Did you know that most individuals with a health insurance plan get it from their employers?
Since most people are covered at work, they don’t need to go on an insurance search. So before you spread yourself too thin to look for a plan, figure out whether your job offers health insurance.
Since health insurance plans vary significantly from provider to provider, finding a suitable one is challenging. There are just so many options with different costs and coverage levels. Therefore, there should be thorough efforts in finding the right plan as they will prove fruitful down the line.
Public or Private Health Insurance?
In 2018, 296 million people in the United States had some form of health insurance. Health insurance refers to a type of coverage that covers some medical and surgical expenses that an individual might incur when the policy is active.
An insurance program can be run either by a private company or by the state itself. There are two types of public health insurance, which include Medicare and Medicaid. The former program is for people above the age of 65, while the latter is for individuals with low income or disabilities. Private insurance companies tend to serve the rest of the market.
Private health insurance companies benefit many people by giving them more control over their health. These privately insured individuals can evade the long waiting lists and limited hospital choices that are typical for public health insurance policyholders. Therefore, they experience a higher level of protection and live with greater peace of mind.
If you are not eligible for public health insurance, consider getting a policy from a private insurance company.
The Type of Insurance Plan Is Important
You need to look for affordable coverage options that are tailored to your needs. Therefore, be prepared to learn more details about the plan, no matter how long it takes.
In general, there are four types of insurance plans, namely Exclusive Provider Organization, Health Maintenance Organization, Point of Service, and Preferred Provider Organization.
Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) is a hybrid managed health insurance plan which provides little choice as you have to use services by providers within a network. However, they allow lower out-of-pocket costs and require no referrals.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is a type of health insurance plan which lowers your out-of-pocket costs. With such a plan, you will be assigned a primary care doctor who can refer you to specialists. The plan provides coverage in return for a monthly or annual fee. Services can be availed through healthcare providers directly in contract with the HMO.
Point of Service (POS) is a type of insurance plan that allows you to avail services from more healthcare providers. However, you also have a primary care doctor, and it is cheaper to get medical assistance from a provider within the network.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a health insurance plan that gives you greater access to healthcare providers but requires higher out-of-pocket costs. Referrals are not required to get healthcare anywhere, but it is cheaper to get medical assistance within the network.
Once you understand this jargon, you will be better able to communicate with insurance agents.
Research Your Options
There were about 907 health insurance companies in the United States in 2017. Since there are so many options in the market, finding an appropriate and reliable insurance provider seems challenging at first.
The first thing you can do is ask around for suggestions. Your neighbors and colleagues might be a good source of information and can suggest the right insurance provider to you. Don’t take their word on face value though, do your research and try to figure out whether the provider is worth considering.
Search online and try to learn which companies can keep your health insurance premiums low with a high quality of coverage. If you find an appropriate company, call the company helpline and get connected with an insurance agent. You should be able to relay your queries and get proper answers in return.
List down the companies and quotes you get and try to tally them with online reviews. You must figure out more about the company from third-party sources instead of relying on what the company claims itself.
There is no point in having health insurance that is not meaningfully covering medical expenses when needed. Some plans barely cover specific medical procedures or don’t cover them at all. Therefore, try to look for the best mix and ask the insurance agent for supplemental policies. Who knows if they turn out to be beneficial in the future?
Whatever you do, don’t pick a health insurance provider in a rush.
Compare the Costs and the Coverage
According to CNBC, large US companies predict that the average health insurance costs will rise in 2020.
Review the list you created and compare the insurance providers based on costs and coverage. Try to minimize the premium, but don’t do so by compromising on coverage. Your health is a serious concern, and you cannot put your life on the line to save some dollars.
Only trust the company with your health if they are worth it. Once you identify the perfect prospect, contact them, and purchase the health insurance.
Don’t Take Health Insurance Lightly
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2018, 8.5 percent of people did not have health insurance. Not only is this an increase in the uninsured rate, but the total count of uninsured people has also risen.
One of the biggest favors you can do yourself is having health insurance that genuinely helps. Don’t overspend on a plan, but don’t compromise on the coverage quality either.
The Bottom Line
Health insurance can support you in some of the roughest times of your life. Therefore, you should endeavor to purchase a good plan. Try to understand the jargon of the industry before you speak to an agent. You should ask your neighbors and colleagues and research online to identify suitable insurance providers. Maintain a list of these companies and compare them based on coverage costs and premiums. You’ll find the best health coverage option through your efforts.