Category Archives: Health Insurance

Health Insurance for Every Need

In the United States, there are about five different types of health insurance available: traditional health insurance; preferred provider organizations or PPOs; point-of-service plans or POS; health management organizations or HMOs; and most recently, health savings accounts or HSAs. With so many types of health insurance, it may be confusing trying to figure out which one best fits your needs, so thoroughly research each and speak with a professional if you need clarification.

Traditional health insurance is the one that most people think of when they think of health insurance. You pay the insurance company a premium every month, and if you have an accident or need for health coverage, you have a deductible amount you must pay and then the insurance company picks up the rest of the bill. You often have an inexpensive office and/or prescription co-pay with traditional health insurance.

With people living longer, health insurance companies began to look for more ways to reduce their costs, developing different health plans such as PPOs. PPOs are plans which will cover nearly all of your medical expenses as long as you stay within a preferred network of physicians or hospitals. This network creates a “preferred provider” list that you can choose from. Treatment outside this network of providers is covered but only at a reduced rate, meaning you end up paying more to see a physician outside the network. By limiting the physicians and hospitals covered in their network, the insurance company can control, to an extent, their costs and lower your premiums. POS plans work like PPOs, but require you to have a primary care physician through whom you can receive referrals for specialists. If you need to see a neurologist or a dermatologist, you must first visit your primary care physician for an initial diagnosis in order to receive a referral to a specialist for a more thorough diagnosis. POS plans also have a preferred provider network, and if you choose to visit a specialist or physician outside that network, your coverage will be limited.

HMOs combine a stricter version of PPOs and POS plans. HMOs have a defined list of physicians, often much smaller than PPO networks, which you may see. You will not be covered at all if you see a physician outside your HMO network. Furthermore, you must also get a referral from your primary care HMO physician to see any specialist. However, these restrictions mean that you pay an extra low or no monthly premium.

HSAs were recently signed into law by President Bush. You can deposit money into a special non-taxed, interest-gaining savings account that must be used for medical expenses. The ideal situation for an HSA is to combine the account with a low-cost, high-deductible insurance plan. The savings account is designed to allow you to cover the high deductible if you find the need to cover expensive medical costs while the insurance company will pick up the rest of the bill.

Again, it is important to carefully consider each option before choosing a single health insurance plan. Your health is important-make sure it is protected in the best way possible.

Short-term Health Insurance

When people think of health insurance, they think of traditional health insurance, with office visits, co-payments, and prescription drug coverage. However, such health insurance is not always available. Perhaps you are transitioning from one job to another; or maybe you are employed part-time or with a temporary agency that does not offer full health coverage; or you might be attending or just graduating from school. In these situations, traditional health insurance is sometimes not available. If you are unable to afford traditional health insurance but would like some coverage in the case of an accident or emergency, short-term health insurance is your best bet.

Short-term health insurance fills the gap in health insurance coverage that may come about for a number of different reasons, including those listed above. The idea of short-term health insurance is built into the name – it is a short-term solution offering short-term coverage, with the expectation that at some point, you will begin or resume traditional health insurance coverage. It is designed for those who would like some coverage in case of accident or injury and covers only emergency or serious medical expenses, such as x-rays, ambulance fees, intensive care, and a certain amount of hospital care. Though policies vary, these are often standard in short-term health insurance coverage. However, short-term health insurance does not cover regular physician visits, nor do they cover pre-existing conditions. If you are looking for this sort of coverage, you should consider obtaining a traditional health insurance policy or looking into other options.

Short-term health insurance costs vary greatly; you will have a monthly premium, ranging anywhere from $25 to $100, depending upon the plan’s coverage and deductible, which often begins at $250 and can increase to $5,000. Most policies these days also offer a reasonable pay-out amount (often one or two million dollars). Policies allow you to choose coverage for specific lengths of time, from 30 days to 90 days or six months, but almost no short-term policies extend past one year.

How do you find short-term health insurance? It is not as difficult as it may seem. A simple Internet search will yield a number of companies that offer short-term health insurance coverage. Searching online will also give you the opportunity to compare different companies and different plans. Just be sure to research each of the policies carefully to understand your maximum pay-out as well as deductibles, coverage, and other terms of the agreement.

Affordable Health Insurance for the Unemployed

Being unemployed can be a financial downside to say the least. You may be dependant on someone else to cover your daily expenses such as a place to live and food to eat. Health insurance is something that everyone needs and not enough people have available because of these other financial burdens. Any emergency such as a car accident or broken bone will require adequate medical assistance. What do you do when you don’t have insurance and can’t afford expensive medical bills? If you are unemployed, you need to find health insurance to prevent this from happening.

COBRA is a law in which many people could be eligible to remain on an employer’s health insurance plan even after they lose their employment. The most ideal person for this coverage is someone who is between jobs and is not in need of long-term help. It can last at least a year to those who qualify, but the premium amount is still an expense that some unemployed individuals may not be able to take care of with their lack of income. If you are able to pay the premium and are eligible, COBRA will also cover your spouse and children who are dependent on you for insurance. The best way to determine if you could receive health insurance is to contact your local employer’s benefits department and fill out the required forms.

You can also shop around for typical health insurance. Many free Internet services are proven reliable by the Better Business Bureau Online. By speaking with one of these insurance experts, you can get help finding the most affordable health insurance that will fit your specific needs. They know the rates of thousands of insurance companies and can fix you up with appropriate coverage for your specific needs. If you have a spouse or children, having health coverage is a necessity. Life is full of unexpected events and you cannot ensure that everyone will stay completely healthy until you have insurance again because accidents do happen. Finding an affordable coverage rate on your own can be a hassle. The experts at these companies are offering their assistance to you, often as a free service. Whether you need to find something short-term or for an extended period, they are qualified and dedicated to helping you.

If you find yourself unemployed at any time in your life, you are probably without health insurance. This can be a nightmare whether you have a family or not because medical expenses can put you into debt quickly. Luckily, there are ways of finding affordable coverage providers that can keep your health, as well as your finances, safe. A simple doctor visit can cost you significantly more money than it would with insurance. Do not let yourself become one of the many people who are unfortunately living life without proper insurance coverage.

Advantages to Indemnity Health Insurance Plans

Indemnity health insurance plans are more regularly known as traditional health insurance plans. These health insurance plans can be costly but often cover most health problems that may arise, while other insurance plans exclude some illnesses or diseases from their coverage. Some disadvantages to indemnity plans are that they do not usually cover preventative health care like physicals, and traditional health insurance plans often cover only a percentage of your bill. Research the advantages and disadvantages to indemnity health insurance when you are considering health insurance options.

While the disadvantages may seem problematic, there are many advantages to indemnity health insurance plans. You may have a higher monthly premium and you may need to pay upfront costs and submit claims paperwork, but your deductible will be more manageable and your coverage will be wider. Some health insurance plans will not cover certain medical expenses or care, but indemnity plans often do.

Another benefit of indemnity health insurance plans that many people desire is the freedom to choose your own physician. While other health insurance plans offered by the insurance industry limit your choice of physicians and hospitals to a list of preferred providers, indemnity insurance will cover any physician or hospital. This benefit may seem unworthy of mention, but there has been more than one instance where a mother finds that her son or daughter’s pediatrician is not in their preferred provider network and has to search for another pediatrician. This also means that you can see a specialist without having to consult with your primary care physician first.

Overall, indemnity health insurance plans also offer you the best emergency medical coverage in the industry. While preferred provider organizations (PPOs) or point-of-service (POS) plans limit the physician you can see to a list of network physicians and hospitals, the freedom of choosing any physician is nationwide with indemnity health insurance plans. This means that if you are traveling across the country and have an accident or a medical emergency, you can go to the nearest hospital or see the closest physician without worrying about the expense. There have been instances where hospitals or physicians will either refuse to treat patients or treat them only minimally because the hospital or physician is not inside the plan’s preferred provider network – meaning that the patient’s health insurance will only cover a small part of the expense and the patient is liable to pay the rest of the bill. This is a risky financial situation for the physician and/or hospital since patients are often unable to fully pay costly medical bills. With indemnity health insurance plans, this is almost never the case. Consider this and the other benefits of indemnity health insurance when choosing the plan that is right for you.

Health Insurance When Living Abroad

You may not know this already, but when planning on traveling abroad you cannot take your local insurance with you. You will need to purchase an international insurance plan offered by a multinational insurance company. While they may be hard to track down, it is the best way to assure that in the event of an accident or illness you will be able to acquire medical attention if needed.

Many of these plans will cover you up to six months in another country. When you speak with the insurance company, be prepared to give an extensive list of information to them. This will range from health problems you’ve had in the past ten years, your hereditary conditions to substance abuse, and almost everything else-if it has anything to do with your health be prepared to disclose the information. If you are planning on traveling with more than one family member, then be prepared to give information for each family member as well.

Many times your basic coverage will include emergency treatment regardless of which facility it is administered. This is not the case with minor medical treatment. It is important to know whether you are buying an insurance plan that is an HMO or PPO. If you are under an HMO or health maintenance organization, then you will be limited to receiving care from only the providers who are in their network. You can retrieve a list of all the companies within your insurer’s network upon request. If you are under a PPO, or preferred provider organization, you will have the opportunity to pick the best facility you see fit, but your insurer will only cover a portion of the incurred cost.

If you plan on staying abroad for more than six months then you will need to look into what is called expatriate health insurance. Only larger companies supply this type of insurance, as it is much more extensive with the type of options that can be applied to each policy. The type of treatment options that are covered with expatriate health insurance are those that are labeled as specialty treatments, like chiropractic therapy and acupuncture. There are many options that can be applied to expatriate health insurance depending on your family’s needs and how long you plan on spending abroad.

There are many options for health insurance when you are traveling abroad. While many individuals never consider purchasing insurance when traveling to another country, this should be at the top of your list when planning for a trip. Health insurance should not be taken lightly. Be sure you understand every aspect of your policy before deciding with any one particular company.