Thursday, March 18, 2010

truth about health insurance plans

If there’s one truth about health insurance plans it’s this: There is no such thing as a universal health insurance plan. Everyone has very different health needs. So if your health coverage isn’t customized to those needs, then you might want to reconsider your plan.

Luckily, there are plenty of great health insurance options available. When you’re ready to start shopping, it’s always best to compare plans from multiple insurance companies. Consider getting free health insurance quotes from an online service to be connected with a licensed agent as well.

Kinds of Health Insurance
The most common types of health plans are part of the “managed care” family — such as HMO and PPO plans. These kinds of health insurance plans create contracts with “networks” of doctor and hospitals, all of which accept your coverage.

The other type of health insurance is known as indemnity coverage, also called Fee-For-Service health insurance. In this model, plans don’t create any care provider networks. Policyholders are simply reimbursed for their health care costs after they receive a service.

So, Which Plan Should I Choose?
Depending on your needs, not every plan mentioned above will work for you. Here’s a quick overview of each:

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans are best for…

Lower premiums, low or no deductible, low copayments to visit the doctor
Affordable health coverage for your whole family
Minimizing out-of-pocket costs
Stay away from an HMO if…

You don’t want any restrictions on who you can see for health care
You or your family needs frequent specialist care
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans are best for…

Comprehensive coverage for preventive care
Larger and more flexible doctor and hospital networks
Stay away from a PPO if…

You don’t want to meet a high deductible
You want the most affordable coverage possible
Indemnity Fee-For-Service plans are best for…

Avoiding health care provider network restrictions
Getting a wide range of services covered
Stay away from a FFS plan if…

You need preventive care coverage for a family. FFS plans typically don’t cover routine services.
You don’t want to front your own money to be reimbursed later

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