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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Heart bypass

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I am 56 and had 4 by passes in 2005, about a year ago, my health insurance just went up $400 per month, can I shop around?

A: It appears that health care planning has become the most important issue in your overall financial planning and other strategies are likely to be more effective than jumping from one insurance to another, searching for a bargain. "Shopping around" for health insurance is probably not the answer. I say this because most states have only one insurance plan designated as an open enrollment assigned risk policy under HIPAA and almost every other health insurance plan is more desirable, both in terms of benefits and price to the assigned risk or HIPAA plan. So the chances of getting a better deal by switching insurance are slim in most states. A few states like New Jersey allow a person to switch at will, so in this case it makes more sense to devote more time to the issue. But this is the exception, not the rule. Instead, consider the plan of care and treatment you want, including the providers, consider the available resources, both insurance and other financial resources. Using this approach, the choice of insurance will become clear. In the end, it is likely that you are already on the best available insurance plan. A revision of your cash flow is obviously needed but this is also an excellent time to review your asset protection plans as well.


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