Health is a priority when it comes to protecting your family. You want to know that if someone gets sick or injured – they’re covered. Living without health insurance is scary; you never know when something unexpected will happen. If you’re not insured, it can lead to financial ruin.
There are several options for families who need health insurance but finding the best one can be a trying task.
Healthcare: Types of Private Plans
Under the Affordable Care Act, all medical plans must offer minimum essential coverage. This means that no one can be turned down for a plan during an open enrollment period due to pre-existing conditions and other medical reasons.
There are also specific treatments and services that insurers are required to offer in plans. They’re provided regardless of the policy or company. You may need to shop around to find the best rate and coverage for your family.
According to a national survey, family plan premiums average at $930 a month with an annual deductible of $7,760. Major health insurance plans are offered in several different formats.
Health Maintenance Organization Plans
One of the most popular types of health insurance you can purchase for your family is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan. With this insurance, you’re provided with a network of healthcare providers that can offer you services. To tap into that network, you have to select a primary care provider (PCP) who will coordinate all of your care.
This type of plan offers comprehensive coverage for preventative care, even specialist visits, However, you must be referred to specialists by your PCP. Whenever you visit the doctor, you’ll have to pay a small copay.
HMOs are the best option for families who plan on visiting their primary doctor frequently for checkups. It’s not recommended if you or your loved one has a complex medical condition.
Preferred Provider Organization Plans
Under a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan, your family can visit any provider in your network without a referral. With a PPO, you typically don’t have to choose a PCP, though there will still be small copayments for every visit.
Families who need to visit a specialist regularly generally prefer this type of plan. It’s best for people who suffer from a chronic illness.
Exclusive Provider Organization Plans
With an EPO, otherwise known as an Exclusive Provider Organization plan, you can have access to all healthcare providers in your network for a lower cost than HMOs and PPOs. That said, the networks are generally smaller, and there are not many specialists.
The one major downside of an EPO is that you won’t have access to any provider outside of your EPO. These plans are best suited for families who want to save money but don’t expect to need a lot of medical care.
Point of Service Plan
The hybrid of an HMO and a PPO is the Point of Service plan. With a POS, you have to select a PCP for your family for regular checkups and referrals. You can also use out-of-network providers as long as you’re willing to pay more out of pocket for the visits.
There’s also usually a copayment involved with POS. This plan is designed for families who are willing to pay more for flexibility in healthcare.
High Deductible Health Plans
An HDHP is a type of health insurance that requires a high deductible before your coverage takes effect. Typically, this plan comes with a Health Savings Account that you can regularly contribute to. It’s important to note that these plans only cover 60-70% of a patient’s medical costs.
These plans are suitable for individuals who are looking to save money on monthly premiums and don’t need extensive medical care.
Keep in mind that choosing the best of these five types of healthcare can be a daunting task. You want to be well informed when selecting an insurer. If you need more information, find out more about the best health insurance plans here.
Another available option is Medicare. Generally, this healthcare option does not provide family coverage and is only for individuals. You are eligible for Medicare if you’re 65 or older, disabled, or have end-stage renal disease.
Take stock of your current healthcare needs as well as your budget.