The very thought of health insurance makes most of us uneasy. Why, because it make us think about what could happen, what if we got hurt or sick or how are we going to pay for it. And that is the next uneasy thought, how much healthcare can cost. But the real question is can you afford to be without it?
The bottom line is protection, to protect yourself and your loved ones financially. The same reasons you have homeowner or auto insurance, to protect yourself in case something happens. That is the overall reason but if you really look at it there are more practical reasons:
– To protect against health care expenses as mentioned above.
– If medical bills go unpaid, hospitals and doctors will try to collect and that could cost everything up to and including your home.
– People with insurance enjoy better health . Those with insurance are more likely to go to the doctor when something is not right or for yearly wellness checks. This catches conditions before they become a major issue.
– People with insurance tend to follow their medication and treatment programs.
– You could receive a lower life insurance premium.
Unless you are covered through your workplace most of us have to buy our own health Insurance. This is where you need to find a good health insurance broker. A good broker can assess your needs and walk you through the morass of plans out there. Here in North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one of the largest.
The principal behind insurance is a lot simpler than the actual plans themselves. You enroll in a healthcare plan and pay a quarterly or monthly fee to be covered under certain conditions. Depending on the type of plan insurance may pay the whole bill or a percentage of it and you are responsible for the balance.
So, what are the general types of plans, basically there are four main types, Catastrophic, Short-term, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Managed care health insurance plans are what most of us are familiar with these are the PPOs and HMOs.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a health insurance plan that will fully cover treatment if that treatment is provided by doctors or hospitals that belonging to the PPO’s network of health care providers. Treatment performed outside the network is also covered, but you will pay extra.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), these plans generally have significantly lower premiums. The trade off is they greatly restrict who a patient may see for non-emergency medical services.
Short-term health insurance can only be purchased for a specific period of time similar to term life insurance. Short-term health insurance often comes with strict qualifying procedures and may not cover pre-existing medical conditions.
Catastrophic health insurance is one of the least expensive forms of health insurance you can find but the deductibles are generally large for these types of policies. These policies are only good if you have the financial means to handle routine illnesses and hospitalizations.
So to sum up don’t let the cost of health insurance scare you. Not having insurance could cost you much more in the end. Whether you have a family or are still single a good broker will help you find an affordable health insurance plan to fit your needs.