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Consumers May Save With ‘Universal’ Health Insurance Form

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Stethoscope (Photo Illustration by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Stethoscope (Photo Illustration by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s about to get easier to save money on your health insurance.

Beginning Tuesday, any health insurance carrier doing business in Illinois must accept a “universal application.” As CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, it will help consumers get the best deals. 

Anita Vaughn has spent the last seven months looking for new insurance that offers her and her son more coverage and affordable premiums. Her biggest complaint about the process?

“You have to fill out an application for each insurance company,” she said. “It probably wouldn’t be so bad if it was just one application, but considering you go through the same questions on each application, it’s almost like I wish I could cut and paste. But you can’t cut and paste.”

Vaughn gets her wish beginning Feb. 1.

There is now a universal application that every health insurance carrier doing business in Illinois must accept. This means Vaughn and anyone else looking for insurance will now answer dozens of questions about their medical past just one time.

That control allows the consumer to compare all the rates and choose the most affordable plan.  Insurance broker Tim Elenz said control is something insurance carriers don’t like because the universal application makes it easier for consumers to switch companies and may force them to offer more competitive rates.

Vaughn looks forward to the single application process.

“The one application will basically assist my needs in terms of time and money,” she said.

A spokesman for the association that represents insurance companies said the “universal application” presents some administrative challenges and could cost the companies more money. And yes, those costs would be passed on to consumers.

You can get the applications from insurance agents or directly from the companies.

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