The Significance of Health Insurance in California
Consumers never like to be forced to buy a product. Shopping should be fun and enjoyable. However, when it comes to buying a health insurance policy, consumers find it difficult to make up their mind in the delighted mode
The state is also plagued with problems such as air pollution, high incidence of infectious diseases, high mortality rates, obesity and diabetes. California ranks lower for determinants than for health outcomes, indicating that overall healthiness may decline over time. Add that to that a big pool of uninsured Californians – about 18.4% of the residents are without any medical coverage- and you have in your hand, the reason why health insurance is such an important issue in California after all.
California has a population of more than 35 million people. It is natural that the there are plenty of options available to such a huge population to meet their medical insurance needs. Managed healthcare, however, is the most popular form of health insurance in California. The different types of managed healthcare plan that are available in California are:
Preferred Provider Organization: A PPO allows the beneficiary to choose an in-network specialist without the consulting the Primary Care Physician. One can consult doctors beyond the network, but would need the recommendation of an in-network PCP.
Health Maintenance Organization: A HMO health plan concentrates on providing basic, primary and preventive healthcare to its beneficiaries. Healthcare services are restricted to doctors within the prescribed network. To see a specialist even within the network, you will need the referral of a PCP. If a person decided to consult a doctor beyond the provided network, then those medical expenses will not be covered by the HMO policy at all.
Apart from the managed healthcare plans, indemnity health insurance is also available in California. Purchasing an indemnity plan is the costliest way to get yourself medically insured. Here there are no restrictions on the network of healthcare service providers and these plans are the most flexible. However, they usually come with higher premiums, out-of-pocket expenses and there is a lot more paperwork involved in such plans.
Considering the high cost of healthcare services in the state, purchasing health insurance in California could be a tricky affair. It is important that you get a policy that is perfectly suited to your health needs. This can be determined by getting the answers to the following questions:
- The kind of premium that you can afford
- The deductible that you can afford
- The kind of medical attention that you need
Health plans in California are comparatively more expensive, but that does not mean that the residents cannot access them. If they are unable to afford a regular plan, they could either go for one of those plans that are inherently cheap or could opt for a few exclusions in their plans to bring down the costs. But what is important is to have medical coverage in California, especially when the reforms will make it mandatory soon.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shaun Mike is an expert on health insurance in California. He has been publishing write ups on health insurance, California for over a decade now.