What is a Health Insurance?
Health insurance is something everyone needs. No matter how big or small your family is — or even if it is just you — people need to see doctors, go to the hospital or take medications. Health insurance keeps your costs low, so you don’t have to pay mounting doctor and hospital bills later in life. Health insurance helps the average person get the medical attention and prescriptions he or she needs to stay healthy for life. Without health insurance, every time you get sick you have to pay the bill to the doctor’s office or hospital. With health insurance you pay less, and the insurance company pays the rest of the bill.
Without some type of basic health insurance for your family, it can be difficult to make that decision to take a family member to the doctor. A sore throat, a fever, or for other problems may go untreated because you are not sure you want to spend the money on something that the doctor may or may not need to treat. Without health insurance, family member may end up being sick longer and suffer more.
Insurance is a contract between the policyholder (you) and the insurance company. Before an insurance contract is concluded, read carefully the terms of the insurance. Find out in particular, what the insurance will compensate and what won’t be compensated by limitations of insurance terms and conditions. Theinsured person’sstate of healthand previousmedical history will affect the granting of the health insurance.
Finding Affordable Health Insurance
If you don’t already have any type of health insurance plan, or know someone who does and who can refer you to a great health insurance company, the quickest way to get a quote is to probably search for one on the Internet.
Health insurance does not have to be expensive. Finding affordable health insurance is at your fingertips. You just need to do a little investigating. Determine what you need coverage for. If you want protection against huge hospital bills, and you don’t mind paying for doctor visits, your insurance premiums could cost less. Play with the numbers and the compare the various types of insurance to determine which insurance coverage best fits your situation.
Health Insurance Questions
When you search for affordable family and individual health insurance on the Internet, you’ll to be required to answer several questions before you can get your family and individual health insurance quote. Those questions include, but are not limited to:
- Your location. This helps determine whether or not the insurance company offers family and individual health insurance plans in your area. If the health insurance company does not offer family and individual health insurance plans in your area, it may offer alternative health insurance plans that provide similar coverage. Or, you may need to search other health insurance companies for an affordable family and individual health insurance plan.
- The gender and date of birth of the applicant, as well as the spouse and any children who are going to be included on the family and individual health insurance plan.
- Whether or not the applicant, or anyone who is going to be included on the family and individual health insurance plan, is a full-time student. Many family and individual health insurance plans are purchased by full time college or university students who have dependents.
- The tobacco use of everyone who is going to be included on the family and individual health insurance plan. You shouldn’t provide false information about your tobacco use; in the end, if you need health care related to illnesses caused by smoking, your family and individual health insurance plan may not provide coverage if your false information is discovered.
- Your contact information. If you qualify for an affordable family and individual health insurance plan, the company is going to want to contact you with a quote and further steps.
When filling up the information you should be careful and honest. You must provide full and correct answers to the questions asked by the insurance company. Submission of false or incomplete information may lead, for example, to the insurance company terminating the insurance contract. This can lead to the fact that no compensation is paid.
Different Types of Health Insurance
Whether you are seeking health insurance through your employer or on your own you will be offered a variety of plans. In order to make the proper decision about which plan is right for you it is important to know the basic characteristics of the most popular types of health insurance. After this it is wise to get many quotes on health insurance and compare them. This is a free way to compare plans and prices.
Fee for service
For many years the fee for service plan was very popular and widely used type of health insurance. The insured pays a monthly fee. A deductible is applied to the cost of the services. Some services related to healthy living or emergency services may be exempted from the deductible. Once the deductible has been met the insured and the insurance company share the cost of services. For most companies the split may be 80/20 or 70/30. The company pays eighty or seventy percent, the insured pays twenty or thirty percent. There will be a cap on the total amount of money the insurance company will pay in a lifetime.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
HMOs have become increasingly more common in the last decade. Again, the insured pays a premium which makes him/her a member of the HMO. As a member of the group the member is entitled to visit any of the doctors who are part of the group. These doctors may all work together in an HMO facility or may work in individual clinics as part of a group of doctors under contract to the HMO. Members may have to pay what is called co-pay when they visit the doctor. No paperwork is necessary to validate the claims of an HMO member; however, members may wait longer for non-emergency appointments than they would with a fee for service insurance program. An HMO generally requires its members to have a primary care physician who then refers the member to a specialist if needed.
More information: Medicare.gov Health Maintenance Plans
Preferred Provide Organizations (PPO)
The PPO, a blend of the fee for service model and the HMO model, is a fast growing sector of health insurance. As with an HMO there is a network of doctors from which the insured chooses his/her physician. This physician is responsible for designating the need for specialized care. A co-payment will be required when an office or hospital visit is made. There will also be a deductible and medical expenses will be divided at an agreed upon scale between the insured and the insurance company operating the PPO. A person may choose to use a doctor who is outside of the network. Expenses incurred for medical care outside the network will make the patient’s share higher.
More information: Healthcare.gov Preferred Provide Organizations
Family Health Insurance Assistance Programs
In many countries like England, France, and Canada; every man, woman, and child receives basic health care from the government. This makes the business of private health insurance redundant in those countries. However, in America things are a bit different. In the United States, many citizens do not have health coverage at all due to the high cost of medical care and the rates and premiums that the private corporations offering health insurance charge their customers. This means that many people can’t afford to see doctors as often as they should for routine care, do not get the prescriptions they need to be fully functional members of society, and struggle to get back on their feet after the financial blow of a necessary surgery or other emergency medical procedure.
As a way to put an end to this situation, many places in America offer special assistance programs that help low income families get the health care coverage they need. Families that are living below the poverty line can often get health insurance at lower than market rates through the health department of a state, city, or county. Depending on the specifics of a given situation and the rules of a particular program, families that have income well above the poverty line can qualify for at least some level of financial assistance. To find out if you and your family may be able to get the care you need at prices that are more affordable than what you are paying today, spend some time on the website of your local branch of government. Many large cities and most states have all of the details of their eligibility requirements for family health insurance assistance programs available online, and some even allow you to print the necessary paperwork for your application right off the web.
Although the United States may not have the kind of comprehensive, government-run health coverage for all of its citizens that other countries have opted for, in most places there are government sponsored programs that help those who cannot afford to pay for their own medical care at market rates. Even people who don’t qualify for this kind of subsidized care can take advantage of the free clinics that operate in most major metropolitan areas. Different clinics offer a wide variety of services that range from pregnancy testing to flu shots; so if you are looking for a way to avoid paying steep hospital bills consider what the clinics in your area may be able to offer you. The combination of subsidized family health insurance and free clinics means that almost every family in America can afford at least some level of medical attention.
More Information: The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)
With family insurance, you give yourself protection for the future. You’ve worked hard to save your money. If you have to go to the doctor’s for a broken bone, it could cost you hundreds of dollars in bills. With health insurance, you will cut that in half, or even less, depending on the plan that you choose. Your family’s health is important, but so is your financial security. Do the right thing, purchase health insurance so you never have to put off seeing a doctor or getting emergency medical care.
Disclosure: This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only. Always consult your own legal or investment advisor before making any financial planning decisions.