Health insurance can be expensive but it is a necessary evil when you are in the medical field and require routine medical services or procedures. Some people do not want to purchase health insurance because they think that it is too expensive, however, the cost of many health insurance plans is comparable to that of private health care plans and other types of insurance such as life or homeowners’ insurance plans. Your employer may offer an employee group health insurance plan that can be a good choice for you and your family. This is especially true if you are a part of a large group of employees.
If you work for an employer that does not offer an employee health insurance plan, then you will need to purchase private health insurance. Private health insurance plans come in all shapes and sizes, some offer coverage for specific medical services while others offer comprehensive coverage for medical services such as hospitalization, doctors’ visits, etc. The following is a brief discussion about how health insurance works:
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Private Health Insurance Plans
Health insurance policies are sold by private companies which specialize in providing benefits to their policyholders. You can obtain private health insurance plans through your employer or directly from an independent broker who will shop for the best plan based on your individual needs and financial situation. Private insurers offer several types of policies including PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations), HMOs (Hospital Managed Organizations), HSA (Health Savings Account), and POS (Point of Service) plans.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) Plan
A Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) plan is a health insurance plan in which you will be allowed to use any physician, hospital or another medical facility that you choose as long as they accept your insurance. This allows you to get the best care available for your health problems. You must choose a PPO plan that is similar to the one offered by your employer’s group health plan so that you can continue using the same physicians and hospitals when changing jobs or moving from one area to another.
Hospital Managed Organizations (HMOs) Plan
Hospital Managed Organizations (HMO), also known as an HMO plan, is a health insurance plan in which you have the freedom to select any medical provider but will only be covered if they are willing to accept your insurance policy. With this type of coverage, it is important that you understand exactly what services are covered under your HMO policy. Be sure to check with your current doctor or other medical providers before switching plans because you may be limited in what medical treatments you can receive under your new policy.
Health Savings Account (HSAs) Plan
Health Savings Account (HSA) is a type of health insurance plan that allows you to deposit money into your personal account. You can use these funds to pay for health care expenses such as deductibles, co-pays, and other charges that are not covered by the plan. An HSA plan will allow you to use the money from the HSA account for any medically necessary services, including dental, vision, and prescription drugs. However, it is important to understand that once you have deposited money into the account, there is no way to get this money back so make sure that you are careful when choosing which medical services or procedures will be paid out of this fund.
Point of Service (POS) Plans
A POS (Point of Service) plan is similar to an HMO policy except that it allows patients access to only those physicians or other medical facilities that are contracted with your insurance company. You may also find that a POS plan will have a lower premium than an HMO plan.
In the end, you must be sure that the health insurance plan you choose provides sufficient coverage to cover your medical expenses, offers enough financial protection in case of illness or accident and allows you to use your money for any medically necessary services.