HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings
An Explanation of HealthNetwork’s Ratings and Reviews Process
There are a number of places online where a person can get an opinion of a company or product from their peers. These reviews are biased and based on personal experience in most instances. There are also reviews online that are conducted by companies and are supposed to be more formalized and unbiased as opposed to opinion-based.
In our research of these more formal reviews, we were unsatisfied with the fact that the actual review criteria was difficult to determine and was, in our opinion, ultimately unreliable. Being able to research companies that we are going to engage with for a good or service like health insurance is a very important to consumers. Applying for coverage with an insurance carrier or broker that, unbeknownst to the consumer, has a bad reputation, poor coverage options, hidden fees, or poor customer service experience, can result in the consumer picking the wrong plan with the wrong carrier.
Instead of just relying on potentially bad information, HealthNetwork decided to create its own rating and review system of short term insurance carriers to help consumers, who use ShortTermHealthInsurance.com to shop for plans and connect with brokers and carriers that can help them apply for a short term insurance plan, make decisions based on a truly unbiased review of the facts.
There are four main categories of data reviewed by HealthNetwork in order to determine the final HealthNetwork Review and Rating Score, which is illustrated as a numeric value out of five and also as a star rating.
Each of the four main categories of data examined have several subquestions reviewed and each of those were assigned a certain number of points. The subtotal of the points in each individual category is then weighted and added to the subtotals of the other categories to determine the carrier’s total HealthNetwork Review and Ratings Score.
General Data Score
HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings’ General Data Score for this category was illustrated only as the number of states that a carrier offered coverage in, which is also referred to as their state footprint. No carrier that we examined offered coverage in less than 24 states across the country.
The second data point that we examined to calculate points for this section was the carrier’s transparency in who was the underwriter. It’s important for a consumer to know exactly who they are getting coverage from and who underwrites the plan. Every carrier we reviewed communicated the actual underwriter of the plan clearly and conspicuously.
There were a maximum of seven possible points available in this first category of questions.
The second category of information reviewed relates to the carrier’s marketing practices and identifies HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings’ Marketing Score. There are a maximum of fifteen points possible in this section. The scoring total of this section is illustrated to the consumer reading this carrier’s review as a letter grade of A to F.
The first set of data points examined was the location of the customer service phone number for that specific carrier. Every carrier reviewed had a customer service phone number on the header of their website. Therefore they all scored evenly for this question.
The second data point examined was whether the carrier charged a recurring monthly fee in addition to the premium amount and, if so, where and when do they disclose that fee. Similarly, we also examined whether the carrier charged a one-time enrollment or marketing fee as well and, if so, how and when it was disclosed to the consumer.
We also examine how the carrier sorts their plans and whether they make recommendations as to the best seller or most popular to consumers to limit the number of plans and information they have to weigh in the decision-making process.
Finally, we examined the length of plan benefits pamphlet. These documents are supposed to succinctly present the benefits of each plan, but if the documents are too long and complicated to digest, it could just cause confusion and frustration. For this data point, we simply looked at whether the plan benefits pamphlet was more or less than fifteen total pages long.
Plan Value Score
The third category of information reviewed was one of the longest sections of data points and relates to the carrier’s short term health insurance plan offerings and identifies HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings’ Plan Value Score.
There are a maximum of twenty-four points possible in this section. The scoring total of this section is illustrated in terms of the value with a range of Excellent Value, Good Value and Poor Value, with each value relating to a different range of scores out of the total points possible.
The first category of data points examined was the plan names and how arbitrary or descriptive they are. Plan names can be misleading to consumers and can help persuade their assumptions of the plan benefits, so the more descriptive the plan name, the higher the score.
The second set of data points examined the different Out-of-Pocket Max options that each carrier offered in their plans. If a carrier offered at least one short term health insurance plan that had an Out-of-Pocket Max of $5,000 or less per term term, that scored the highest number of points under this question.
Next, we examined the different carrier’s plan lifetime maximums options. This is the total amount of money that the carrier will pay out for medical bills during the entire term of coverage. The carrier that earned the most points available under this question is one that offers at least one short term health insurance plan with a lifetime maximum over $1M.
Another plan benefit that many consumers find important is the term deductible. Therefore, we decided to also examine how many deductible options below $10,000 the carrier offered in their plans. The more deductible options below the $10,000 mark, the more points earned.
Logically, consumers also believe that the monthly price (premium) of a short term health insurance plan is also a very important component of any health insurance plan to consider. Accordingly, we also received online quotes for each carrier, in various ZIP codes around the country, to determine whether they offered a 40 year-old male a short term plan under $75.00/month.
The next data point examined was whether the carrier allowed consumers to bundle a short term health insurance plan with other, ancillary plans.
Similar to bundles, we also examined whether the carrier offered a short term health insurance plan with prescription drug coverage that is either included in the plan or provided through a prescription drug discount card.
Finally, we scored whether the carrier provided a link to the doctor network covering each plan so that consumers could conveniently check whether their doctor was in-network before applying for a particular plan.
The fourth and final category of information reviewed relates to the carrier specifically. In particular, this category looks at factors that would indicate whether the consumer can trust the carrier and also their short term insurance product and customer service. The HealthNetwork’s Review and Ratings’ Trust Score is illustrated to the consumer through a numeric value of points out of a total of ten points. There are a maximum of fifteen points available in this section.
The first data point that we examined under this category was the number of years that the short term health insurance carrier has been in business. All of the carriers that we scored were have been in business for more than 11 years and therefore all scored the same number of points for this question.
The next data point that we examined was the number of people that the carrier employ according to public information. Similarly, we also examine the amount of revenue that the carrier claimed to earn in 2017, also according to public information.
We also examine whether the carrier is a publicly traded entity or not and how they rate with A.M. Best Rating Services.
Finally, we examine whether the carrier sells its short term plans on its own website or a website it controls or not.
Just Another Note:
HealthNetwork will re-review carriers periodically and update scores accordingly and we represent whole-heartedly the fact that the reviews are unbiased and based simply on the facts of that carrier, their short term insurance plans and their actual marketing, shopping, application and customer service experience.
HealthNetwork is an unlicensed marketing company and does receive compensation for marketing health insurance products to consumers from carriers and brokers who write and sell health insurance products. HealthNetwork did not consider compensation when scoring each carrier.