Basics of Health Insurance
Medical care is essential to living a comfortable and fulfilling life. Unfortunately, today’s medical care is associated with high health care costs, complex plans and information that changes rapidly. Health insurance to most individuals and families is absolutely essential. Even being hospitalized for a few days can cost thousands of dollars and in many cases can make many uninsured individuals debt ridden or bankrupt. Whether you are healthy or ill, health insurance is seen as essential in today’s society.
Two General types of Health Insurance
There are two general types of health insurance coverage, they are; Managed Care and Fee for Service.
Managed care is extremely popular in the United States today and more than 50% of those with health care coverage belong to a managed care plan. There are many types of managed care plans and some include HMO’s (health maintenance organizations), PPO (preferred provider organizations) and POS plans (point of service). The main theme with managed care health insurance is that these plans provide comprehensive health services and in many situations can give financial incentives (lower premiums) for those subscribers that use specific providers (doctors) in the plan.
Fee for Service
Fee for service plans usually require that a fee is paid each time a patient sees a doctor, hospital or health care provider. Patients usually have more control on whom and where they see their health care providers and the providers receives a payment when a claim is filed by either the patient or health care provider.
For the most part, health care insurance plans are offered by an employer. Usually an employer offers the benefit of health care insurance to it’s employees for a lower cost than if the employee would have to purchase individual care. Premiums are usually collected each pay check from the employee. Most health care insurance plans offered at work can cover the individual along with a spouse and family.
If you are self employed and own your own business, you can usually apply for health insurance from major health insurance organizations. While prices are usually higher for individual coverage, many times, your business can write it off as a tax deduction (check with your account).
In addition, health care plans can include other types of care such as dental, vision, prescription drug coverage and even fitness membership coverage or rehab coverage.