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Health Insurance Plans

How can you get Health Insurance?


While life insurance may not be needed, one should not gamble with health insurance. Just a few days in the hospital can be enough to drain almost anyone's savings. It is true that health insurance can be a bit expensive, but if you do a little research, you can find a coverage that fits within your budget. Here are a few important ways by which you can get your health Insurance:

  • Sign on with the health insurance which your employer has provided to you because it is perhaps the most inexpensive option for you. If you are self-employed, then you must search for your own insurance.

  • Make sure to find a health insurance broker who can compare costs and plans for you. You may get assistance from The National Association of Health Underwriters to find one in your area.

  • Try to buy a fee-for-service plan. The biggest advantage that you get here is that you have full control over which physician you see and also decide yourself when you require visiting a doctor.

  • Also you can sign up for a managed care plan, in which case, your health insurance provider will determine which physicians you can see. There are 3 kinds of managed care:

  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) maintain a list of doctors from which you can select a doctor who will be the first contact for your health care. The benefit is that if you see doctors who are in your insurer's network, then you need to pay a reduced co-payment. But, if you see a doctor who is not in the network, then naturally your co-payment is higher. Apart from this, generally no prior approval is needed to see a specialist. Thus, PPOs can give you the maximum flexibility, but they cost more in out-of-pocket costs and monthly premiums.

  • Point-of-service (POS) networks are almost the same as PPOs, with the exception that it is the primary care physician who will make decisions regarding which specialists you can see. It is still possible to see a physician outside the POS network, but you have to pay higher fees to do so.

  • The least expensive managed care programs are the Health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Most of them require you to see a doctor in their network, but also offer little or no copays at all in exchange. Also a lot of HMOs require that you should see your primary care physician first before you get referred to a specialist.

  • It is good to find out if the benefits are restricted only for preexisting conditions, or it is required for you to wait for some time before you're covered fully.

  • Make sure that your regular doctors are present on your plan's provider list. A database of their provider list is provided by all plans on their Web site. Try to go with a plan that lists most of your regular physicians. Most PPOs will pay up to 20% less for doctors who are out-of-network.

  • Some plans keep their members waiting to see a physician. Therefore, it is always better to investigate what sorts of delays you might confront with managed care.

  • Shop around and call some agents for comparing premiums and policies.

  • Look into other possible sources that can provide your health insurance. Professional groups, alumni associations and fraternal organizations sometimes provide health coverage to their members.