Guide to Choose Best Health insurance Plans From Insurance Companies
The costs of healthcare and health insurance are on a constant rise. Add to that the new mandate of compulsory medical coverage and residents have more than enough reasons to purchase their health plans as soon as possible.
Types of health plans: Though the residents have access to a variety of health insurance plans, these can be classified in two major categories – indemnity health plans and managed healthcare plans.
Indemnity health plans: these are the oldest form of health insurance and are the costliest too. In these plans, there is neither a network of doctors nor is coverage restricted. However, the unusually pricey premiums have made indemnity health plans unpopular among the residents of US.
Managed healthcare plans: Managed healthcare plans are fast becoming the preferred choice of medical coverage among the residents of US. Such plans have comparatively low premiums and though there are restrictions, the coverage is quite comprehensive. Managed health insurance can be further categorized into: 1. HMO or Health Maintenance Organization. This is one of the cheapest forms of health insurance. The idea is to provide primary and preventive healthcare at manageable costs. However, HMOs have a prescribed network of healthcare providers and beneficiaries necessarily have to stick to the network. Residents also need the prior authorization of a primary care physician before they can consult a specialist.
2. Preferred Provider Organization or PPO. PPOs oscillate between being an indemnity and a HMO plan depending on the need of the beneficiary every time he consults a doctor. There is a prescribed network and every time a resident consults beyond the network, he has to pay higher co-pay. In PPOs, prior permission of a primary care physician is not needed to consult a specialist. PPOs have costlier premiums as compared to HMO health plans.
Lowering the costs:
Though managed healthcare plans generally have affordable premiums, one lower the costs further by taking care of the following points. a) Comparing health plans across companies will ensure that you have access to the cheapest plan possible that meets all your health needs. b) Specialized plans that cater only to a specific disease or are valid only for a specific duration of time are usually cheap. c) Many health insurance companies offer only cheap plan. Residents will have wider choices in that particular price bracket if they purchase the plan from these insurance companies. d) Individual plans can be customized. Therefore by leaving out those health plans that one is sure not to use, the price of the premium can be reduced. e) A plan with a high deductible will have a lower premium. Therefore if you are purchasing coverage only as a safety net for the new Act, such a plan will be a profitable option for you.
However, there are no general rules. The health need of every individual is different and so is every medical policy. Therefore, it is up to each individual resident to decide his own permutation so that he can purchase a plan that provides him the maximum health benefits at the lowest possible price.
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