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Saving on Health Care before Health Insurance Reform

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Saving on Health Care before Health Insurance Reform

Saving on Health Care before Health Insurance Reform

Recently in a Congressional session, President Obama vowed in front of many optimistic Americans, to implement his health reform measures by this year 2009. Offering inexpensive health insurance coverage to every citizen is definitely a tough task but efforts are being taken to accomplish it.

With the increase in layoffs, a very small portion of Americans will be able to get health care coverage through their employers. Increasing medical expenses have compelled many small and large business establishments to cutback coverage; increase the rates of deductibles, copayments and the monthly premium paid by their employees. Several small businesses have even changed their conventional health care plans into high deductible policies.

The exact date of the implementation of health reform is still unknown. But before that you can follow certain measures recommended below, in order to save on health care expenses.

HMO/PPO

Both HMO and PPO offer better care services and so you can choose any one depending on your needs. You can go for an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan if its health care provider network suites your requirements. The coverage available through HMO generally costs less and therefore it is easier to afford by many people. An HMO policy requires you to choose a primary care physician who will manage all your primary medical care needs. You can visit a specialist only upon receiving prior permission from your primary care physician.

In comparison to an HMO policy, a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan offers greater flexibility when selecting hospitals and doctors of your choice. However, PPO also specifies a network of health care providers. For both HMO and PPO, you will be allowed to visit hospitals and doctors outside your plan's network by spending extra. PPO plans are generally expensive than HMOs.

Both HMOs and PPO offer prescription drug coverage. Several companies provide plan options that enable you to avail the combined features of both PPO and HMO.

Emergency insurance coverage

There are many people who are unable to afford a comprehensive insurance coverage, but they desire to avail coverage during any crisis or emergencies. In such a case, you can opt for any high deducible insurance plan or emergency insurance coverage. With such plans, you can avail coverage in case you face accidents or become severely ill. This may be like a $6,000 deductible health plan pays up your medical bills only up to $6,000, sooner than your insurer initiates paying. If you opt for a high deductible insurance policy, you should set aside a certain sum of money every month in your Health Savings Account, to compensate your regular medical costs.

Every health plan requires you to pay a copayment. But this payment rises if you visit doctors outside your plans network. So keep a track of it every time.

If you receive coverage from your employer, you generally have to pay 20% coinsurance plus the deductible for owning the plan, whereas your employer pays the remaining 80% of the costs.

It is always advisable to have health insurance. In case you are uninsured and have to pay a huge medical bill, then you can ask for financial assistance at the hospital (where you were treated) to find out the available options. If you are financially challenged then you may be exempted from paying some of the incurred costs. This will enable you to save on health care expenses.

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