There are four common reasons why most people do not have health insurance or health plans. These four reasons are: (1) You are self employed. (2) You are unemployed. (3) Your current job does not offer coverage. (4) You have been released from your parents’ coverage. Whatever the reason may be, it is important for you to get covered.
While doing some research on healthcare, you may come across two different types of medical coverage. The first is “health insurance” which includes HMO’s, PPO’s, and traditional coverage. You may also come across something called discount “health plans”. These healthcare types are a little different from one another and you should understand what they are all about before making a final decision on what kind of coverage you choose.
When choosing a health insurance plan you are going to need to choose between three different sub categories: PPO’s, HMO’s, and Indemnity Plans. There is not much difference between a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization). They are both options that your keep your premium costs down by only allowing you to see doctors or visit specialists that are members of their provider network. For example, when you see a member doctor, the doctor charges full price for the visit. You pay a co-pay amount of $5-$25 – depending on your policy, and the insurance company is billed for the rest. You must visit a doctor in the network or the insurance company may not pay their share of your visit.
Indemnity Plans are a little different. Also called “traditional insurance”, they allow you to choose whatever doctor, hospital, or specialist you want, and your visit is covered. You pay your co-pay amount and your insurer will pay the rest. These plans may or may not be more expensive, so it is important for you to compare quotes between indemnity plans and PPO/HMO plans.
Discount Health Plans
These are great alternatives to PPO’s, HMO’s, and traditional insurance, and are becoming increasingly more popular. These plans offer discounts on doctor visits, emergency care, and prescriptions with participating providers in their network, and membership comes with affordable monthly payments. They offer financial relief in your time of need by preventing you from having to pay for 100% of your medical expenses on your own. For example if you have a 50% discount plan, get sick, and see a participating doctor that normally charges $70 for an office visit, being a discount plan member means you will only have to pay $35 for that visit. Many discount plans are offered by major medical insurance companies and were created for people on a budget.
So if you are debating on health insurance vs. health plans, just know that either way having some coverage is better than having no coverage at all. Pick a plan that allows you to stay healthy without breaking the bank. Staying healthy should be the number one priority.
Ken S., Founder