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Frequently Asked Questions - Individual/Family Medical Insurance  


Continental Advisors privacy statement  

Continental Advisors will never give, sell, rent, lease or otherwise transfer your name (or information about you) to any person or entity other than the insurance company you are applying to here and now and its outside investigative agencies which are used in the normal course of insurance underwriting. When you buy insurance through Continental Advisors, you will remain in control of your purchase decisions at all times.  We're dedicated to making the insurance purchase process as private, fast, easy and secure as possible.


Why buy medical insurance? 

Individuals and families buy medical insurance to insure themselves against the risk of financial ruin as a result of someone getting sick or injured.  Several different types of plans exist which offset the risks in different ways.  Three of the most common are Traditional Major Medical, PPO and HMO plans.


I'm in a hurry. How fast can I get medical insurance?  

Short Term medical can go into effect the day after it is applied for. Individual/Family medical insurance can usually be obtained within 3 to 4 weeks after we receive your completed application and your check.  

Remember, never cancel any existing insurance policy that this new coverage is intended to replace until after you have received your new policy and found it to be satisfactory.


Must I be a U.S. resident to buy medical insurance through Continental Advisors?  

No. Atlas Series offers coverage to non-residents, but most of our listed companies require U.S. citizenship or a permanent Green Card or Visa.


How should I answer the Tobacco User question?  

Like all insurance application-related questions, you must answer this one truthfully and honestly. If you have used tobacco in any form (including even occasional use of chewing tobacco, pipes, cigars and cigarettes) in the last 12 months, you are considered to be a tobacco user and should click YES to being a tobacco user.


Why do you need to know my occupation?  

Many insurance companies base their rates on your actual occupation. Generally, if your occupation is more hazardous than that of a non-hazardous nature, coverage becomes more difficult and expensive to obtain.


Why do you need my zip code and county information?  

Many insurance companies rates are based on postal zip codes and/or county of residence information. In order to deliver an accurate quotation, this information is required.


I need help navigating this Web site  

Give us a call! We're here at 1-800-448-4715 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Standard time, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, and we'll be glad to help you on an immediate basis.


What is the difference between  Traditional Major Medical, HMO, and PPO plans?  

A Traditional Major Medical plan is one in which your insurance company will  reimburse you for covered medical expenses after certain conditions are met. One of these conditions is that you will have to pay a deductible.  Deductibles can range from $50 to $5,000.  As a general rule, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium cost.  A second condition is a Traditional Major Medical plan typically requires you to pay a portion of the cost above the deductible, this is often referred to as co-insurance.  Typically, the co-insurance amount is expressed as a percentage of the claim amount above the deductible. A common  co-insurance percentage is 80/20, where the insurance company pays 80% and you pay 20%. At Continental Advisors, you can find plans with deductibles from $0 to $5,000 and co-insurance percentages from 50/50 to 100/0. As a general rule, you will be able to choose your doctor without reference to an approved list provided by the insurance carrier.

An HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) is a managed care program.  Most HMO's require each family member to select a Primary Care Physician from an approved list provided by the HMO.  This Primary Care Physician will then direct all of your medical treatment including referring you to a specialist.  This specialist is usually a member of the HMO you are insured with.  Failure to see your selected Primary Care Physician first (unless in an emergency situation) can result in sharply reduced benefits or no benefit at all.  As a general rule, HMO's provide the most comprehensive medical care; such as routine office visits, physical exams, well-baby care and immunizations.  HMO's also feature low office visit co-payments and usually do not require the filing of claim forms.

A PPO plan (Preferred Provider Organization) combines elements of a Major Medical plan with an HMO.  There is a list of Preferred Providers of doctors and hospitals you can choose from, but you are free to choose an out-of-network doctor or hospital.  However, if you choose an out-of-network provider, you will probably have to pay an increased percentage of the cost.  A typical plan may provide that in-network provider services are provided with an 80/20 co-insurance percentage, while out-of-network provider services would be provided with a 60/40 co-insurance percentage. You usually will have to pay a deductible and a co-insurance payment with a PPO plan.


How do I know which plan is right for me?  

There are a number of factors to consider before choosing a health plan; many depend on your location, specific family situation and personal preference.  Questions you should ask before deciding include:

Do you have a personal/family doctor you want to continue using?

How far would you need to travel for medical care covered by your plan?  How important is this?

Does a low premium/ high deductible plan fit your needs, or would an   HMO or PPO plan serve your needs better?

What type of plan do you prefer - HMO, PPO,  traditional major medical?

What is the maximum you would have to pay, including premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance payments?

What is the maximum benefit the insurance company will pay?