Shopping for health insurance quotes can be confusing, unless you know what you’re looking for. This guide will explain the most typical categories you’ll find when searching for coverage.
The majority of plans are called fee-for-service plans. The consumer pays a monthly fee, and in exchange, the provider pays some or all of their medical expenses. The monthly fee is called a premium. Usually, the consumer has to pay a certain amount themselves toward expenses in addition to the premium before the insurance company begins payment. This amount is called a deductible. Generally, a higher deductible means a lower monthly premium, and a lower deductible means you’re spending more on a monthly payment.
The two main types of health insurance plans are either a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a preferred provider organization (PPO). Both will have a monthly premium, and both will pay for benefits after a deductible has been met. However, there are some very significant differences between plans as well.
In an HMO, the amounts you pay out-of-pocket are usually quite low, even for hospital stays. Choosing an HMO usually means most medical costs are much lower and more easily predictable than with other plans. Preventative care, like annual wellness exams, are usually covered. You may be able to choose your own health care provider from a list, or you may be assigned a provider. Usually, your primary care physician will need to write a referral for you to see a specialist, or those services may not be covered. Since providers are predetermined and numbers are limited, you sometimes have to wait longer with an HMO to get an appointment. Of course, the coverage specifics will differ among HMOs, so it’s smart to compare health insurance quotes before committing to anything.
A PPO allows you to receive services from any provider you choose, but will offer larger discounts if you choose one of the providers aligned with their coverage network. Often, preferred providers’ services are covered by your insurance 100 percent (after your deductible has been met), so out-of-pocket expenses are often reduced. A co-payment may be required for each visit. This is usually quite low, but again, will vary among health insurance carriers. Some PPOs require you to designate a primary care physician, while others do not. Choosing a health care professional who is out of the PPO network may be still be covered up to a certain percentage, or may not be covered at all.
When comparing health insurance quotes for families, the most important thing to consider is how the plan will best suit the needs of the entire family, instead of settling for the lowest premium. Comparison shopping of different plans is a key element in making sure you get the coverage you need.
A new marriage is the start of many changes, one of which is debating how the relationship will alter your current health insurance. While there may be some concerns over rising costs, the truth is that often health insurance quotes are lower after marriage.
Health insurance quotes for seniors are often priced differently than those for middle-aged adults or younger. Keep costs low and your health insurance quotes lower by following these easy steps.