Today, it is becoming more and more important to have some kind of health insurance. Health insurance can be expensive, but doctor’s visits, going to the dentist, or just getting a pair of glasses without it can cost you far more if you have to pay completely out of pocket.
The problem is that there are so many different kinds of insurance available; so many different companies offering it, that choosing the right one can be more than a bit overwhelming.
Rather than try to say plan A is better than plan B, or that one company is better than another, it is better to give you a little description of some of the different types of health insurance coverage, letting you become more aware, to help you make the right decision on what plan is right for your individual needs. First though, it is important to know that there is health insurance that covers your medical health care, but some companies also charge extra if you want well rounded coverage, like dental and vision plans. On the other hand, some companies offer ala carte services, so you can pick just vision, health or dental coverage separately.
The first kind is a Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO. In this health insurance plan, an organization provides you with coverage from medical professionals that work together and are members of the organization. A typical coverage provides access to primary doctor care, emergency, and even hospitalization and specialists when referred. In addition, this kind of health insurance is more preventive geared, meaning that all regular checkups for you and your family may be completely covered. On the other hand, some of the problems with these kinds of plans is that you don’t get to pick any doctor; you have to choose from a group of doctors or care providers that are members of the particular HMO.
Then there is the Independent Provider Organization, or IPO. This is similar to the HMO, because independent health care providers are contracted directly from the HMO group. This gives you a little better choice when it comes to picking your doctor, as long as they are affiliated with the provider. A preferred provider organization or PPO is a form of care where health care providers provide medical service at rates that are pre-determined. Those people that are one these programs can only see health care providers that are in the same network, and if you go out of the network provider, you may spend much more out of pocket.
Point of service is another health plan, and this is where you go to a doctor, sign on with them and you are issued a card, like a credit card, which can be used to pay for your services. There are some people that use these, but in general you may spend more out of pocket in the long run, considering the interest.
When it comes to getting the best coverage, here are some things you need to consider. If you have a family, then you should get coverage that offers free doctor’s visits, including checkups. Families with children often spend a lot of time in a doctor’s office, whether it is for checkups getting sick, etc, and you need to be able to go there when you need to, without having to spend extra out of pocket. One of the plans you see out there has to do with getting paid if you get injured or sick. You have to be really careful when using these services, because they don’t actually pay the bills, they pay you directly and these bills still have to be covered somehow.