If you do not have health coverage for yourself, or your family, it is something that is very important to own. If you are ever sick and have to go to the doctor, or if you are ever hospitalized, you will be astounded by the amount of money that it will cost. A week long stay in an ICU could be as much as hundred thousand dollars. The average person is simply not able to afford the cost of healthcare, and that’s why health insurance is so vitally important for people that would prefer not filing bankruptcy simply because they had to go to the doctor. Although this problem does not exist in other countries such as Canada, United Kingdom, and much of Europe, it is definitely a problem in the United States. People need to have health coverage, and there are many ways to find affordable healthcare policies if you do not have one through your place of employment. Let’s go over the different kinds of health coverage that you can take advantage of, how much it will cost, and where you can get the best deals if you need to obtain a policy for just yourself, or your entire family.
What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Although this list is not comprehensive, nor does it go into detail, it will give you a basic overview of the different types of coverage that you can get through your health policy. Most policies will cover doctor visits, prescriptions, hospitalizations, maternity care, mental health care, and infant care as well. Newer policies actually provide preventative coverage which is one of the primary things that other countries cover simply because they know if they can catch an illness in advance, it will ultimately save their company money. Preventative measures that are covered include vaccinations, cholesterol screening, Pap smears, mammograms, and blood pressure screening. Now that you have a basic overview of the different types of coverage that is available, let’s look at the different types of policies that you can get access to.
Different Policies That Are Available
Some of the policies that are available are divided into different types of plans. There are catastrophic policies, bronze, silver, gold and platinum, each capable of paying a large percentage of the medical bills that you may accrue. Platinum is the best where you only have to pay 10% of the total medical bills that you have, but this coverage can be very expensive. Even if you are able to get a similar type of policy through your place of work, it can cost as much as $1000 every month if you have a large family. It is definitely a good idea to choose a job that has coverage, and many of them will actually provide this insurance for free. You will still have to pay deductibles for going to the doctor, or for them to start providing the coverage that they offer, but other than that it is at no cost to you. One other thing to consider is that the policy that you get may be connected to different healthcare providers that are part of either a PPO or HMO. PPO stands for preferred provider organization and HMO stands for health maintenance organization. Let’s look at the difference between the two to show you what you can expect.
Preferred Provider Organizations Plans
PPOs will provide you with health insurance coverage through a network of doctors that are part of the system. There will be an annual deductible that you will have to pay. The coverage will only begin after the deductible has been fully paid, with the exception of doctors visits which are paid at the time of arrival. You will have access to a network of hospitals, physicians and specialists that have agreed to provide services for those in the network at a discounted rate. Most of them do not require a referral from a primary care physician, which is very good if you have to see a specialist. There is quite a bit of flexibility with this type of policy as you can see medical providers that are not within the network itself. There is a slightly higher fee that must be paid, and also a separate deductible, but at least you have the option of going outside of the network if you need to. You will need to file a claim before you get your benefit reimbursement, and co-pays and monthly premiums are going to be much higher than with an HMO. The reason for this is that it is a much more flexible plan, and one that most people prefer, because they are able to use doctors that are outside of the network.
Health Maintenance Organization Plans
HMOs are similar to PPOs, but there are some limitations. There are co-pays and monthly premiums that must also be paid, but you will not have to pay as much. There will also be a network of hospitals, specialists, and physicians that you can use at a reduced fee. There will always be a primary care physician that can coordinate the patient’s care. You must always have a referral from your primary care physician to see an end network specialist. The main problem with this type of policy is that you will not have any coverage at all if you go outside of the network, which could be problematic for people that need to have special healthcare. The main benefit with this type of insurance is that the insurance company will pay the provider directly so there are no claims that need to be filed. It’s actually easier to work with an HMO, but you are limited in regard to who you can see, and it can be costly if you do go outside of the network.
This basic overview of the different types of health coverage that are available should help you understand which one might be right for you. You will either get insurance through your place of employment, purchase federal insurance, or qualify for state insurance which will cost next to nothing. Health insurance is absolutely mandatory due to how much it can cost if you ever get sick and spend time at the hospital. If you don’t have any, you should get coverage today, so that you can protect yourself and your family.