Finding Health Insurance

Need some affordable health insurance?

Health insurance is a must-have for everyone. Even if you get the cheapest policy, it will protect you from devastating bills resulting from serious injuries. However, some policies will cover much more, from doctors visits to high-priced exams.  When looking for a policy, here’s what to consider:

Understand What Insurance Is

If you don’t understand how insurance works, you’re ripe to get ripped off.  Take a few minutes to learn the basics about insurance policies.  Then you’ll be ready to tackle health insurance in particular.

If you don’t have the time, here’s a quick and dirty run-down…  Insurance policies have five main parts: premiums (price), co-pays, deductibles, policy coverage/limits (the devil is in the details), and claims procedures.  All of these parts will work together to make a policy good/bad/expensive/cheap/risky/safe.

What Types of Coverage Are There?

You can get health insurance on your own or through your employer. Either way, the same rules apply. The two most widely-used policies are HMO and PPO.

  • HMO: This stands for Health Maintenance Organization. It is a group of doctors and hospitals that have grouped together under an insurance company. HMOs can be restrictive since you have to have a primary doctor in the group to oversee all your medical needs. The benefit of an HMO is the price. It is usually much more affordable than other types of coverage.
  • PPO: This stands for Preferred Provider Organization. A PPO closely resembles the HMO setup, but it is less restrictive. You don’t have to be tied to one primary doctor. Rather, you have the freedom to choose whichever doctor you want at any time, with no referral needed. This plan is usually more expensive than an HMO, but it allows you more control over your health care in general.
  • Fee for Service: Under these plans, you get to bill your insurance company for services no matter where you received aid. They are generally the most expensive options.

How much is this going to cost?

The premium price for health insurance depends on a number of factors.  Here are a few of them to keep in mind when searching:

  • Employer policies – If you’re getting insurance through your employer, it will almost certainly be far cheaper than getting it on your own. Employer plans are cheaper because they involve a lot of individuals.
  • Age/Health – As you age, the cost of health insurance will rise.  It will also rise if you have certain health issues.  It’s important to note, also, that some health issues may prevent you from getting a policy.
  • Location – A policy rate might be affected by the state or specific place where you live.
  • Policy details – If you want a low deductible and/or a low co-pay, you can expect to pay a significantly higher premium, and vice versa.

Of course, the only time you will actually know how much your policy costs is after it ends.  Only then will you be able to look back and count how much you spent versus how much you saved in coverage of bills and injuries.

Health insurance works much the same as car insurance, which you should also have.