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Individual Health Plans - Choosing The Right Coverage For You

Posted on 1 July 2011

Choices, choices, choices. There are many choices to be had when it comes to exploring the universe of individual health plans. Choosing among the best individual health plans can be time consuming, if not confusing, so it is best to break it down into manageable chunks so that processing the information doesn’t become overwhelming. The process is greatly simplified when you examine your needs, your budget, and the available plan options.

Buzzle has a recent article describing individual health insurance plans and how to choose which coverage option is best for your particular situation. The article really helps demystify the process of choosing individual coverage by showing you how to prioritize what is important to you, the best coverage for your situation, and how costs are broken down.

The first step in figuring out which plan is the best fit is to determine your health coverage needs. Are you looking for coverage only for major catastrophes, or do you need a plan to cover basics such as routine office visits? Do you have a history of needing to seek medical care on a frequent basis, or do you rarely ever see the doctor because you are a example of medical perfection (don’t we all wish this were true!)? Do you need prescription coverage, or are you willing to pay for any medicine out-of-pocket should you need a prescription filled? By examine what your health coverage needs are, you are better equipped to figure out what coverages you should be paying for, and what will be a waste of money.

Health care insurance for individuals comes in a couple different varieties - the HMO, PPO and high deductible plan that is HSA (health saving account) eligible. These are all considered to be managed health care plans, instead of the once popular indemnity plan. Managed care plans contract with certain health care professions to offer their services at a reduced rate. HMO’s require the plan holder to have a primary care physician, while a PPO doesn’t have such a restriction. High deductible plans will be further discussed below.

Monthly premiums are determined by several things, including the coverage offered by a plan and the annual deductible that must be satisfied by the plan holder before the provider starts paying the medical bills. Further, copayments and coinsurance affect the policy premium. These are discussed below:

  • Annual deductible - the amount the policy holder has to pay out-of-pocket before the plan provider starts to pick up the tab. Think of this as the financial amount you want to endure on your own each year. The higher the deductible, generally the lower the overall plan premium because with high deductibles, you are taking on more of the financial burden yourself and it will be only after you have paid out, potentially thousands of dollars, before the provider has to foot the bill.
  • Copayment - the amount that the plan holder has to pay every time they see a medical provider.
  • Coinsurance - the percentage of overall medical expenses paid by the plan holder after the annual deductible has been satisfied. For example the plan provider may pay 80 percent and the plan holder 20, or the plan may have no coinsurance, with the provider footing the entire bill after the deductible is met. The higher the coinsurance amount (or amount the plan holder has to pay), the lower the premium is typically.

It should become very obvious from the above, that the more burden the policy holder is willing to carry, the lower the plan premiums will be. It is very important to understand the relationship between what you are willing to pay versus what kind of coverage you get versus the amount of burden you are willing to carry. For people with generally overall good health, it might be a good idea to choose a high deductible plan so that monthly premiums are good. Conversely, if coverage is going to be used fairly regularly, it might be wise to pick a lower deductible plan and suffer through the higher monthly payments.

Fortunately, today it is quite simple to compare your individual health insurance options using the Internet. Go online to get free individual health insurance quotes to instantly compare leading health providers and find out how much different combinations of copayments, coinsurance and deductibles affect the amount you pay. Using your computer to compare individual health insurance quotes makes the process of finding the right individual coverage a breeze!

Related posts:

  1. Individual Health Plans - Considerations When Shopping For Coverage
  2. Individual Medical Insurance Plans
  3. Individual Health Insurance Plans
  4. Personal Health Insurance Plans
  5. Individual Medical Insurance Plans For Children Harder To Come By
Category : Health Insurance

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