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Health Insurance Basics

Health care and other medical expenses can be difficult, if not impossible, to cover as an individual without insurance. That's why a good policy is so very important - without it, you may find yourself unable to access quality care, and in debt over hospital, laboratory, and pharmacy fees if you or a family member becomes critically ill. If you are not able to sign up for a plan through your employer, we can help you find and purchase affordable medical care.

The first step is deciding what sort of plan you need. There are several basic options, and each one has unique costs and benefits for subscribers. Which one you decide on will depend on what you can afford, how flexible you want to be, and other individual factors.

HMO

The most basic type of health insurance is an HMO or Health Maintenance Organization. HMOs are by far the most inexpensive of plans, so they are good choices for people who simply cannot afford any other type of coverage. However, with this sort of coverage, you will be expected to select a primary care physician, and you will be required to obtain a referral from that physician in order to see a specialist. This can prevent you from receiving care as quickly as you might like, and it can also restrict which specialists you are permitted to see when the time comes. If you are very choosy about your doctors or want to be able to seek care from others without waiting for permission, an HMO is not what you want.

PPO

A PPO or Preferred Provider Organization is a type of health coverage that offers significantly more flexibility than the more basic HMO. Participants do not have to choose a doctor for primary care, nor are they typically required to seek referrals in order to make an appointment with a specialized physician. The network of participating doctors, nurses, and midwives is generally much larger than a Health Maintenance Organization's network, and though subscribers will pay a higher fee if they choose an out-of-network provider, they are certainly allowed to do so. Of course, this flexibility isn't free; PPOs are more costly than other insurance plans. However, they are often still affordable and almost always worth the extra expense.

Other Options

If you are really looking to save money and you're in very good health, you may opt not to purchase a policy that covers all medical expenses. Instead, you might want to select catastrophic or major medical insurance. These policies only apply to serious illnesses or injuries, rather than annual physicals, chronic conditions, and other minor medical needs. They also have high deductibles, and are certainly not intended for everyone. Most serious pre-existing conditions will preclude you from getting this type of insurance, and you will also want to avoid it if you take prescription drugs or cannot afford a high deductible.

Short term health insurance policies are also available. They are similar to catastrophic illness or injury policies, but are intended to stay in effect for a short period only. They can be good choices for people who are between jobs or waiting for benefits to kick in with a new employer. Also, you can continue seeing your chosen doctor and prescriptions will be covered for the duration of the policy. These plans are inexpensive, accept debit & credit cards and exactly what you should consider during a transitional phase of your life.

No matter what sort of insurance you decide on, our representatives can help to match you up with a good plan that will serve you and your family well for a long time to come. Get started by requesting a free quote today!