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Posts tagged ‘health insurance plan’

by Lyndsie

What are the Most Popular Health Insurance Plans?

What are the Most Popular Health Insurance Plans?

Health insurance has found itself of much debate in the past several years. President Barack Obama campaigned on and then delivered a legislative plan that promised to insure the uninsured and revolutionize health care as we know it. However, not all health care plans are created equal and some popular health insurance plans provide better care than others.

The Debate

Health insurance costs have risen over the past decade leaving many with highly burdensome medical bills. Because millions of Americans were unable to acquire health insurance in years past due to preexisting medical conditions, new healthcare laws allow for all Americans to acquire adequate medical coverage. Now everyone can find and opt in to a health insurance plan that covers their medical expenses.

What are My Options When It Comes to Health Insurance?

When first investigating an insurance plan, an individual can become overwhelmed due to the number of different plans, let alone the number of companies offering those plans. Most don’t know the difference between an HMO or Health Maintenance Organization and a PPO or preferred provider organization. There are even POS or Point of Service plans that combine features of both HMOs and PPOs to better meet the needs of the individual patient.

HMOs, PPOs, and POSs, OH MY!

A PPO or preferred provider organization allows a great deal of freedom in medical care. As long as you see a doctor within the organization, your insurance will cover the majority of that care. This includes any specialist or special care. An HMO or Health Maintenance Organization requires every patient to see a primary care physician or PCP, and only when that PCP recommends a specialist will the insurance cover the costs. Plus, the specialist must be part of the HMO. POS plans are much like HMOs but don’t require the specialist to be a part of the organization.

How You Know What Plan is right for You

Each of the above plans has its benefits and drawbacks. An HMO is less expensive because it lowers the costs of unnecessarily visiting specialists, but it has much less freedom to seek the care the patient believes he or she needs. A PPO is more expensive but allows you access to a larger number of health care providers. POS plans are rarely offered by employers and still require a PCP to recommend a specialist before you can expect to their costs covered.

What is the Most Popular Plan?

Preferred Provider Organization plans are the most popular health insurance plans currently in the United States. PPOs are usually very large organizations encompassing the majority of the physicians and specialists in a georgaphic region. Likewise, they offer convenient and accomodating procedures for medical care. Most of the time, patients do not have to fill out long and tedious forms to receive coverage. PPOs also cover a great deal of preventitive care including yearly check-ups, immunizations, and screenings that many HMOs might not routinely carry.

Whether you value access to various specialists or the cost of medical care as more relevant to your needs in health care, it is important to find a plan that fits your needs and desires when it comes to health insurance. More options are available than any time before, thanks to recent legislation, and with diligent research, you can find the health insurance plan that fits your lifestyle.

by Lyndsie

7 Ways to Affordable Health Insurance Rates

Anyone who is currently having trouble affording their health care plan is definitely not alone in their troubles. High priced, name brand drugs, procedures, and co-pays can leave people stuck with escalated health care costs, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.  Consumers do not have to struggle with high end health insurance rates any longer.  Rather, they can invest in some time and creativity to get the cheapest health insurance costs for the long run.

Make Friends with the Billing Department

While it’s not always possible to reduce health care costs, it is possible to be resourceful no matter what medication, surgical treatment, or how many doctors’ visits are needed per year. Take the time to research the price of medications for example, by talking to someone in the billing department.  That way, consumers will know what they can and cannot afford, and will prevent surprises down the line.

Consider a Spouse’s Plan

Some people stay on their own health insurance plan while struggling to meet their monthly fees. This can be avoided by comparing their spouse’s plan to their own and discovering which is higher. They should pay attention to the time of the year they can join their spouse’s plan and save up to hundreds of dollars annually.

Pay Attention to Medical Expenses

Consumers should spend a month or two paying attention to their medical expenses, such as prescription costs, co-pays to the doctor, and outpatient procedures. By examining their statements, they may catch prices that seem high or overpriced.  They can get creative in lowering health care costs by switching to generic medication or asking for a second opinion before agreeing to surgery.

Determine what Medications are Necessary

By talking to their doctor and others who have already been through similar diagnosis and procedures, consumers can come to an informed decision as to what medications, procedures, tests they really need to have done. By becoming an informed and knowledgeable patient, this can save them a tremendous amount of money in the long run.

Consider Generic Medication

By thinking outside of the box when it comes to medications, consumers can save themselves a significant amount of money each month on their prescription purchases. Many brand name medications can cost an arm and a leg, but there is often a generic brand that costs a fraction of the price. Generic medications are the same as their brand name counterparts, but cost much less.

Comparison Shop for the Best Rates

Consumers who are self-employed or shopping for affordable health insurance rates for their families, taking the time to find the best deal is time well spent. There are many insurance companies that are willing to meet with clients in person or over the phone to discuss their budgets and the various treatments, diagnoses, and medications they require.

Eliminate Risky Lifestyle Choices

This is a smart and immediate choice anyone can make when needing affordable health insurance rates. Consider exercising on a regular basis, drinking plenty of water and cutting out smoking, high alcohol consumption, and high fat foods. By maintaining a healthy weight and diet, anyone can get more affordable health insurance rates.

By following these steps, every consumer can save money on individual health insurance rates in no time at all.  They need to pay attention to their monthly costs and become an informed customer.  Being informed rather than a passive consumer let them significantly save on high end health insurance rates for many years to come. However, they will not have to sacrifice any of the care they receive.