With medical expenses soaring higher every year, health insurance is an expensive necessity. Knowing more about health insurance can help you get the coverage you need while keeping your expenses down.
Health insurance plans generally fall into one of two categories: indemnity plans (also known as reimbursement plans) and managed care plans such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and point of service (POS) plans. (Learn more about HMO, PPO, and POS plans.)
No matter which type of health insurance you buy, you'll need to make sure it offers the right kinds of coverage.
A good health insurance policy contains several types of coverage.
When comparing health insurance plans, check to see if they provide additional benefits that you may need, including:
In addition to the monthly premium expense, you may have other out-of-pocket costs. These costs can really add up, especially if you have children or other family members who visit the doctor frequently. Check to see if the health insurance plan you're considering requires you to pay any or all of the following:
You may get health insurance through a group plan at work or through another group affiliation (a school, a club, etc.) or by purchasing an individual plan on your own. By purchasing an individual plan, you may be able to customize the health plan.
A good way to compare rates, plans, and options for your individual needs is to shop online. Comparing online health insurance quotes helps to ensure you get your best rate.
The best health insurance plan for you is the one that gives you the greatest flexibility and the most benefits for the lowest cost. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a standard health insurance plan. As you would when making any major purchase, you'll need to shop around and get several quotes before choosing a plan. Here are a few points to consider:
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Originally posted August 24, 2004.
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