Health insurance plans are confusing. They can be complicated and expensive. And if you’re new to the United States, you might not even know what kind of health insurance plan you should get.
But understanding health insurance plans isn’t hard. In fact, it’s pretty simple.
Here’s an overview of the different types of health insurance plans available in the U.S., including their pros and cons.
Let’s talk about how to choose a healthcare plan that will work for your family. So let us start by asking you this question: What is your current coverage? Do you have any gaps or holes in your coverage right now? If so, which ones do you need to be filled first? Let’s take a look at some options.
What Is Private Individual Health Insurance?
Private individual health insurance is one of three main kinds of health insurance offered in the United States. It covers only yourself and your immediate family members — typically up to two parents, children under age 19, spouses, unmarried partners, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and other relatives
You’ll pay monthly premiums based on your income level and whether you smoke. The more healthy people who sign up with your insurer, the lower your premium will likely be. But remember, there are no guarantees when it comes to health insurance. Your rates could go up after you’ve been insured for several years.
The second type of health insurance is called group health insurance. Group policies cover many employees from a single company. These plans usually offer better benefits than individual policies because they pool resources together. However, these plans often cost much less per month than individual policies.
The third type of health insurance is employer-sponsored health insurance. This includes both traditional employee benefit programs like Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Account, as well as self-insured plans where employers directly manage their own risk pools. Employer-sponsored plans tend to provide fewer services and benefits than either individually purchased or group plans.
Which Type Of Plan Should I Get?
There are four basic choices when choosing between individual, group, and employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick rundown of each option.
These plans are generally cheaper than group plans but come with higher deductibles and co-pays. Because individuals purchase them themselves, they’re considered “self-directed” plans. Individuals must decide exactly what treatments they receive and how much money they spend on those treatments.
These plans are similar to individual policies except that groups buy them collectively instead of individually. Groups can negotiate discounts on certain services and products. For example, large companies such as Walmart and Target use group purchasing power to save hundreds of dollars every year on prescription drugs.
Self-insured plans are managed internally by businesses rather than bought by outside insurers. Businesses choose which doctors and hospitals they want to include in their networks and set their own prices. Some small business owners opt to do this so they won’t need to deal with the paperwork involved in obtaining coverage through an external provider.
This is probably the most common form of health insurance in America today. Most Americans work at jobs that offer some sort of health insurance. If you don’t have access to affordable private insurance options, chances are good that your job offers health care benefits.
How To Choose A Policy That Works Best For You
If you’re looking for the best value, consider buying a policy that meets all of your needs. Consider:
Your current situation. Do you already have medical problems? Are you pregnant? Have you recently had surgery? How old are you? What about your lifestyle habits? Will you travel frequently? Do you drink alcohol?
What kinds of expenses will you incur overtime? Is there anything else going on in your life right now that could affect your ability to pay premiums?
Do you prefer more control over your healthcare decisions? Or would you rather just focus on paying bills?
Are you willing to take risks? Would you feel comfortable taking out loans against future earnings to finance treatment costs?
Will you require long-term care? Will you qualify for tax breaks?
Is having a family important to you?
Can you afford $10,000 per person annually?
Have you ever tried to compare rates from multiple providers? Did you end up saving any money?
Did you try to shop around for better deals? Were you able to make changes to your existing plan without losing coverage? Does your current insurer provide financial assistance or other resources to help people like you who may struggle financially?
The Bottom Line
If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll pay out of pocket for most medical expenses. This means you’ll pay all the costs upfront, and then hope you won’t get sick. It’s a risky strategy because you could end up spending thousands of dollars on the care you don’t need. Choosing a health insurance plan requires careful consideration. But once you’ve made your decision, stick with it! It’ll likely benefit both you and your wallet.
If you have questions about health insurance plans, please contact our professionals at Healthbridge Insurance Solutions. Our team of experts will work with you to find the right insurance plan for you. We’ll help you understand what you’re paying for and how it works best for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our services!