Health, as we have often heard, is wealth. Without good health, one can possibly not do anything, including working and making money. This makes every effort we make towards ensuring that our health is always in the best of shape, a worthy one.
Healthcare can be pretty expensive which is why most folks require some form of help with taking care of themselves. Health insurance came as an answer to this dilemma. Though, with its many flaws and faults, it may not have offered a full and complete solution to the majority of the people.
As a way of attempting to provide suitable solutions, different types of insurance plans are constantly being brought up by different companies. You hear of stuff like the Alignment Health Plan and many others like it.
In this article, we will quickly look at some of the plans that are available and how to choose one that is right for you.
What are Health Plans?
Like we were saying at the beginning of this article, because of the high cost of healthcare, health insurance was thought of as a solution. Because of the difference in health needs and of course, financial capacity, there are different health insurance options to allow people have the option of choosing one that best suits their needs and budget.
We can therefore say that a health plan is an insurance policy that provides specific healthcare cover within a specified cost range. One plan will usually differ from the other with regards to health issues covered, the extent to which it is covered, and the financial commitment that will be required by way of premiums to be paid by the insured. There can also be other issues such as care facilities and caregivers that can be used by the insured.
Types of Health Insurance Plans
Now let’s look at some of the more common plans that you can find today. We’ll quickly take a look at the 4 below:
HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization and aims at achieving affordable cover by bringing together a network of care providers under a plan. Once subscribed to this cover, you will be restricted to a list of facilities that you can receive treatment from and even doctors that you can see.
This means that you do not have the luxury of choosing a caregiver or facility outside of those already approved and listed under the cover. This type of cover is usually more affordable for the majority of people but may not also offer the most comprehensive coverage.
You can learn more about this type of cover here: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hmo.asp.
The Exclusive Provider Organization is very similar to the HMO. However, this plan offers the subscriber a bit more freedom to choose by whom they will be treated. This choice MUST however be made from within a specific network. If the individual chooses to go outside of the approved group of providers, they will have to bear the full cost of the treatment.
A Preferred Provider Organization cover is another one that operates like the HMO and EPO. The main difference is that while the HMO and EPO plans do not offer you the option of choosing a provider outside of the approved network, with a PPO, you can make the choice to work with a provider outside of the approved network. This will however result in some additional cost to you.
This plan, known as the Point-of-Service cover is a combination of the HMO and PPO. With this cover, you will be required to have a primary physician chosen from within the network. This physician will play a very important role in the process.
Just as with the PPO, you have the choice of choosing a doctor outside of the list but this will cost you more. If howeve, your primary physician within the network gives you a referral to a specialist outside of the network, you wouldn’t pay more.
In addition to the options we’ve looked at above, you can also get additional plans such as catastrophic plan or HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan). What these additional plans seek to achieve is a reduction in your premium. You can however have very high deductibles. This, therefore, makes them best suited for persons within certain age ranges and health status.
You can get more information about these two here.
Factors to Consider When Making a Choice
Now that we’ve briefly discussed some of the more common plans, let’s conclude by looking at what steps you should take towards making this very important choice.
Know Where You’re Getting Your Plan
This is the first step that can determine what decisions you can or cannot make going forward. If you work in a company where you have insurance cover, then you may not have to worry about making the choice since that has already been taken care of by your employer.
If you do not fall into the category described above, then you may want to look at what your state offers by way of health insurance. A third option will be to carry out a general search on your own.
Before deciding on which plan or insurance company to sign up with, it is important that you carefully compare the features offered by each plan. You need to know what you will get from each one.
Consider Your Health Needs
After comparing features, look at your health needs and that of any others who may need to be covered. This should help you know what option will be suitable and which won’t be.
Look at the Financial Implication
More than just the premium you will be required to pay, you should also consider factors such as coverage limit and deductible.
If you can carefully consider the points above, you will be in a good position to make the right choice.
Getting the right health insurance plan is something that everyone should be encouraged to do. We’ve taken some time to look at this subject and also given some tips on how to go about making this decision. We hope the information here helps you make the right decision for yourself and any dependents you may have.
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