. Each state has its own laws on rates for individual health insurance plans. Quotes also vary by state in proportion to the general cost of living and demographic differences. When health care reform is enacted in 2014, states will oversee their own Exchanges, and can opt to partner with other states to create multi-state Exchanges that serve a larger population. This would amp up competition among insurance companies—which offers you, the consumer, more options.

Focus on staying healthy and pay less!

The more you try to live a healthier lifestyle, the less you end up paying for health insurance costs. Due to the increased risk of illness among heavier people, carriers charge this group a higher premium. But take heart, if you’re overweight and dealing with expensive health insurance costs, consider delving into your plan’s wellness options. Insurance companies often offer incentives to those who try to live a healthier lifestyle by joining wait loss programs or quitting smoking, among other things. This is a real win-win—shed excess pounds and get healthier while saving money!

Quotes for similar plans can vary greatly among different insurance carriers

This can happen if a health insurance pool becomes really sick and enters into a negative spiral. This situation may seem confusing, in which case you shouldn’t hesitate to ask a licensed insurance agent to explain it to you in greater details.

Smokers pay more for health insurance

The knowledge of smoking’s detrimental health effects is widely known, but the same doesn’t go for its effects on health insurance costs. Because it deteriorates both your health and that of your dependents (second-hand smoke), smokers pay higher premiums than do non-smokers. However, some carriers offer incentives to smokers who have quit and maintained that status for a period of time.

The amount you are quoted isn’t final

Online health insurance quotes are good estimates of options available to you, assuming you enter your information correctly. However, these are not final or exact because the carrier might adjust the price slightly lower or higher upon actual purchase of the plan.

The older you are, the more you pay

Health insurance carriers charge older individuals more due to their greater use of medical services, relative to younger people

Higher deductible generally means lower premium

Because a higher deductible means you assume greater risk in the event that you need medical attentive, the insurance company has less on the line and your premiums are lower. If you research free health insurance quotes online, you’ll see that high deductible health plans often have lower monthly premiums, relative to other plans.