5 Principal Plan Types You Need to Understand Before Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

There are several options available to you when it comes to selection of health insurance plans. Specifically there are the Indemnity plans which offer the most flexibility in choosing which physicians they prefer to use. Then there are managed health organizations such as PPO’s or Preferred Providers Organizations and HMO’s Health Maintenance Organizations these types of plans usually require for you to use physicians from their pool of select providers. The POS or Point of Service Plan is also a form of managed healthcare but it differs in that it requires all insured to first visit the chosen primary care physician to obtain a referral for any additional medical treatment. In recent years there has been an expanded interest in a new form of health Insurance called an HSA’s or Health Saving Accounts that allows for consumers to self managed health care cost. The idea is to provide low premium health insurance by utilizing a tax advantaged saving account that earns interest and combining it with a higher deductible insurance health plan that offers much lower premiums but requires the insured to cover some of the initial cost. As consumer health care cost continue to soar it is important to do your research and determine what types of coverage features are important to you and your family. As well some of the plans have commingled the different features to establish new plans that meet different consumer needs and premium tolerances. Here are a few simple guidelines to help you make an educated decision for a plan for yourself and or your family. Indemnity Plans Indemnity plans as mentioned before have expanded physician choices giving your more flexibility in selecting your services, this type of plan is also know as fee for service health insurance plans however the trade off is usually reflected in higher health insurance premiums since you are not choosing a physician from within the network. All plans are not exactly the same and what services covered or physicians you can use may still vary from plan to plan. Indemnity plans usually combine both a deductible and a co-insurance which is the factor that can affect your final out of pocket expense. The deductibles offered may vary from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. The coinsurance may also have options so if you chose a coinsurance of 20% you would be responsible for 20% of any procedure and the insurance would cover the other 80%. Most Indemnity plans have a cap or stop loss that once a certain percentage or dollar amount of the coinsurance is met the policy will cover 100% of all covered expenses up to whatever the Lifetime maximum is within your plan. Managed Health Plans or Network Plans Health Maintenance Organizations prearrange for reduced health care expense through a network of physicians who have agreed to work within the organization at discounted fees. The HMO usually requires you to select a primary care physician from within the network. The idea is to use the network to both reduce healthcare cost and better manage what treatments are sought out by the patient. The benefit carries on to the consumer with lower premium cost. A preferred provider organization (PPO) is another form of managed care, yet more closely similar to the indemnity type plans in that you have the option to select your own physician either from the network or outside of the network with the difference being that the cost of service is usually lower inside the network. Like the HMO a PPO negotiates price discounts for service with the physicians and care facilities, who become members of the PPO which passes on the savings to consumers in the form of premiums. Many consumers like the idea of having the ability to choose a specialist from the PPO network without having to see the primary care physician first for the referral. A Point of Service or POS is also a managed plan but differs in that you are required to allow your primary care physician to act as an initial starting point for all medical service. The primary care physician is chosen by the insured from within the network and referrals and usually that specialist from within the network. Self Managed Healthcare a New Breed of Plans Emerge The concept behind Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) is that you choose a plan with a high deductible because plans with higher deductibles have much lower monthly premiums as low as ½ of the indemnity plans. The savings in premium for the high deductible plan is then placed into a Health Savings Account HSA owned by you. The contributions to the HSA are 100% tax deductible from your income up to the legal limits and the money accumulates tax deferred sort of like an IRA for healthcare. As long as the money is used for any qualified healthcare cost then it is also tax free. The best part is the contributions are yours to keep and they continue to accumulate interest. If you change jobs or become self employed the HSA account goes with you, and unlike Flexible Spending Accounts that have the “use it or lose it provision” these accounts do not forfeit your contributions. Currently the contribution maximums are $2900 annually for an individual and $5,800 per family. Most plans allow for one deductible per family per year. The risk is your out of pocket expense could be higher in the beginning until you accumulate enough funds. There are riders for these plans for any major medical needs to cover the deductible in the beginning while you are accumulating funds. The risks are not without reward though the premiums are much lower than traditional heath insurance plans and as mentioned previously the contributions are deducted from taxable income. If you choose this option it is important to make sure you study the plan carefully and make the monthly contributions or the plan will not be affective alternative to the higher premium plans.

The Short Term Medical Plan Article #1 Of Series Health Plan Options

What is the short term medical plan and how can it help me and my family? A look at typical short term medical plans and it’s uses and benefits. Health insurance today is a mess. We need it but can we afford it? We have our car insured, why not the family? “I hope nothing happens to me so I won’t need to go to the hospital.” These are all notions we have as concerned people and parents. Healthcare is on the rise as well as premiums. COBRA is expensive but if you have health conditions it is necessary. Are you a little overweight or smoke? All of these are factors for getting or not getting health insurance. What can you do in the meantime while you think about it or lose the weight or quit smoking or maybe you are even between jobs? The Plan: A little known policy lingers out there you may or may not be aware of, and that is the Short Term Medical plan. The plan is self explanatory as it is set for a period of time. The plans that we service go from anywhere between 30 days all the way up to 360 days of coverage. That means that you can have coverage for a month or two or even six months up to a year, the choice is yours. Short term medical plans are temporary plans and are not meant to be permanent. Think about it this way in that you don’t have health insurance doesn’t mean you don’t or won’t have health problems. The short term plan is a way to get coverage for a temporary fixed amount of time. Why Short Term Medical? Short term medical can ease the pain of not having health insurance for different reasons. A popular reason why people use STM is because they are in-between jobs. The person had coverage here and is now unemployed, the insurance stays with the job, now they are without coverage. Maybe you are in a waiting period of 30-90 days but do not want to take the risk of not having any coverage at all. Waiting periods occur with group coverage and the employer basically wants to make sure you are worth it to offer medical coverage to. When you have children that are reaching of age to where they come off your plan. Usually this is when the dependent is going off to college or graduating college. You want your dependents to have health insurance but don’t know what is offered in that state or maybe the health coverage does not travel well. The STM is a viable option for those in need and it is probably ranked number 2 in why the STM is used. So many Americans are part time or temporarily employed as well as laid off and health coverage is not available to them. The STM is a way to get coverage fast and not have the burden of huge premiums lingering over their head. Remember the STM is for temporary coverage just like the person is temporarily unemployed, when you get on a job that offers coverage you just simply cancel. COBRA is the alternative when you leave a job, get fired etc. but it can be expensive. If you have preexisting health problems, COBRA is probably your only alternative as you can roll that condition into an individual policy after 18 months of coverage. If you are a healthy individual, you don’t need to go on COBRA you could instead while looking for another job pick up a short term plan to get you through till your plan at your new job is available to you. How it Works: Typically the short term medical plan gives you the freedom of choosing any doctor or hospital and has a deductible for individual as well as the family. Once the deductible is met, then the plan kicks in up to a specified amount such as 2 million dollars. You will have an option of coinsurance benefits as well; this is the 80/20 split or 50/50 split. The coinsurance is limited to either the first $5000 or $10000 respectively depending on which plan is offered and with which company. After that is met, the plan should pay 100% of covered expenses. Pretty simple: you go to the hospital and pay the first $250 then depending on which plan you selected it will pay 80% of the next $5000 in charges which leaves you with $1000 and 100% after that. So if you had a whopping bill of $15000 of covered expenses your bill would be $1250! Qualifications: The qualifications to apply for STM plans are limited. Typically anyone under 65 years of age and children under 19 or 25 if full time student qualify. There are limited questions with the application process, for example 7-9 questions to answer. Height and weight is not a factor in most plans, so if you are struggling with weight problems in the meantime you would qualify for short term medical plan. Be advised that these plans do not cover preexisting conditions and if one of them says they do, make sure you read it carefully. You can even just get your child covered maybe before they are eligible for your group plan or state plans. To sum it all up the short term medical plan can be a significant tool for anyone to use. It can cover that gap in coverage for whatever reason is available to you. It is not an alternative to major medical coverage as it is only for temporary use, but when that coverage is not available to you this is an option for you. Many people do not know of the existence of these plans or are touted other MiniMed plans which can do more harm than good. I believe the phrase goes “Something is better than nothing” and when you think your options have run out turn to the STM plan.

Affordable Health Insurance Unemployed – Your Options If You Don’t Have A Job.

Who says that health insurance is tailored for those who have the means to pay for it? Now, there’s such a thing as affordable health insurance unemployed. In fact, you will find a lot of options in this type of health plan even if you don’t have a job. You can check on individual health insurance rates using various online and local venues. So if you’re unemployed at the moment, there’s no reason to worry about that anymore. You can still enjoy the health benefits that you had when you were still employed. Here are your options.

See what COBRA has in store for you. This Act which was launched in 1985, made it possible for unemployed individuals to enjoy the same health benefits they had with their previous group health plans. So if you don’t have a job at the moment, you may check if you’re indeed eligible for COBRA. You can do this by asking your former employer about these health benefits. Make sure you work on this right away. There’s a certain period of time for you to apply for your COBRA rights once you have been out of service.

You can also purchase short-term health insurance. Use what you’ve saved when you still have a job to pay for this one. You can use these affordable health insurance unemployed policies for the meantime, that is, while you’re seeking for work. There are those designed for six months to a year. These ones are ideal for those of you who are still actively seeking for greener pasture. You can get individual health insurance rates to check on what’s in store for you with this option.

You can also check health plan options using your state’s insurance department. There are states that offer affordable health insurance unemployed. What the insurance department will usually do is check on your family’s income capacity. Then they will offer you individual health insurance rates that will match your capacity to pay. There are low-cost coverage options that you can enjoy while you don’t have a job. Some may even come for free. Take advantage of getting covered with health benefits for your special needs.

You can also check individual health insurance rates using online means. There are companies accredited by the Better Business Bureau for this purpose. The good thing about this option is that you’re not just given affordable health insurance unemployed. You will also be given advice on the type of health plan that will suit your needs best. Plus, you can also compare what one company offers over those of others. You can request quote on insurance premiums free of charge.

Now, will you still say that affordable health insurance unemployed is far from reality? With all the great options specified above, there’s no reason to doubt that you still have the chance to get covered while you’re still looking for work. The rule of thumb in getting the best policy is to check on individual health insurance rates. For sure, you will find a health plan that is designed to match your needs.

Health Savings Plan – Where To Get The Best Rate

How much are you paying for health insurance? If you’re like most Americans and your health insurance costs are continuing to rise each year, you may need to look into a cheaper alternative such as a Health Savings Plan.

First, Some Definitions

If you have an IRA, you already understand the basic concept behind this new type of health coverage. Also called a Health Savings Account, this plan is a medical form of an IRA. You put money into your account tax-free, and you use that money to pay for minor health expenses. You combine this with low-cost, high-deductible health insurance to pay for major expenses.

What If I Need the Money For Something Else?

If you withdraw the money from your account to pay for non-medical expenses, you will likely have to pay a penalty.

How Do I Withdraw Money from the Account When I Need It?

You will typically have a debit card or checkbook linked to your account. When you have a medical expense, you pay with that debit card or a check and money is paid from the Health Savings Account.

Money in an IRA Can Increase in Value. Does Money In A Health Account?

Yes, your money can be earning interest and growing for future use.

How Do I Find a Plan to Enroll In?

Before you can sign up for a Health Savings Account, you typically have to set up a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) first. Such a plan protects you against catastrophic expenses that would be more than you have in your savings plan. Your goal will be to put enough in your savings plan each year to pay for the deductible on your HDHP plan.

The best way to find this type of health coverage is to go to an insurance comparison website. By filling out a simple online questionnaire, you’ll have access to quotes from multiple A-rated insurance companies and you’ll be able to choose the best policy for you (see link below).

Where can I Find the Cheapest Health Plans?

Health Plans

Healthcare scene undergoes rapid changes. The change is visible in most of developed world and sweeps through the advanced developing countries. Insurance and health plans become necessity of the time, to be able to get access to healthcare facilities.

It is not easy to class health plans as good, bad, best or worst. The determinant factor is how the health plans help you while you needed them. The same health plans can treat a 25 y/o and a 65 y/o differently. The appropriateness of a choice depends on several factors – age, health conditions, present income, dependants, previous claims, etc.

Health plans comparison can be a tough task. The same medical condition can get different treatments from different insurance companies. It can even go a bit further that different insurance plans from the same company have different guidelines for similar health conditions. You know you have extremely tough time shopping around for a plan that fits your exact requirements.

Many of the health plans have options and clauses to minimize healthcare spending. This means, you will have to pay more out of your pocket, under different situations and you cannot pass all the expenses to the insurance company. Also, your premiums cost more with frequent claims too.

The most important thing to consider while buying health plans is the total cost of coverage. The costs can include premiums and any additional payments you may want to make. It is the total money that goes into buying insurance coverage and comes out of your pocket or from your employer.

Health plans mainly are of two types – indemnity plans and managed care plans. With indemnity plans, you can seek treatment from almost any healthcare professional or hospital. The plan pay its due once you produce the hospital or expenditure bill. Managed care plans have pre-listed healthcare service providers and hospitals. Insurance companies and healthcare institutes have tie-ups. You get treatment from the healthcare providers who have affiliations with the insurance company. Here, as you can expect the choice is restricted to the healthcare provisions listed out in the plans. However, on the former type, you have access to wide range of healthcare options, but you will also have out of your pocket expenses.

With certain health plans, in case you have not made any insurance claims, you will get periodic physical tests, basic dental care, vision tests, etc, depending on the type of policy you have.

It is also to be noted that no health plans cover all the healthcare expenses. You need to identify how much you will get in case of a medical emergency. You also need to identify the variety of services and healthcare providers that you can approach in case of a medical condition. There are also questions on seeking treatment from a doctor or a hospital not listed in the health plans.

Sure, it is tough choice making a decision on health plans. However, with knowledgeable research, you can identify the health plans that will serve you better, if you are met with an emergency.

Humana Health Plans – What’s Right For You?

Humana Kentucky Individual Health Insurance is about making a choice that is right for you. It is important that you have coverage to protect yourself from a catastrophic event that could cost you thousands of dollars. You may want it for a short period of time. You may be in transition. Whatever your needs are Humana is there for you.

When you are looking for an individual health insurance plan it pays to do some research. You want to be able to get the coverage you need without breaking the banks. Humana offers affordable Kentucky health plans. You also want to be able to understand the language.

For now we can help by defining some of the general terms used in the healthcare insurance field:

Premium – the amount of money your insurance plan will cost you monthly.
Deductible – the amount you pay first before your benefits kick in from your plan.
Coinsurance – the amount you pay not covered by your plan, after your co-pay.
Discount – the out of pocket cost you receive by going to a network provider.

Need something short term? Check out the HumanaOne Short Term Medical Plan. This plan is designed for people who need health insurance for a short period of time, so it could be the kind of affordable coverage you’re looking for right now. If you’re a student about to graduate (and no longer eligible under your parents’ plan), waiting for Medicare coverage, a seasonal or temporary worker, recently unemployed, or starting a new job, short term coverage is a great option. It could also be a less expensive alternative to COBRA. (Please note: if you choose a Short Term plan instead of COBRA, you’ll lose HIPAA eligibility.)

Choosing The Right Health Plan For You And Your Family

Health insurance can be confusing. As a service to our customers we put together this brief guide to help them decide what their needs really are. These are the types of questions that everyone should ask themselves when considering the purchase of a health insurance plan. By taking a moment to seriously evaluate your needs, you may be surprised at how much money you can save when shopping for a health plan. There is no point in paying for coverage you will never use!

The following is a brief list of some guidelines and recommendations for choosing a health care plan. Please browse through this article as it offers some important things to consider when choosing the right health care plan for you, your family, or your business.

1. What is your budget for a health care plan? How much do you think you can afford to spend each month to maintain your health care plan?

2: Type of plan you need: Ask yourself some hard questions: Do you need a major medical plan, a high deductible plan, a health discount plan, prescriptions, maternity coverage, routine care, vision, or dental? .

3. How often do you go to the doctor? Various medical plans will cover routine doctors office visits with unlimited use but they are much more expensive than those that have some limits to doctor’s office visits. If you never go to the doctor, a plan that includes this type of unlimited benefit would be a waste of your money. Some health insurance policies will cover routine “Wellness Visits” at little or no cost to the policyholder.

4. Do you take any medications? Many health insurance plans include prescription drug coverage. But, if you don’t take any medications, having a health insurance policy that covers prescriptions may be a waste of your money. If you do take medications, make sure that the plan you purchase has enough benefits to it to make it worth the added cost to have prescriptions included in the plan.

5. Do you travel much? If you travel a lot you may want to look for a plan that doesn’t require you to stay within a network. The insurance benefit that a company pays out is always better if you can stay within that company’s network. Some companies use nationwide networks while others may use more localized networks. Temporary health insurance for travel is something you can purchase when you need it.

6. Are you self-employed? Self-employed people will likely have different needs than people who work for a large company. It is important to make sure your insurance policy will cover you while you are working. Not all of them will!

7. Do you plan on having children? Maternity coverage is very expensive to add to a policy. Nearly all health insurance companies require you to have a policy in force with them for at least nine months prior to becoming pregnant. If you become pregnant before the end of the waiting period, the insurance company will not cover the pregnancy or the delivery.

8. Are there any medical conditions that are considered “pre-existing”? Most health insurance will have some very strict guidelines for covering pre-existing medical conditions. However, many of the discount programs and the guaranteed acceptance discount programs have no waiting periods or pre-existing condition exclusions. These may be a good option for you. This depends largely on what the condition is and how urgent the need for care is.

9. Do you need dental and vision coverage? A dental or vision insurance plan can sometimes be like throwing your money away. Several of the discount plans offer exceptional savings at rates that are much lower than the traditional insurance plans. If you need major dental work right away, the dental insurance policies may not be your best choice, as they will have waiting periods for up to 1 year before major dental work will be covered. If this is the case for you, the dental discount plans are your best choice, as they have no waiting periods or limits. Your yearly dental benefit may also be capped at a certain amount. This means that if you need more dental work than is covered, you will be paying the amount that exceeds this ‘cap’ directly out of your pocket, at 100%.

10. Who will the benefits cover? Adding people to an insurance policy can cause the rates to go up. The more people on the insurance plan, the higher the risk of financial loss to the insurance company, therefore the rate must be higher.

Keeping money in your pocket is much easier than making it if you are armed with the proper knowledge about what you are shopping for.

Health Education Plan

You need to put your health first yet so many of us will leave our health at the bottom of the priority list, leaving it unattended until it gets to late and we fall into ill health.

We seem to take health for granted and that makes us feel invincible up to the point that our health fails and then we look at our health. This attitude is clearly wrong and it is up to you to take preventative action with your health and this will not only make you feel better and more energetic, you will also have your body literally thanking you and add years to your life.

The western culture, in particular the US and the UK are getting fatter and becoming overweight and obese. As a result of this more people are trying to slim down and lose some weight but the problem here is a lot of people are not trying to lose weight for the right reasons. Losing weight should be because you want to do it for yourself and not for any other reason such as your boyfriend / husband wants you to lose weight. The motivation needs to come from within for you to successfully lose and keep off the weight. How many times do people lose several pounds in weight only to put it back on within a few months.

It really is important that you “love yourself” before you decide to embark on losing the weight. Irrespective of your size now you must have the self belief and confidence in yourself that you not only look and feel good now but you are going to look and feel great after you start your new lifestyle choice, yes lifestyle choice and not a diet. It is so important that you incorporate your healthy living lifestyle into a way of life rather then having the mentality of doing a diet otherwise you are unfortunately more likely to fail.

Good luck in your lifestyle change and well done to making the decision to change.

An Easy Health Plan

It goes without saying that everyone hopes to have, and maintain, good health. Sometimes though, with the wealth of information available online it can be difficult to sift through all the complexities and find a good, simple to follow plan. That is why I have created this easy health plan that anyone can follow to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Diet

For many, diet is a scary word. However when I say diet I dont mean only eat 1,000 calories worth of lettuce, I mean eating a health balanced diet. The general recommendation is 2,000 calories per day for a woman and 2,500 calories for a man. It also matters where you get these calories from. You should cut down on foods containing high amounts of animal fats and salt as these can cause lead to heart problems and often contain very few nutrients. Instead you should try to eat more lean meat, fruit, vegetables and cereals, snacking on items such as nuts and yoghurt.

Most people tend to eat three big meals a day but it is much better for you to eat between four and six smaller meals a day. This puts less stress on your digestive system, and gives you a constant supply of energy throughout the day.

What you drink is also very important. A glass of water contains almost no calories whereas a glass of regular Cola contains 140 calories and is full of additives. So try to drink water rather than soda.

Exercise

It is very important, for both physical and mental health to take regular exercise. You dont have to become a gym rat but 30 minutes of exercise three times a week is enough to keep your body in good health. This exercise could take the form of brisk walking, jogging, lifting weight, aerobics or whatever physical activity you enjoy – as long as it gets your heart pumping it will do you well.

I would recommend that you employ a one day-on, one day-off system where you exercise one day, take the next day off and so on so that you build up a regular routine.

Hygiene

Hygiene is an issue that sometimes is forgotten when talking about health but it is important to keep good hygiene to avoid germs and bacteria that can causes illnesses. Keeping good hygiene is pretty easy and most people will already be following a good plan.

Washing your hands, disinfecting your kitchen and bathroom and vacuuming regularly as well as properly cooking meats will kill germs and keep you safe and healthy.

Relax

Relaxing allows your body and mind time to rest and recover from the everyday stresses that are put on them. Relaxing is probably the easiest thing to do on this list. You find something that you enjoy and make the time to do it. Some particularly relaxing hobbies include meditation, yoga, reading and self hypnosis.

Socializing

Scientific research shows that people who socialize regularly feel happier and live longer. So endeavor to spend quality time with your family and/or friends.

Remember that you can mix socializing with both relaxation and exercise. You could, for example, take a yoga class with a friend – or make friends whilst you are there.

I hope that this plan will give you an easy way to maintain your good health in 2011.

God’s Plan For Your Health

When God created man, He was happy with the work and even said it was good. The bible also says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. This is because you were created in the image and likeness of God. God is not a sickly, oppressed and confused being. No. He is perfect in health – His state is not even about health but life and divine life for that matter.

God’s will is that you may enjoy good health through out your life. This is His perfect plan for you. He says “I am the Lord that heals you”. This is a sure commitment from your God and Creator that any time you fall sick, He is willing to heal you. You get healed by receiving His word as the bible says how He sends His word and that word heals all your diseases.

God is not just excited about you getting sick then healing you, but has a good plan to preserve you in good health. He can protect you against all manner of sicknesses and diseases that seem to be afflicting every one around you.

In the third letter of John and verse 2, the bible says “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers”. God’s will for your health is not just limited to your physical body, but he wants you to experience emotional and spiritual healing also. Your mind needs to experience divine healing for you to make accurate and rational decisions.

As you pray, ask God for healing in all aspects of your life because it is His will to do so and it is also your right as His child. Do not stay oppressed by sicknesses, diseases, confusion and heartaches. You can pray like this “heal me oh Lord, and I will be healed”.