Shopping for Health Insurance Online: Yay or Nay?

The ability to shop for things online has made life convenient in many ways. As nice as it is to use the Internet to order everything from jewelry and clothes to household items and gifts, it is still important for people to use good judgment when browsing sites and entering personal and financial information onto websites.

Shopping for health insurance has been one of the latest trends to fall under the online shopping category. The flexibility to choose from various comparison sites to find a health insurance quote has made it easy for even college students to learn about the process of finding affordable policies.

Students in college have two advantages in their favor in regards to healthcare. First, they have access to student health centers, which offer basic medical services. Those attending schools like UCLA get to benefit from having advanced medical facilities on campus that promote health and wellness. The second advantage students have is thanks to the recent healthcare reform, which now makes it law for young adults to stay on their parentsí health insurance plan until they are 26.

When it comes time for students to learn how to find their own health insurance, the Internet is likely to be the first resource theyíll turn to. However, there is the alternative of hiring the services of an insurance agent. Trying to decide which option to choose can be challenging but there are some factors to consider that could simplify the decision.

Having a professional that knows the industry is a huge advantage for people, especially when dealing with something as involved as insurance plans. While trusting this type of pro is convenient and allows them to do the legwork, there are a few downsides that come with working with an insurance agent. One of them is the fact that many agents prefer to only look at plans that are offered through their own company, which limits options a person could choose from. Another disadvantage includes the risk of hiring someone that isnít as qualified to get a person good results.

On the flip side, shopping for health insurance on the Internet gives students the freedom to do their own search and opens up a wider range of plans to consider. This increases the chances of finding a plan that really works in the best interest of the individual.

Another upside to doing research online is the fact that students can easily browse through sites from the comfort of their home (or dorm room), as well as use comparison sites to get quotes within a matter of minutes. That means no traveling to an agentís office, dealing with office hours, etc.

But the major risk with using the Internet is the fact that anyone can fall prey to scammers, shady operations and even fake websites. It is vital that students exercise common sense and know how to spot the red flags in order to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and identity theft.