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Health Insurance Plans

Health Insurance Plans

There are a variety of health insurance plans available in the United States. The most common types of plans are traditional copay plans, traditional deductible only plans, and newer high deductible health plans (HDHP) that are designed to be coupled with a Health Savings Account (HSA) which replaced the Archer Savings Account and the Medical Savings Account (MSA) (Archer plans and MSA’s are similar in a lot of respects the HSA – there are still Archer plans and MSA’s in existence but no new plans are being issued as the HSA replaced them).

How To Choose A Health Insurance Plan

Which type of plan should you choose? Which plan is the best fit for you and your family’s needs? Here are a few guidelines that are by no means hard and fast but should help you with your decision (keep in mind that the most important thing is to choose a well known and reputable insurance company that offers a plan with comprehensive coverage [meaning no indemnity plans with limited benefits] – extras such as copays and additional benefits are strictly a preference issue).

If you are:

Looking to keep your out of pocket expense low when going for doctor’s visits and prescriptions – you may want to investigate a traditional copay type plan with copays for Dr. visits and prescriptions.

Looking for a low monthly premium – you may want to choose a straightforward deductible plan as everything else being equal a plan without copays is cheaper than a plan with the copay feature.

Looking for a very low monthly premium and some tax benefits – you will want to consider a Health Savings Account and then be sure and take advantage of the tax savings that come with contributing to the savings account portion of the plan.

No matter who you are or what your situation is there is a health insurance plan to meet your need. Take a few moments and compare the different health insurance plans side by side with monthly premium information from the top health insurance companies that offer coverage in your area. Use the free quote finder at the top of the page to get started comparing health insurance quotes now!

The Importance Of Choosing A Health Plan With Comprehensive Major Medical Coverage

Health insurance is a necessity in the United States to not only protect your assets and protect your loved ones in the event of a medical emergency but also to facilitate affordable and comprehensive medical care.

Did you know that medical bills are the single biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States?

A lot of the financial trouble that ensues is simply due to 1) Not maintaining health insurance at all times and 2) Not maintaining comprehensive health insurance. There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about is considered adequate health insurance coverage. You CAN find a health insurance policy that is both affordable and comprehensive. There is no need to have to sacrifice one for the other.

Read through some of the articles in our learning center and throughout our site so that you can be an informed insurance shopper and then request free health insurance quotes from our quote finding tool. Compare the top insurance companies that offer coverage in your home zip code by requesting a free health insurance quote comparison!

The Importance Of Understanding Which Health Insurance Plan To Choose

Understanding the basic offering of health insurance plans before you commit to one is critical. This is the one type of insurance that you are almost guaranteed to use, so it doesn’t make any sense to invest time in looking at health insurance plans you can’t afford or don’t meet your needs. By reading through the information below, you’ll learn the basic elements that you will find in all the health insurance plans you receive quotes on.

Types Of Health Insurance Plans

Most types of health insurance plans can be categorized as either indemnity plans or managed care plans. Read on to find out which plan may be the best fit for your needs.

Indemnity Health Insurance Plans

These are also referred to as traditional or fee-for service plans. These are often though of as the most flexible (although PPO plans are just as flexible and usually offer more comprehensive benefits – hence the growing popularity of PPO plans).

Here’s how one of these plans might work. You go ahead and visit any doctor you choose. Your provider them submits the bill to your insurance company and they pay the agreed upon portion. For instance, many will be responsible for 80% of the bill and you cover the other 20% (this is termed coinsurance although coinsurance is certainly not unique to just indemnity plans).

One thing to watch very carefully with an indemnity plan is that some insurers offer plans with very low benefits in the policy. Indemnity literally means “stated benefit” so insurers will reimburse you for expenses according to a pre determined benefit schedule irregardless of how much the cost of the medical procedure really costs (you can imagine the trouble if the indemnity policy has a stated benefit amount of $10,000 for a broken leg and you are billed $30,000 for a broken leg – you guessed it, you are responsible to pay the $20,000 difference. It is for this reason that most experts recommend purchasing a full comprehensive major medical plan and not an indemnity plan with low benefit amounts).

Managed Care Health Insurance Plans

The high costs and limited benefits of some indemnity plans led to the developed of managed care plans in which providers and subscribers follow rules designed to keep costs lower. In a managed care plan, there is some type of voluntary or mandatory provider list involved for you to choose from. There are many different managed care options available.

The common managed care plans you’ll encounter are HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organizations), PPO’s (Preferred Provider Organizations), and POS (Point of Sale) plans. The differences between the 3 usually involve restrictions and flexibility in choosing providers and paying for services.

HMO Health Insurance Plans - HMO's usually contain the most restrictions. You are provided with an approved provider list and must select a primary physician from this group. Your primary physician must refer you to any specialists. If you decide to choose a doctor who is not on the approved list you will not receive ANY coverage.

Your HMO may not have a deductible, but you will be required to pay a Co-Pay upon each visit to your provider.

PPO Health Insurance Plans - PPO's usually require both a deductible and a Co-pay. The nice thing about a PPO is that, while you are given a preferred provider list to select from, you also have the option to pay a slightly higher fee to see a doctor who is not on the list. Unlike with an HMO, you can still receive some benefits even if you choose to step outside the network. Basically, the percentage of your bill your insurer pays will decrease if you leave the network.

POS Health Insurance Plans - POS Plans combine benefits of HMOs and PPOs. It’s like an HMO in that you still need to depend on your primary physician for referrals; however, you can pay a higher fee to go out side the approved network just like a PPO (note that POS plans do differ in their functionality from one insurer to another).

How To Choose The Best Type Of Health Insurance Plan

How do you know which plan is best for you? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is it important to stay with your same doctor, even if you have to change jobs or insurance plans?

  • Are you willing to pay higher fees to see a doctor of your choice?

  • Do you or does someone in your family have a specific medical condition that makes it important to be followed by the same doctor over time?

  • How important is saving $5 on a co-pay? Families with multiple children often find $50 co-pays can add up quickly.

  • Is saving money, flexibility, or access to a specific physician the greatest concern at this point in your life?

Alternative Types Of Health Insurance Plans

There are other health insurance plans available through certain providers. 3 of the most popular are:

High Deductible Health Plans – This type of plan is attractive to someone who can afford to pay a higher yearly deductible (the fee you must pay before your insurer starts to make payments) in order to lower the monthly premiums. Deductibles can range from as low as $100 to the $1000s. So make sure you truly know what you can afford to pay.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) – HSA plans combines the benefits of tax savings and investing with your health plan. These plans usually allow you to put part of your payment toward the premium and the other part into an interest bearing account. You then have the ability to use these tax free dollars to help pay your deductible. Plus, you can write it off your taxes as an above the line tax deduction subject to certain IRS limits.

Discount Health Plans – Stay away from these plans at all costs! These plans are not true health insurance plans and offer benefits that make even low benefit indemnity plans seem like comprehensive coverage. Do a couple of searches online for discount health plan information and you will see a number of different government websites warning consumers to beware of purchasing a discount health insurance plan.

Compare Health Insurance Plans Now!

Now that you know the basics of health insurance plans, the next step is to get some quotes for coverage. Simply go to the free quote tool on the top of this page and get started comparing health insurance plans from competing insurance companies right now!

More About Health Insurance Plans

Study: Half of workers at small businesses lack health insurance benefits
February 20th, 2013

While big businesses do a good job of providing health insurance coverage for their workers, less than half of those employed by small businesses are offered and eligible for health care benefits.

Catastrophic Health Insurance Plans

Catastrophic health insurance is a type of insurance that covers only major expenses. Often times this insurance has a multi-thousand dollar deductible that must be met before any payment is made from the insurance company.

Freelancers Health Insurance Plans

One of the biggest challenges for independent workers is finding freelancers health insurance.  Freelancers who work for themselves have many benefits, but one of them is typically not a health insurance plan.  That is actually a problem with all self employment; you have to purchase your own coverage and there is no guarantee that you are going to get any sort group or association policy plan as a freelancer.

Guaranteed Issue Health Insurance Plans

Guaranteed issue health insurance is a very important thing for some people. When you have a pre-existing medical issue or otherwise have problems that make passing underwriting difficult, it can be very hard to find health insurance.  You can, however, look into the option of guaranteed issue health insurance.

Guide To Understanding Health Insurance

A guide to understanding health insurance is a valuable tool to have when looking to insure yourself and your family. Anytime you can put more knowledge on your side, you will inevitably make better decisions. Read on to learn how to find the best health insurance plan for you and your loved ones.

Health Insurance and Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery

What does health insurance cover in regards to cosmetic and reconstructive surgery? There are many differences between cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, and those differences are necessary to understand in order for your health insurance carrier to make the decision to cover or not cover the surgery expenses.

Health Insurance and Diabetes

If you or a loved one has diabetes then finding health insurance can sometimes be quite a challenge.

Health Insurance and High Blood Pressure

The United States seems to have an epidemic of high blood pressure. With all of the fast food restaurants Americans have started on an unhealthy path that just seems to worsen. It is estimated that about 72 million people in the United States age 20 or older suffers from high blood pressure and of those only about 71.8% are actually aware of their condition. Some other aggravating statistics include 1 out of every three adult Americans suffer from high blood pressure and that the cause of this illness in 90 to 95% of the cases is unknown (American Heart Association). It is important to note however, that high blood pressure is easily detectable and usually controllable.

Health Insurance Claims

Health insurance claims can work one of two ways. Either your doctor’s office files your claim for you after you pay a pre-determined deductible or you pay for your expenses out of pocket and file a claim with your insurance company yourself and wait for reimbursement. The most common way is for your doctor’s office to file for you; however, to combat the expense of medical care (you are less likely to go to the doctor or hospital if you have to pay out of pocket first), some insurance companies are offering this option at a less expensive rate than standard insurance plans. Most claims, however, are still filed the traditional way.

Health Insurance Laws that You Need to Know: COBRA and HIPAA

Let’s say that you have just been offered a fantastic new job at a new employer making double what you are making at your current job, a signing bonus of $25,000, and a fantastic 401(k) retirement benefit package.

Health Insurance Plans

There are a variety of health insurance plans available in the United States. The most common types of plans are traditional copay plans, traditional deductible only plans, and newer high deductible health plans (HDHP) that are designed to be coupled with a Health Savings Account (HSA) which replaced the Archer Savings Account and the Medical Savings Account (MSA) (Archer plans and MSA’s are similar in a lot of respects the HSA – there are still Archer plans and MSA’s in existence but no new plans are being issued as the HSA replaced them).

Health Savings Accounts (HSA's)

Health savings accounts (HSA’s) are tax advantaged savings accounts designed to help Americans save money on health care costs. HSA’s were created by the Medicare bill signed by President Bush on December 8, 2003 and are designed to help individuals save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. The HSA concept is quite similar to the Medical Savings Accounts (MSA’s) and the Archer medical plan which the health savings account now replaces (although there are some Archer medical accounts and MSA’s still in existence – however no new accounts can be formed).

HMO Health Insurance Plans

How does an HMO health insurance plan work? What are some of the differences between and HMO, a PPO, and a POS network? Which is the better choice?

How to Best Compare Health Insurance Plans

Have you been wondering how to best compare health insurance plans? With the number of health insurance plans available, you need to consider and compare what each of them has to offer before making a decision. Please continue reading to get some tips for comparing health insurance plans so that you can get the best coverage for your needs.

Indemnity Health Insurance Plans

Concern about medical costs has been rising in America in recent years. With the price of health care rising, many Americans are feeling the pinch.

International Travel Health Insurance

It’s impossible to plan for every medical issue and health problem and when exactly it will occur.

POS Health Insurance Plans

A Point of Service (POS) health insurance plan is a managed care plan that is a hybrid arrangement of certain characteristics of both PPO plans and HMO plans. The POS plan is built on the old Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) model of services but has instituted much of the flexibility that is inherent with PPO plans. Many POS plans have been developed in response to the shift in public sentiment away from traditional HMO plans and towards the much more flexible PPO plans.

PPO Health Insurance Plans

Do you really know how a PPO network functions? Is it best to choose a PPO, an HMO, or a POS network for your health insurance plan? Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO - also sometimes called Participating Provider Organizations or even simply just Network plans), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), and Point of Service (POS) health insurance plans all function in different ways.

Private Health Insurance Plans

Shopping for private health insurance can at times be confusing and time consuming.  If you previously had insurance through your company and find yourself looking for a private health insurance plan you will discover that it is on the expensive side because your employer is not footing the bill.  Although individual health insurance is much cheaper than group health insurance it can seem the opposite because when you are purchasing private individual health insurance on your own you typically do not have a nice employer offering to pay the premiums for you as with a group health plan. The average private health insurance premium for one person is $2,613 a year and goes up if you have a family to cover.

Universal Health Care

Universal Health Care (sometimes abbreviated to Universal Healthcare) is the idea that everyone should be offered health insurance that is paid, in whole or in part, by public funds (taxes or some form of tax contribution system). Universal healthcare is also synonymous with terms like “single payer healthcare”, “National Health Services” (the National Health Service in the United Kingdom was the first form of Universal Healthcare provided by government), or even “socialized medicine” by its adversaries.