Not everyone can even afford health insurance lately, which is very unfortunate because of how important it really is. You never know when a health related emergency will come up, and it is best to be prepared ahead of time. So understanding the different health insurances that are out there is also vital so that you know what kind of policy you are purchasing and if it is the right one for you and your family.
What Can You Choose From?
The main three types of health insurance are PPOs, or Participating Provider Options, HMOs or Health Maintenance Organizations and CDHPs or Consumer Directed Health Plans. All the plans have different options so you should learn about them all.
With a PPO, you work with a group of doctors, hospitals and specialists that you have the option of receiving care from, whether they are inside or outside of the network. You don’t have to have one main doctor, nor do you necessarily need referrals to see a specialist.
These plans also usually have a deductible, which means that your coverage won’t start until after you pay it. If you do go to a physician outside of the network, your costs will be higher or you may not be covered at all. If you stay within the network, your costs will usually be lower.
As opposed to PPOs, with an HMO you do need to choose a primary care doctor from a network of doctors that the plan gives you access to when you sign up. They will also be your first contact for your health care needs, and if you should have to see a different doctor, your main doctor will refer you to someone. Women may also choose a separate OB/GYN if they’d like.
HMOs usually have lower deductibles than other plans or no deductible at all, and have low, set copayments that are paid each time you have a visit with your doctor for general care. HMO plans have lower premiums as well, and give you the most coverage for all doctors, hospitals and specialists in your network. If you go outside the network you again may not be covered.
These are different plans in that it pairs a PPO with an account such as a Health Savings Account, or HSA, which you must be eligible for a high deductible plan to start an HSA. If your plan uses the PPO network there is no need for a primary care doctor again, and you have the choice of using any of the doctors, hospitals and specialists within the network, nor do you need referrals.
Premiums are usually lower when the CDHP includes the HSA because you have to be responsible for more of your health care costs. But with these accounts, you are able to put money into it each year, like a savings account, so you have it to cover various medical expenses that come up throughout the year.
Consider all the aspects of each type of health plan, and what your needs are for you and your family. This will help you to choose the health plan that is the best for all of you so that you are prepared when you do have medical needs.