Health Insurance

What can supersede the importance of health? Good health is one of the most precious assets of a human being. Thus it is not just important but mandatory to insure and thus secure your biggest asset against all kinds of threats.

Health insurance can be defined as a policy that will pay a fixed amount of money for medical expenses and treatments. Health insurance is basically a way to ensure protection against any sickness or injury. Health insurance includes various types of insurance such as accident insurance, disability income insurance, medical expense insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Health insurance is your best friend in the hours of need. It is a great support to your family when hefty medical bills fall over their heads and there is immense expenditure on recovery of the person concerned.

Based on the needs and requirements of people there are different kinds of health insurance policies available-

• Fee-for-Service Plans- is that where the insurance companies pay fees for the services offered to the insured people. The insurer only pays for part of your doctor and hospital bills and pays monthly fee called premium. Before the insurance payments begin, a specified amount of money in the form of deductibles is to be paid. After paying the deductible for the year you share the bill with the insurance company and then your part is known as ‘coinsurance’. Fee-for-service comes in two ways- Basic protection and Major medical.

• Health Maintenance Organizations- these organizations are prepaid health plans. HMO members pay a monthly premium in return of which the HMOs provide complete care to you and your family. This also includes the visits of doctors, hospital stays, emergency care, surgery, lab tests, x-rays and other therapies.

• POS plan- many HMOs offer an indemnity-type of option known as a POS plan. Those who opt for POS plan can refer to doctors and medical assistance outside the plan and still get some coverage. If a doctor makes a referral out of the network, the plan pays all or most of the bill.

• PPO- Preferred Provider Organization- is basically a combination of fee-for-service and an HMO. As in HMO plan, in PPO too the options are confined to a set of doctors and hospitals. Medical expenses are covered by the PPO only when the insured person resorts to the preferred or network providers.

• EPO- Exclusive Provider Organization- is akin to HMO except that it is regulated by the California Department of Insurance and generally pays physicians and other health care providers differently. EPOs will meet your expenditure only if the physician you opt for is within EPO’s network. However exigency situations can be considered as exceptions.

Prior to opting for a plan it is better to ponder over your needs and family requirements. You may even want to use the checklist of the agency through which you are purchasing the policy and ask for more information from the health benefits manager at your workplace or a health plan representative. You can also seek advice from your physician who is already familiar with all health plans and your medical history.

Mansi Aggarwal recommends that you visit Health Insurance Info for more information.