Have you ever been searching for health insurance, only to get bogged down in all the difficult terminology pervading the industry? That’s why you have to do your research before looking for a plan, so that you can be sure that you know what to expect, and what each plan is going to mean for you, depending upon what you’re looking for or what you can afford. There are a lot of health options out there, and there are guaranteed to be plans that are perfect for anyone. All you have to do is get an understanding of what’s out there, so that you can find the individual health plan that will cover you.
What this really means, is understanding everything from the actual terminology to what types of plans are going to be available. There are a few common things that you’re going to encounter, and understanding as much of the basics as you can, is going to prepare you to choose the plan from health insurance providers that is going to make all the difference.
1) Understand the most common terminology that’s going to affect you.
With just about any type of health insurance companies, you’re going to find that there are some common terms that are going to be repeated all the time. They can include: co-pay, deductible, premium, and also coverage. It’s really important that you understand all, before really looking for any type of plan.
Your premiums are what you will have to pay on a monthly basis, to buy the type of plan that you’re going to end up choosing. The deductible is what you have to pay annually in medical expenses, before insurance kicks in to take up the rest for you. Your co-pay is the percentage of each doctor’s visit that you have to pay, every time you have an appointment at a clinic. Finally, your coverage is what the plan will cover for you, in terms of the medical work and treatment that you could need in the future, and under what circumstances.
2) Figuring out the best type of plan for you.
This is the big one, as there are so many different plans you’re going to encounter, it can be difficult to wade your way throughout them. But some of the most common individual health plans that you’re going to find include:
-HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization, which is a type of plan in which you’re given a PCP or primary care physician that will dictate all care. That means they are going to be responsible for signing off on your treatments, and anything that they do not approve, insurance will not cover.
-PPO, which stands for Preferred Provider Organization is much different from an HMO, as you have no PCP. Instead, what you have is a network of doctors and hospitals which you’re encouraged to visit, that you will receive full coverage when you partake in their services. But a PPO will also cover outside care to some degree, which an HMO will not.
-EPO, or Exclusive Provider Organization is about the same as PPO, only insurance will not cover any care taken outside the network. That means you’re required to visit the doctors on the list that you will be provided, otherwise anything that happens on your insurance will not be covered and you will end up having to pay the full costs out of pocket, which is something nobody wants.
3) Choosing health insurance providers.
This is another major part of individual health plan selection that you’re going to find, and it’s where you figure out what type of plan you want, based on what you can afford. In most cases, this means looking to major providers like Aetna or United Healthcare that provide coverage in your area. Through them you should be able to find a plan that suits you in terms of overall cost.
Otherwise, if you find that you cannot afford or get privatized insurance coverage, what you will find is that there are federal options out there as well. With government run insurance like Medicaid or Medicare, you can get cheap insurance that will provide you with good coverage, and that’s specialized for the care needs of those with disabilities, low income families, pregnant mothers, or the elderly.