Affordable Health Insurance
Health insurance is what many individuals and families like to call a necessary evil. We would all like to go through life never getting sick or injuring oneself but we know at some point all of us will be sick or injured and in need of some form of medical attention. The one problem we all face is not knowing how bad our illness or injury will be. This is where a quality health insurance plan comes in. Maybe your employer doesn’t provide insurance and you need to get coverage on your own. Could be that you’re a student who is too old to be covered by your parents any longer or maybe you are a business owner wanting to provide yourself and your employees with a quality medical insurance option. You could instantly be matched with companies who offer some of the most affordable health plans currently available online. Regardless of the type of coverage or amount of deductible you are looking for one thing is certain; having the best health insurance possible is not an option it is a necessity.
Key Health Insurance Terms
Health insurance is simply a legal contract between an insurance company and a business or individual. This policy, depending on the terms of the contract, can be renewed annually or monthly. Spelled out in advance will be the types of health care costs that are covered. When researching your medical insurance options some of the terms you will want to concern yourself with include:
- Premium: An insurance premium is the cost paid to the insurance company in order to purchase the health coverage. This is usually paid monthly but in some cases could be paid annually.
- Deductible: A deductible is the dollar amount an insured would have to pay out of pocket before the health insurer start to pay their share of the costs. An example of this could be a $200 annual deductible where before an insurance company starts to pay for any services; the policy holder would have to pay the $200 deductible first. Typically a higher deductible will lower the premium needed to pay on a health insurance policy.
- Co-payment: A co-payment in a health insurance plan is the amount of money an insured has to pay out of pocket for a specific service. $35 co-pay for a doctor’s visit or $15 co-pay for a drug prescription are two examples of co-pays common on most health plans.
- Coinsurance: Coinsurance is where the insurance company and insured each pay a percentage of the medical costs. This may be with or without a co-payment in the beginning. An example of this might be an 80/20 plan in which the insured pays 20% of the cost and the insurance company pays the remaining 80%. In many cases there is an annual maximum out of pocket limit to protect the insured from large costs due to a catastrophic illness.
- Exclusions: An exclusion is when a service or treatment is not included in the health plan. In cases of an illness that is excluded from coverage the insured is typically expected to pay for the full cost of the medical services. For this reason, it is very important to make sure you understand what if anything is excluded from your coverage.
- Coverage Limits: Some health insurance plans may have annual and/or life time limits. While the Affordable Care Act has stopped insurance companies from placing yearly or lifetime coverage limits on new policies, insurance companies may have grandfathered policies that still have coverage limits on individual and self employed health plans so make sure you know what if any coverage limits exist with your current or new insurance.
Type of Health Insurance
There are many different types of health insurance but most will fall into one of three types:
- HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organization): HMO’s are a form of managed care organization that covers medical services and treatments done by those doctors and other medical professionals that have agreed to treat the patients following the HMO’s guidelines and restrictions in exchange for the increased customer referral base. Most HMO’s require the policy holder or member to pick a primary care physician. This doctor, usually someone like a family doctor, acts as a gatekeeper to specialists and other doctors. In order to see a specialist the member would be required to get a referral from their primary care doctor. Open access HMO’s are a form of insurance that does no require the use of a gatekeeper but this freedom of choice comes at a cost usually in the form of higher co-payments or coinsurance.
- PPO’s (Preferred Provider Organizations): A PPO is a form of managed care organization in which doctors groups, hospitals and other health care professionals contract with an insurer or third part administrator to provide their customers with services at a reduced rate. The preferred providers enjoy increased business since the PPO’s members will use only those participating providers and the PPO is able to negotiate reduced fees well below what would normally be charged.
- POS’s (Point of Service Plans): A POS plan combine characteristics of HMO and PPO plans together. When you enroll in a POS plan you will be required to choose a primary care physician that will be responsible for monitoring your health. This doctor must be an in network physician and then become your point of service. Your POS doctor has the ability to refer you outside the network for care but only a part of the treatment would be covered.
Find a Cheap Health Insurance Plan
If you are like many individuals who have a health insurance plan you may have seen a steady rise in your rates over the years. The cost of insurance has increased dramatically over the past few years and it is more important than ever to make sure you have the best coverage and the lowest price possible. Get instantly matched with affordable health insurance companies ready to provide cheap rate quotes on individual, family, student and group health insurance plans today. Buying affordable health insurance coverage has never been easier. Lowering your current rate just a few dollars a month could mean big savings each year. Compare health insurance quotes online today and see how much you can save.
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