Ever needed medical help and wondered if there was a way to sort these bills without taking on too much? Well, Health Insurance dwells on payment of medical bills incurred by the insured. These bills could be for surgical processes, drugs, medical treatment, e.t.c. The coverage could also be for death, disability, or losses from accidents.
Depending on what arrangement or type of insurance the insured has, it could be reimbursed after footing the bills, or paid to the hospital or agency where care has been provided.
How much does Health Insurance cost?
When you go to get a health insurance policy, a premium is required. This is a monthly or yearly fee paid by you or your employer, if it comes as work benefits, to the insurer. It is worked out based on certain factors: what plan you are interested in, your age, tobacco use, family inclusion, and location.
As a rule, the higher the premium, the lower the deductible. This deductible is the amount you’re expected to pay out of pocket, before you can access the policy you have purchased e.g. if your deductible is $200, you must have footed bills to the tune of that, before the insurer comes in.
Another thing to note is that some insurers have in-network providers who are healthcare providers with whom they already have contracts drawn up for discounts whenever the insured goes for help. If you go outside of this circle, you’re excluded from the discount benefits and might have to pay higher than usual. Depending on your policy, you might even have to pay the full fee when you see an out-of-network provider.
A co-payment applies when there's a necessary amount the insured must pay each time they receive care, while the insurer pays the rest. It might be an agreed amount, or a percentage in which case it’s called co-insurance. Depending on the plan, one might pay both, or as an alternative, whichever is more.
You need to work out what is covered by your policy before signing, and with an employer, you should ask how long you have health insurance after leaving a job.
You should also ask about any limits they have, whether it's an amount paid per service or per year by the insurer, or the out-of-pocket limit which represents an amount over which you mustn’t pay. In such a case, the insurer covers the balance over it.
How to get Health Insurance?
The health insurance policy could take on several forms. It might be compulsory for all citizens, which usually happens with national health insurance. It could also be renewable, whether monthly or yearly, or it could be for life as is usually the case with private insurance.
Different states have different insurance legislation, hence it's always best to check this out, and not assume what applies in one state applies everywhere.
For example at a point in the US, based on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2010, it was illegal not to have health insurance, but now that is no longer the case.
For policies in many places too, so long as the children are covered, then it lasts up until they are 26 years no matter what.
Best Health insurance: how to find one?
There are two main types of health insurance:
- Private health insurance: This is the most common type in the US. Under the Affordable Care Act, if you purchase your insurance via the Marketplace, then the government must pay a tax credit to cover part of your premium.
- Public or government health insurance: here, there's usually a deal with the state, where you pay a premium, and the healthcare cost is subsidized e.g. Medicare.
Other plans include:
- Indemnity, or fee-for-service plans: this is open to all healthcare providers, and the insured usually pays 20%, while the insurer pays the rest.
- Health maintenance organizations (HMOs): Here, the policy covers a physician to handle the insured. It is usually cheap compared to others, and will only cover costs referred by the physician.
- Preferred provider organizations (PPOs): while they have a list of in-network providers whom they have agreed costs with, patients are still allowed to go to any provider they like. However, if the insured goes to an out-of-network provider, they'd pay more.
- Point-of-service (POS) plans: this is a combination of HMO and PPO, and the insured can choose any option available to them.
Some Cool Insurance Quotes to round off this article
To round off, we’ve put together some of our favorite health insurance quotes:
“Your health, our promise”
“Your bridge to premier healthcare”
“It feels good to be covered”
“A right plan for a healthier you”
“Your partner in health”