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Health Insurance: Getting Coverage: How to?
Often the most responsible and daunting task of any individual is when they set out to opt for insurance for themselves or their family. As time is changing so are the ways of getting insurance for ourselves. Not only technology wise but today the insurance policies have also changed its terms and condition with coming age. It is important, therefore, to know about the different conditions, terms and types. This is also the most time consuming and difficult task of all. Understanding any policy includes understanding its pros and cons and the costs and benefits that would go to shape up your health care. Medical care costs are sky high today and every individual needs to be insured in some way. So people should start now and spend some thought and cash to protect his/ her family.
Type of Medical Insurance Plans?
The most concerning task that comes to your mind whenever you think about buying a policy is whether to choose HMO or PPO. Premiums, deductibles and choices of services vary for both of them. There are not only these primary choices but many more under them and beside them that can shape up an insurance policy of an individual cost wise and quality wise.
Group Health Insurance or Individual Health Insurance?
If you are working under a company then usually most companies include you under its group insurance policy. In most of the cases the premium are paid in full or part of the premium is paid by the employer himself. There are very few that does not offer you this benefit. Sometimes the type of insurance might not be enough for you to take care of your existing health condition. In that case the person needs to shop for insurance under individual health insurance plan. In individual health insurance plan, right insurance is difficult to choose from and the entire responsibility lies with the person concerned. Even the premiums also are paid entirely by the person concerned.
HMO, PPO, and POS: Pros and cons?
HMO or Health Maintenance Organization and PPO or Preferred Provider Organization is the two basic types of insurance plans. There are many differences between the two but the major one to consider is in cost and network.
In HMO you have to choose a primary physician from the network of health providers that is there in the insurance plan's network. The primary physician can refer you to other doctors if and when the need be. If by your own choice you decide to go to some physician for any of your ailments then the entire brunt of the cost is to be carried by you. Though with this minor disadvantage but the HMO plans is the more affordable of the two, only a little restrictive in its service.
PPO on the other hand is more expensive of the two premiums wise. But it is not as restrictive in its service as HMO. It has a network that is broad enough to choose from. Also people can choose physicians or health care services outside the provided network. PPO does not always pay you your bills when you choose to do so but certain percentage of your total cost is bearded by the insurer.
Except for the PPO and HMO there are also other insurance plans that are available in the market and more utilizable by most people. One such insurance type is POS or Point-of-Service insurance. This insurance plan comes within PPO and HMO. In fact it has taken the good points of both of them and blended them into one. In POS you got to choose a primary physician from the list offered to you. But you can choose others outside the network too, if they are referred by your primary physician.
Health Insurance issues...
Though knowing about the benefits and disadvantages of PPO, HMO and POS is enough for an individual who has just started. But knowing that is not enough. You are half of the way but not the full. After choosing which type of plan is apt for you need to decide on the package that is offered. Some times you might need coverage for mental health sometimes for maternity if you decide to have a family. Every person has different needs and different health problems that he is suffering or might suffer from. You can also exclude the packages you think is not necessary for you. This helps to save some cost of the premiums.
Specificities of Health Insurance plans
Once every options and benefits about all type of plans are clear on your head you need to look for the fines points left out. Some of them include the premiums that need to be paid, how much you need to pay as deductibles and finally if there are co payment option. Co payments are percentage of bills you need to pay to the health care provider with your insurer to clear out the whole cost of the service.
HSA - Health Insurance Savings Plans
A Health Savings Account or HSA is essentially a savings account. You can manage money for your health expenditure from this account. Any money contributed to this account is tax free. All you need to do for having this type of account is to choose a high deductible insurance policy. But there are limits on the contribution to the account that you can make yearly. Most people are not aware of its existence. Money from this account can be withdrawn at any time for health related costs. If ever you do not need the money that you saved in this account, you can withdraw the whole money without paying any penalty for it. Even then it does not come under any tax payments. Employee Retirement Income Security Act regulates the Health Savings Accounts or HSA. It also comes under the retirement plan of the government and under 401(k). 401(k) in USA allows an US citizen to defer income tax on the money that he is saving for himself after his retirement.
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