Health Insurance in US
Most people do not realize the importance of having a health insurance plan. Usually, people tend to ignore it. However, if you are an intelligent and practical person, you will not fall into this group. No matter what your age or occupation, you need to have some sort of health insurance cover for yourself. This page will provide you with details on health insurance options for you, the different types of medical insurance you can seek, both privately and from the state and an in-depth analysis of health insurance in the states.
Health insurance form private carriers
If you are an individual looking for health insurance, you will have to choose between individual or group health insurance. It is always preferable to have a group health insurance plan simply because you pay less for it. However, if you are self employed, you can also go for plans that are suitable for you.
Private carriers like the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) group of companies offer a variety of plans based on your needs and affordability. You can go for managed care programs, fee for service plans, health maintenance organizations, and point of service (POS) type of plans. PPO or preferred provider organizations plans are also offered. Not familiar with the terms? Here’s a general idea:
- Fee for service program- these are plans which allow you to visit any doctor of your choice. The carrier just reimburses the fee for such service provided to the insured person.
- Managed care program refers to a means by which insurance carriers manage the costs that are incurred. Every plan will have some form of managed care. For instance, if you are hospitalized, some carriers will require that previous permission is sought. This is done in order to ensure that the need for hospitalization is a valid one.
- HMOs- these are like prepaid health insurance plans. Here, you pay a premium every month in exchange for comprehensive care. Usually; your choice of doctors is limited to those who are in a contract with the company. Typically, they will also provide you with preventive care coverage.
- POS- this is an indemnity type of an HMO. The main difference is that you can go for specialists without referral and still avail of coverage.
- PPO- this is a combination of fee for service and HMOs. You have to visit providers functioning within a network to avail of coverage.
- FSA- these flexible spending accounts lets members use pre tax dollars to pay for certain dependent care and medical expenses. The contributions are funded by the members.
- HSA- these allow members to save money in accounts which provide tax advantages. The amount is used for paying medical expense and it is tax free.
- HRA- health reimbursement arrangements are established by employers for the employees. These are used to reimburse a part of the family members’ medical costs that are to be paid out of the pocket.