Individual Health Insurance Plans-About How To Buy Health Insurance Online

If you want to know how to buy health insurance online, the information provided here will help you find health insurance plans that suit your needs. Understanding health insurance plans can be difficult and overwhelming initially but with patience and perseverance you can succeed. The trick is to compare various plans by different companies and choose the right one for you by carefully considering the factors such as plan benefits, costs and location of services etc…so that you make an informed decision that benefits you.

The purpose of health insurance is to protect you and your family in case you or some one in your family fall ill and need medical care which can be expensive. In U.S.A , if you do not have health insurance, you have to bear the expenses which may drain your finances especially if you have a serious illness or situation to cope with. Since you can not predict your medical care expenses for the immediate future ,it is always prudent to have health insurance coverage wherein the medical expenses if any, are born by the insurance companies there by saving you a lot of money which otherwise you will have to spend.

Your first step should be to decide what type of health insurance you need whether individual or for your whole family. If it is individual coverage you need, then study your medical history to decide whether you need simple coverage protecting you from serious illness or a comprehensive insurance for wide ranging issues in which case the insurance premium will naturally be high. It is better to consult an experienced agent who will explain the intricacies of the policy to suit your requirements and also about the pros and cons.

For Americans there are two main ways to get health insurance coverage which are, individual health insurance plan and group health insurance plan offered by the employer. Those who opt for individual health insurance plan need to pay a monthly or quarterly fee for insurance coverage for the medical attention they need, should the occasion arise. In case the policy holder needs medical attention, the health insurance company pays part or all of the fee, minimizing the amount of medical expenditure. Most Americans are part of group insurance schemes maintained by their employers in which the employer takes care of part or whole of the medical expenditure of the employee. This is the least expensive of all types..

There are many types of health insurance plans available in U.S.A now and the major ones are Fee-for-Service Health Plans(FFS),Health Maintenance Organizations(HMO),Point-of-Service Plans(POS), Preferred Provider Organizations(PPO) and Health Savings Account (HSA).

FFS: Fee-for-Service Health Plans(FFS) are of two types namely basic protection plan and major illness plan. The basic plan takes care of hospital charges when undergoing treatment including surgery and the major plan takes care of long treatment of high cost illnesses. Some health insurance companies combine both these provisions into one which is known as comprehensive plan.

The advantage of this type is that you can choose the doctor and the hospital for treatment and you can change the doctors and hospitals if you want. You are required to pay monthly premium and the insurance company pays the hospital charges. You have to check the policy to know which risks are covered since not all charges are covered. You also have to pay part of the charges known as coinsurance which is usually 20% and the remaining 80% is paid by insurance company. In case of claims, you will have to fill up forms along with the purchase receipts of medicine and other treatment charges. Usually there is an upper limit for the amount you will have to pay taking into account your premium and coinsurance. The point to note is that not all health services are covered such as infant care.

HMO: Health Maintenance Organizations(HMO) arrange for comprehensive medical treatment such as hospital charges, surgery etc for you and your family as per their choice of doctors and hospitals and you are required to pay a monthly premium for the health insurance. This is known as prepaid health plan wherein the medical treatment is provided directly by the doctors working with them and your choice of doctors and hospitals are limited. You may have to pay a small amount for doctor’s visit and emergency care but will be lower than the FFS plan. The benefit of HMO plan is that you get preventive health care for health issues before they become serious. You are given a card just like credit card that you are required to present at the specified doctor’s office or hospital. The disadvantage of this plan is that you may have to wait for an appointment unlike FFS plan. Before choosing your HMO it is advisable to enquire about the quality of service rendered by the organization.

POS: Point-of-Service Plans(POS) is an option offered by HMO organizations wherein the members are allowed to refer themselves outside the HMO network and still get the insurance coverage provided they pay coinsurance. The preferred provider organization, or "PPO", is a combination of traditional fee-for-service and an HMO. Like an HMO, there are a limited number of doctors and hospitals to choose from. When you use those providers (sometimes called "preferred providers", other times called "network providers"), most of your medical bills are covered. When you go to doctors in the PPO, you present a card and do not have to fill out forms. Usually there is a small co-payment for each visit. For some health care services, you may have to pay a deductible and coinsurance. As with an HMO, a PPO requires that you choose a primary care doctor to monitor your health care. Most PPOs cover preventive care. This usually includes visits to the doctor, well-baby care, immunizations, and mammograms. In a PPO, you can use doctors who are not part of the plan and still receive some health insurance coverage. At these times, you will pay a larger portion of the bill yourself (and also fill out the claims forms). Some people like this option because even if their doctor is not a part of the network, it means they do not have to change doctors to join a PPO.

The coverage provided by a Health Savings Account (HSA) consists of two parts: a high-deductible individual health insurance plan and an HSA. The two combine to protect a person from high medical bills should catastrophe strike; while absorbing any high-deductible that comes with it. You will also face lower premiums and the HSA is a tax-free savings account that can be used to pay for routine trips to the doctor and prescription drugs costs.

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