Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones With Individual Health Insurance

Tips to save on Health Insurance

While many uninsured Americans can overcome minor illnesses and injuries with simple over-the-counter treatments, major ailments usually require a visit to a doctor or hospital.

There are horror stories in the media all the time about struggling families who seek treatment for a serious illness or injury only to end up saddled with enormous medical bills because they don’t have proper health insurance. Unfortunately, all too often this results in bankruptcy.

Uninsured individuals as well as their families need not despair. There are a great many quality low-cost health insurance options available. Once you know what to look for, it is relatively easy to find an affordable plan for you and your family.
There are several basic individual and family health insurance plans to choose from:

Types of Health Insurance Plans

  • An HMO or Health Maintenance Organization has an extensive network of doctors, specialists, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers. HMOs are some of the most affordable health insurance policies and encompass a wide range of healthcare professionals so you can always find the care you need.

  • A PPO or Preferred Provider Organization allows you to pick any doctor or specialist you wish to see and while it costs a little more than an HMO, you have the added bonus of more choices while still retaining highly affordable comprehensive healthcare coverage.

  • A Fee for Service or FFS is much like traditional health insurance wherein you seek out the treatment you need, pay for it out-of-pocket, and are then reimbursed a pre-determined percentage of that cost.

  • An HSA or Health Savings Account is often combined with a high deductible policy to protect a person from soaring out-of-pocket medical costs. The money you put towards an HSA is also tax deductible and can be applied towards paying premiums, prescription drugs and other assorted medical costs.

When shopping for insurance, there are several terms you’ll want know ahead-of-time:

Common Health Insurance Terms
  • Co-insurance: The percentage, typically about 10% to 20%, the insured contributes to the total medical cost.

  • Co-payment: A co-payment or co-pay is a pre-determined amount the insured pays at the time services are rendered.

  • Deductible: A deductible is the amount the insured pays before their benefits pay the rest.

  • Exclusions: When a service or procedure is not covered it is because it is excluded from the insured’s policy. Exclusions must usually be paid for out-of-pocket.

  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB): After you seek treatment, the insurance company will send you an EOB to explain what is covered and what isn’t.

  • Out-of-pocket expenses: Any medical expense an insured patient pays from their own pocket.

  • Out-of-pocket maximums: The maximum out-of-pocket expense the insured must pay before their policy pays the rest.

  • Premium: The monthly or quarterly amount the insured must pay to keep their coverage current.

  • Prior Authorizations: Procedures or services that must first be cleared with the insurance company.

Now that you are armed with this valuable health insurance information, you can find the right plan for you and your family at a price that fits your budget.

Article provided by - visit for more on individual health insurance.

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