A Look At Health Insurance Options

When comparing health insurance quotes, make sure you are comparing similar plans. Health insurance comes in two basic forms � indemnity plans and managed care plans. Both indemnity and managed care health insurance are further broken down into several different types of health insurance so it is important to take the time and compare health insurance plans to determine what best fits your health care needs.

Indemnity Health Insurance

Indemnity health plans put you in charge of choosing your doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. You pay a set monthly premium and your health insurance pays your medical care, often after you pay a deductible and possibly a percentage of the bill.

A common employer-sponsored form of health insurance is a cafeteria or flexible spending plan. This type of health insurance allows employees to create a benefit package taken from a number of options. You need to contact the employee benefit department at your company for more information on the exact mix of choices available to you.

If you are looking for lower cost health insurance, a �basic and essential� plan may be the best option. Do keep in mind this type of health insurance is limited in what services may be covered so it is important to carefully read the policy so you understand what treatments the plan does cover. Another type of health insurance known as catastrophic health insurance or high-deductible health plans do just what it sounds like they would. The deductible is high, but this type of health insurance protects you against catastrophic illness with a very high total cost.

Health savings accounts are fairly new and an alternative to traditional health insurance. This plan involves putting money into a tax-free savings account to cover your medical expenses.

Managed Care Health Insurance

The two most common types of managed care health insurance are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). HMOs give you access to a group of participating doctors, hospitals and health care providers. HMOs come with fewer out-of-pocket expenses, but visits to the doctor, prescriptions and other services usually come with a co-pay or fee.

PPOs are fee-for-service health insurance and medical services are paid by the insurer on a negotiated and discounted fee schedule. PPOs allow participants to choose medical providers outside the plan’s network, although this can result in higher out-of-pocket costs.

One other type of health insurance is point-of-service (POS) plans. This type of health insurance is similar to indemnity plans, and your primary care physician can refer you outside of the plan without any extra costs to the insured. If you refer yourself outside a POS plan you will be charged a co-pay.