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Understanding Health Insurance Plans

Health insurance is specifically meant to protect an individual financially as it shares with you the burden and cost of medical expenses. Without health insurance, you’ll be expected to pay all the medical expenses out of your pocket, and considering the fact that the expenses can be thousands of dollars, it’s advisable to get a health insurance plan. Medical emergencies, just as medical expenses, are unpredictable hence it’s always good to be ready for the worst. There are two main ways in which someone can obtain health insurance:

- Individual Healthcare Insurance Plans

- Group Healthcare Insurance Plans

Individual Healthcare Insurance Plans

In case your employer doesn’t extend group health insurance plan, or you’re self employed, you can buy an individual health insurance policy. The other situation that may force you to seek an individual health insurance plan is if in case your employer extends limited insurance. You however have to do a lot of research and compare the various options available among different insurance companies. Even though an individual health insurance plan will be more narrowed down compared to a group health insurance plan, you would rather have it than have none at all.

When shopping for an individual health insurance plan, the following tips will come in handy:

- Be advised that there are certain plans that will have a waiting period before your coverage starts

- Free look clause – a lot of companies will give you a 10 day period in which to read your policy well from the day of receiving it. If you find it unsatisfactorily, you’re always at liberty to return it for a full refund of your premium, but within the 10 day period.

- Do your research – so many companies out there extend these services hence you’ll be guaranteed to get a plan that will work for you. Shop around for an affordable and the most fruitful plan for that matter.

- Ensure that your plan will be useful when you need it the most. Take time to study the coverage and to read the terms and conditions as well as the fine prints of the policy thoroughly.

Group Healthcare Insurance Plans

Someone will be covered medically because they work for, or a family member works for a company that extends insurance packages to its employees. These health insurance plans are affordable, flexible, and quite beneficial as you’ll be cost sharing the cost of insurance with the employer. Legally, each company that employs 25 or more people is supposed to offer the opportunity to enroll in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Other plans available under group health insurance plans include Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and/or fee-for-service plan.

As an employee, your insurance cover will remain valid as long as you’ll remain employed in the company. You can only retain it if you so wish to be paying the premiums personally. It should however be noted that not all employers extend healthcare cover to its employees. Part-time workers or people working for small businesses may not get a medical cover. In such a case, you should contact a professional association, labor union, or a club to seek a group insurance.

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