Obtaining health insurance can be confusing for most consumers. There are so many different health insurance options and each state has different laws governing them. So how do you know what health insurance is right for you? How do you determine if a policy is a good value or is it more money in your pocket? With a clear understanding of health insurance basics you get the information that you need to make an informed decision about the coverage you want and need.
View useful resources, videos and articles on various important health insurance topics. The Health Insurance Education Center provides access to a variety of health insurance plans, terms and information. The Health Insurance Information Center is also home to several helpful articles on different types of health insurance plans. Some of the articles include: Types of Health Insurance Plans, such as PPOs, HMOs, Indemnity Plans, Maternity Plans, etc., and Savings Account Basics. Other helpful sites are the Health Insurance Help Site and the Health Insurance Rate Page.
Do your homework. Research the different types of health care coverage available. Find out which type would best suit your needs. Then compare plans side-by-side to see which ones offer you the most in the way of benefits and price. When you learn about health insurance basics, you’ll be ready to buy health insurance plans that will best meet your individual needs.
Understand health insurance basics – Individual health plans are flexible, level of coverage and preferred provider organizations (HCPs). Managed care plans are managed care plans that usually offer the same benefits as traditional individual health plans, but usually cost more. Finally, there are catastrophic health insurance plans that are usually reserved for individuals with special health conditions or who have a history of health problems. Understanding plan types will help you make an informed decision about what type of coverage best fits your individual health needs.
Buy only what you need. If you go to a doctor that is not covered under your employer’s health insurance coverage, don’t take out that visit. It’s not worth the money. And when you buy only health insurance coverage you won’t have to pay for costly preventive care visits because those visits will be paid for by whatever health insurance coverage you choose. You can usually find plans that offer the coverage you want at a price you can afford.
Get insurance after you get married. Most short-term health insurance plans require you to be at least 45 years old. If you’re younger, you may have to wait until you get insurance age to get coverage. Some short-term policies require you be at least 50 years old. The age requirement varies by state.
Choose a high deductible. High deductibles are a good way to keep healthcare costs down. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium payments will be. If you’re healthy, choosing a high deductible is a good way to keep healthcare costs low. But if you become ill or injured, choose a lower deductible to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Be aware of co-pays and deductibles. These can make a big difference in how much you pay for your monthly premium. Some health insurance plans include co-pays and deductibles in the policy. Other plans have a flat fee for doctor visits. Learn about any extra fees you may need to pay when choosing an insurance plan.
Understand health care cost inflation. Premiums and costs are expected to go up. Health care costs are not going to be lower forever. You need to have a basic understanding of what will happen to your premiums and out-of-pocket spending if health care costs continue to rise.
Choose a low deductible. A higher deductible means you’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket if you visit the doctor. The lower your deductible, the less you’ll have to pay. When deciding on a deductible, consider how long it will take you to reach the maximum out-of-pocket amount and whether there are other things you’ll need to cover.
Make sure you understand network exclusions. Networks contain limits to how much care is covered. Exclusions can vary by insurance company. Understanding the exclusions in your policy is one of the most important health insurance basics you can understand.