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What Are the Health Insurance Options?

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If you feel you need health insurance coverage for a certain amount of time, you may want to look into purchasing a short-term health insurance plan. There are different instances where short-term coverage is necessary, such as being in between jobs or insurance policies. Having health coverage with an employer that you’re laid off, fired or quit from will leave you without benefits for you and those insured on the policy. To avoid having to endure medical bill expenses in between jobs, you can find short-term policies with various insurers. You can find online short-term health coverage quotes easily. You can even use comparison websites that will allow you to view them side-by-side. This makes it a lot easier to compare the results of the quotes you receive from the web site.

Decide What Type of Coverage You Want Before

Choosing whether you want short-term or long-term coverage shouldn’t be too difficult. To avoid having to look for short-term coverage in between policies, you can purchase gap coverage on your current premium policy. This will prevent you and your family members from having to go without coverage after the termination of a policy, due to job loss or other reasons. The gap coverage varies upon the insurer, so the length of time you’ll continue to receive coverage will vary as well. COBRA is a gap coverage option that many people look into and purchase.

Benefits of Short-term Coverage

Buying a policy for 3 to 6 months may be plausible for you if you’re not looking for any long-term contracts with individual health insurance agencies. Short term coverage is usually more flexible and will work with your life situations. Most of them don’t provide preventive care coverage and will only cover you for major medical expenses. Those that have pre-existing medical conditions usually have to get a policy through HIPAA, which is generally expensive. Finding coverage for individuals that have pre-existing conditions will be quite difficult to do, at least not affordably. In most cases, short-term health insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions. Some exclude conditions that have been treated within the past three to five years. Having short-term health insurance is good if you’re planning to travel outside of the country or on a trip out of state. Going on vacation to the Rocky Mountains to do some climbing or Rving across the country could be risky. If you aren’t looking for something long-term, protect yourself for the duration of your travel with short-term coverage.

Long-term Health Insurance

The most commonly purchased health insurance are long-term policies. These include HMO, PPO, POS and fee-for-service. The fee-for-service is the most commonly used health insurance policy out there. It allows you to choose any health care provider you want, at any medical facility you want. With this type of plan, you are required to pay an annual deductible before you can receive benefits from your health insurer. There are three types of plans for this policy, major medical, basic medical and comprehensive. Basic medical coverage offers benefits for minor medical expenses, such as doctor visits, checkups, physicals and other preventive care services. Then for the major medical coverage, you only receive benefits for major medical expenses, such as surgery and other emergency treatments. If you want to get the best of both worlds, you can purchase comprehensive coverage, which features major and basic coverage.

Under the managed care plans, there is the HMO, PPO and POS. The Health Maintenance Organization is the least flexible of the bunch. There is a network of providers that you must stick with in order to get benefits for the services you receive. Preventive services are covered under all of the managed care providers. With the PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), you receive benefits for specified services when you use network providers. If you use an outside provider for services that are covered, only partial of the medical bill will be covered. The POS, or Point-of-Service, plan offers a referrals to network and out-of-network providers by the primary care physicians. Using the referred  physicians are covered under your plan, either partially or fully. If you decide to use an out-of-network physician on your own, you will have to pay coinsurance for the services that you receive. The PPO is a combo of fee-for-service and HMO. Make sure to do as much homework as you possibly can before deciding on what type of coverage to purchase to ensure that you’re getting the most for a price you can afford.

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