How to Choose Low Deductible Health Insurance

Are you confused regarding which insurance plan to opt for? This article may help you in making the right decision.

Tagged Under: Health Insurance
Health insurance can be your lifesaver in critical medical cases. Your financial burden can be considerably reduced when you or a family member is confronted with a serious medical emergency. Yet, there are millions of people who are living without any health cover. One reason for this is that, high premiums and deductibles make people wary of seeking an insurance coverage. Interestingly, some people avoid this because they simply cannot decipher all the jargon, such as premiums, deductibles, copayment, coinsurance, etc. To add to their misery, people are often exposed to various plans with high or low deductibles, with or without copayments, and so on. Understanding the implications of this is not easy for a common person.

What is a Deductible?

Deductible is basically the part of an insurance claim, which you pay out of your pocket. Although, it is easy to assume that once you are covered under medical insurance, all your expenses will be taken care of by the insurer. Unfortunately, this is not the case, as you need to pay a part of your claim even before the insurance company makes its first payment. This amount is fixed on a yearly basis; it can start from a few hundred dollars and go up to a few thousand dollars. The insurer becomes liable to pay your claim only after you meet your deductible.

An insurance company makes money through the premiums that you pay. Its expenses include your claim amount and processing charges (which are more or less the same for a minor claim, as well as a large medical bill). The deductible is a means to ensure that they are not required to process several minor claims. This way, only serious claims come for processing, which results in cost reduction.

Choosing a Plan

Opting for a low deductible plan may seem like a natural choice for you. However, you need to think carefully, because this option involves certain pitfalls. It certainly ensures that you quickly meet your part of the payment so that the insurance company pays for the rest of the amount. On a flip side, opting for such a plan makes you liable to pay a higher premium, as this is the only way an insurance company can offset your deductible amount. On the other hand, high deductible plans often require you to pay a lot less in terms of premium. However, here the risk is that if you are a healthy individual, you may never be able to spend your full deductible amount in one year. Although, some companies allow you to carry forward the deductible to the next year, you can never be sure. A safe option would be to choose a deductible plan that you can afford. This way, you can reduce the premium amount, while still get covered for most of the major expenses. However, even this plan is not foolproof.

Types of Plans

Health Management Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and indemnity plan are primarily the affordable health insurance plans which offer a low deductible option under US federal law. HMO plans may have very low or even zero deductibles, but then you may have to pay towards copayments or coinsurance, which are the other out-of-pocket expenses. With PPO, you can avail a low deductible plan only on certain medical expenses, and that too, if you seek medical services from select medical centers included in their network. If you visit an out-of-network health care provider, you will be liable for deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. Lastly, an indemnity plan provides you with the liberty of choosing your health care provider and covers most of the medical expenses, but then you will have to pay an additional coinsurance after your deductible is met.

One can truly get confused with all the plans available in the market. Hence, it is important to assess your financial position and possible health care services that you are likely to require, before choosing a cover.

About Health Insurance Plans with Maternity Coverage

Insurance companies all across the world provide different types of plans, in order to minimize the risks in life. A health insurance plan with maternity coverage specifically aims to safeguard the health of an expecting mother and her baby.

Tagged Under: Health Insurance
One of the most precious and cherished moments in a woman’s life is to find out that she is going to become a mother. With life thriving inside her, every would-be-mother develops an instinct to protect her child. Medication, health check-ups, and diet schedule go up on the refrigerator, but that is not all. Mothers also prefer to safeguard their children with something more than diets and medicines. They also prefer health insurance plans that provide maternity coverage.

What is Health Insurance?

Its prime purpose is to safeguard the health, as well as financial interests of the people who have been insured by the policy.

Insurance companies offer policies to people at specific prices. The policy holder is expected to make annual installments to this company, which is known as the premium. The total amount of money that is received by the company is invested into hundred percent risk-proof ventures, that have assured returns. Thus, the money that is paid to the company grows and in some cases also multiplies. In case of an accident, when any medical expenditure is incurred, the policy holder can make a claim for compensation of losses. The company compensates the policy holder with the loss that has been incurred. The factors for which the compensation is granted are termed as the coverage of the policy. For example, expenditures for dental health care is covered by dental insurance. In the same manner, the health of a mother and her child can be insured under maternity coverage. The premium for such policies can be pretty expensive.

Plans with Maternity Coverage

Insurance companies have tailored many different policies, according to the requirements of their customers. The maternity coverage is basically an extension of the normal health insurance policy. Under this coverage, many medical bills are taken care of by the company. The prenatal insurance plans have some specific terms and conditions, such as whether the company would bear the cost of medications like prenatal vitamins or not. Usually it covers all the expenses, such as antibiotics, medication, or hospitalization charges. Most of these plans do not cover the usual expenses, such as prenatal medications or expenditure of regular checks-ups. In order to avail coverage for even these expenditures, you might have to pay very high premiums. The broader the coverage of these plans, the more expensive is the premium.

You can avail these plans after you get pregnant or even after you get married. Among all the types, the one that has a coverage for husband, wife, and maternity is most popular, and it matures after the baby is born. The health insurance of the husband and wife can be extended and coverage for the newborn baby can be added to it, with an increase of premium. In some cases, you might have to avail new policies for the mother and also her child. The extension and coverage basically depends on the terms of the current policy that you are using. You might also use some of the maternity programs, that are sponsored by the United States government, such as Medicaid and WIC.

There are various insurance agents, providers, and companies that offer really good policies with maternity coverage. However, one must never hastily purchase a policy just because it sounds good. It is necessary to review your requirements and the amount of premium you will be able to pay.

How to Choose Individual Health Insurance Plans

To choose an individual health insurance plan, that perfectly suits your budget and your level of health risk, it’s essential that you know what all features to look out for when buying one. This Buzzle article is a short guide on choosing individual health insurance plans, that offer adequate cover at a reasonable cost.

Tagged Under: Health Insurance
Shopping around for health insurance is not a simple exercise with the wide range of options to choose from, ranging from HMOs to PPOs and other plans. A well chosen health insurance plan can save you a lot of money in the long term. Ergo, it’s essential that you research health insurance products in microscopic details before choosing one.

How to Select the Best Individual Health Insurance Plan

Considering the exorbitant bills medical practitioners and hospitals charge for treatment, it’s essential that one has an individual health insurance plan that can effectively cover for a substantial part of these expenses. There are a range of individual health insurance products varying in the facilities and degree of coverage they offer. Here are some tips on how choosing individual health insurance plans, tailor made to your own requirements.

Assess Your Health Risk
Firstly, you need to assess your own health risk. What are the individual health care expenses that you normally pay for? What are the kind of health risks that you are prone to, in the near future? Analyzing your own health risk can give you an idea about what kind of health insurance will be well suited for you.

Choosing the Right Type of Plan – HMO, PPO or HDHP?
There are many types of individual health insurance plans that you can choose from. Two of the prime types, which fall under the title of ‘Managed Care Plans’ are HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations). HMOs offer health care through a closed network of medical practitioners and hospitals. More flexible than HMOs, PPOs also offer their own network of specialists, with the additional facility of consulting doctors outside the preferred network.

The prime difference lies in the fact that PPOs, unlike HMOs, do not require that you have a primary physician from their network. You can choose any doctor to be your primary physician. PPOs tend to cost more than HMOs, but offer a wider range of consulting medical faculty, compared to HMOs.

A third option is to go for a high deductible health plan (HDHP) and qualify for an HSA (Health Savings Account). HDHPs offer comparatively low monthly premiums, compared to other health insurance plans and enable individuals pay for their own medical expenses through tax deferred savings in health savings accounts. Consider all the details and the pros and cons of HDHPs, PPOs and HMOs, before choosing one.

What is the Monthly Premium?
Though health insurance plans differ in the nature of managed care offered, they all have some common features as insurance products, according to which you can compare them. The most important feature is the health insurance monthly premium charged to the insured. Depending on the amount of coverage offered, the monthly premium will vary. PPOs have a high premium compared to HMOs and HDHPs.

What is the Deductible Amount?
There is a minimum amount of medical expense that you must pay for, before the insurance company starts covering your expenses. It’s known as the deductible. The deductible for various types of treatments, varies according to the managed care plan you opt for. Check out the minimum deductible offered by the health insurance plan that you are thinking of buying. Generally, lower the deductible, higher is the premium amount that you must pay for.

Copayment and Coinsurance Details
There is a minimum amount of fees that you must pay for every treatment, while the insurance plan covers the rest. This is known as ‘Copayment’. Check out the copayment amounts charged by HMOs or PPOs for different treatments. Coinsurance is the percentage of medical expenses that are paid for by the insurer. For example, an insurance company may have an 80/20 deal in its agreement, whereby it pays for 80% of the cost of every procedure.

Self Sponsored or Employer Sponsored
It’s mandatory for employers to provide a health insurance plan and most of them will enroll you for a group insurance, that provides limited coverage, which may not be enough for most. It’s better to go for a self sponsored individual health insurance plan, that provides adequate coverage according to your personal health risk.

Selecting the Right Provider & Researching Plan Details
There are hundreds of insurance providers in USA. Ask around among your friends and family, as well as your financial advisor for recommendations. Make a list of the best insurance providers offering HMO, PPO and HDHP plans. Compare them with respect to the features that I talked about before and select the one which best suits your requirements. Research the coverage details thoroughly.

These were some of the most pertinent points that must be considered when choosing an individual health insurance plan. Choose the best insurance plan that offers you an adequate health risk cover at reasonable premiums and a manageable deductible amount. Research thoroughly and compare all the health insurance products you come across, according to the parameters highlighted above to make the right choice. Read the fine print well, before you decide to sign the dotted line!

Health Insurance for Low Income Families

Health insurance provides coverage to an individual for medical expenses, surgeries, and rehabilitation. It is sometimes seen as an extra financial burden by low-income families. This article deals with affordable options available for the families with low income.

Tagged Under: Health Insurance
Health insurance is very important to safeguard oneself and their family from the issues related to health. Low-income families have less access to employee sponsored insurance covers as compared to the higher-income groups. Health insurance is very important for every family and it would help get quality medical care. Health care costs are skyrocketing and these insurances would help one pay for the more serious and costly medical issues in future.

The government has tried to introduce affordable health insurances for the families with insufficient income for health care. Different states offer the programs according to their state laws. The various affordable programs are given below.

This insurance program is jointly funded by the state and the federal governments. This policy is available to senior citizens, children, low-income parents, unemployed individuals, and people with disabilities. One has to be a U.S. Citizen to become eligible for these policies. The other eligibility criteria depends not only on the income, but also the assets of the applicant.

Mediaid is jointly funded by the federal and state government. Senior citizens, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and blind people are eligible for this program. The policy covers outpatient hospital services, doctor’s visits, and long-term in-patient services.

State Children’s Health Insurance Programs(SCHIP)
This program was an effort to try to insure the health of every child in the U.S. Children can be eligible for either Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP programs of the state of residence, even if the parents are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

Private Health Insurance Companies
There are many companies which offer health insurance coverage which are quite affordable. Many companies have family health insurance plans, which do not offer routine medical care, but protect the families financially in case of serious injury or illness.

Health Savings Accounts
These are savings accounts which can be used for expenses in case of medical care, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medical supplies. They are used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan (HDHP).

Mini Medical Insurance
This policy may cover a pre-determined number of doctor visits, prescription medicines, daily hospital benefits, and limited accident coverage. The cost of this policy may be as low as $50 per month.

Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO)
This is a group health insurance plan. The medical care is provided through a network of doctors and medical facilities who work directly for the HMO. The person availing medical care under HMO has to make small co-payment at each visit. The annual premiums are slightly lower than the other insurances.

Low-income families can always visit the local social services and discuss the various options available. The government is trying hard to cover all the families in the low-income group. The standard of health care provided to low-income families has considerably improved over the years. The state and federal governments are trying their best to work together and introduce more policies so that health insurances are provided to all such families in America. It is always advisable to insure one’s family with a health plan that suits their budget. Thus, one would be able to ensure a better medical care for their loved ones.