Compare Health Insurance Rates in South Lake Tahoe, CA
The best way to secure yourself against unexpected illnesses or accidents is through health insurance. Health insurance is a type of insurance that will pay for a share of your health expenses such as surgical and medical costs whenever you visit a doctor. There is a wide variety of health insurance plans available. In some plans, you may be required to pay for medical costs and get reimbursed later while in other plans your insurer will pay for your costs directly. With Wirefly, you can simply compare different health insurance packages in South Lake Tahoe, CA, and also receive free online quotes.
There are four ways of getting health insurance in South Lake Tahoe, CA. First, you can be insured under your employer. Alternatively, you can be covered through private insurance. Senior citizens are usually covered through Medicare while low income earners use Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid are far much cheaper than private insurance.
Health insurance comes with different levels of coverage. The cheaper packages are geared towards catastrophic events while the more expensive packages provide full coverage. Before choosing a plan, it is advisable to estimate your health care needs.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA
The challenge in selecting a health insurance plan is accurately predicting health care needs for the year. If an individual doesn’t get enough coverage, he’ll pay more out of pocket, but if he gets a plan with extra coverage that he doesn’t need, he’ll end up paying more than necessary for his monthly premiums. The best strategy for most people in South Lake Tahoe, CA is checking out their past health care needs to assess how much coverage they’ll need going forward. Those who are fairly healthy and don’t make too many doctor’s visits will most likely be fine on a low-cost plan. People who make frequent trips to the doctor or have a chronic condition should look for a more comprehensive plan so they don't get stuck with any hefty out-of-pocket costs.
When it comes to low-cost plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA, it doesn’t get much less expensive than catastrophic-only insurance. As the name implies, this type of plan only covers health care for serious emergencies. People who travel often or participate in high-risk activities will require insurance that covers visits to the ER and trips to the doctor.
As coverage gets more comprehensive, monthly premiums tend to get higher. When a person pays more for an insurance plan each month, he can expect the insurance company to also pay more when he receives healthcare. People should use their personal health histories and lifestyles to find the insurance plan that provides the coverage they need at the most economical price. The best way to do so is start with the basics and then add any other important coverages that are within budget.
Different Health Insurance Plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA
There are a variety of options for health insurance coverage in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Although plans may offer similar coverage terms, their convenience and other details may differ significantly. Just a few of the choices include a PPO, an HSA, an HMO, a POS, an FSA, and HRA, or an MSA. Although these different plans may seem overwhelming or confusing, it is important to understand the differences before choosing a plan. Read on to learn the basic differences between these coverage options.
HMO is short for Health Maintenance Organization. A network such as this requires the covered individual to select a primary care physician to handle all of their health-related issues. This means that if you are seeking treatment from a specialist, you are required to see your primary care physician first to get a referral. Your primary care doctor in South Lake Tahoe, CA must deem it necessary for you to receive treatment from a specialist before you are able to meet with one. Although HMOs typically have lower premiums compared to other options, the network of available physicians may be limited since certain doctors refuse to accept HMO plans. The advantage of HMO plans is that they do not require deductibles and the out-of-pockets expenses are usually reasonable.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA generally involve a broad network of participating health care providers. The insured individual is allowed to select any primary care physician within the network and is also able to receive treatment from specialists without the need for a referral. If you visit doctors or hospitals within your network, this will offer you the best financial assistance. However, you can typically receive partial coverage for out of network costs as well. Generally, PPOs involve co-payments, deductibles, and limits on your out-of-pocket spending.
A Point of Service (POS) plan is basically a combination of HMO and PPO plans. POS plans offer a fairly large network of physicians to select a primary care physician from. As long as you receive treatment from a health care provider within your network, you are not responsible for any deductibles and the cost of co-payments will be reasonable. However, if the insured individual needs to see an out-of-network provider, deductibles and copayments will be high.
In addition to the more traditional approaches to health insurance, there are plans such as a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), a Health Savings Account (HSA), a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and a Medical Savings Account (MSA). These non-traditional plans are based on the premise that yourself or your employer sets aside tax-exempt money to cover any medical expenses. This money can be used to cover visits to your physician, surgical procedures, prescriptions, and, occasionally, over the counter medicines. These coverage options offer an increased level of flexibility in terms of how much money is used. Certain plans even allow leftover money to be rolled over into the following year.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in South Lake Tahoe, CA
The premium is a payment you make each month to buy health insurance coverage in South Lake Tahoe, CA. You agree to pay the insurance company each month for the privilege of having in-force insurance. You are required to make monthly premium payments even if you don’t see the doctor in that month.
A deductible is the additional amount of money you must pay to health care providers before the insurer pays the promised part of any medical or health care expense. Deductibles differ from out-of-pocket costs. A deductible is the amount of money for which you are responsible before the insurance company begins to pay. In comparison, out-of-pocket expenses refer to how much you spend before the insurer pays 100 percent of your bill.
Both deductibles and out-of-pocket costs generally start over at the beginning of each year. However, the previous year’s medical and health care expenses may have an impact on the current year deductible and out-of-pocket costs. For example, if you have a $4,000 deductible and spent $2,500 out-of-pocket last year, your out-of-pocket expenses reset to zero. The $2,500 spent last year does not roll over to the current year. There are exceptions to this rule of thumb, however. Some plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA allow you to rollover the paid deductible amount from the prior year towards the deductible for the first quarter of the new plan year.
Co-payments, sometimes referred to as copays or coinsurance, refer to your portion of the financial responsibility for a medical service or doctor visit. If your co-payment at the primary care physician’s office is $20, you pay $20 to the doctor’s office each time you see him or her. Your insurer covers the balance is the services are eligible for coverage by the plan. Co-payments do not apply towards the annual deductible.
Your insurer may offer a maximum lifetime benefit. In other words, the insurance company establishes a maximum amount of money that it will pay for your health care. Once the insurer’s maximum is reached, the insurer no longer pays for health and medical care claims.
Employment status impacts the type of health insurance plans available to you. If you are employed by a large company, you may qualify for the group health insurance plan. Group health insurance is often the most affordable type of health insurance. However, you are not legally required to accept the employer’s group health insurance. If you accept the employer’s plan, premiums are usually directly deducted from your paycheck. Your employer may share the premium costs to make the plan more affordable.
You may purchase private health insurance if you are self-employed or unemployed. If you age 65 or older or you are considered disabled by Social Security and do not work, you may request Medicare benefits. If you are low-income, you may receive Medicaid insurance. Both Medicare and Medicaid are subsidized by the federal government.
Check with your doctor to discuss which health insurance plan in South Lake Tahoe, CA will allow you to continue to see him or her if you want to continue treating with that doctor. Tell your doctors if your health insurance plan coverage changes. Contact your insurer regarding specific coverage questions.
Receive Your Health Insurance Quote in South Lake Tahoe, CA Now
Signing up for health insurance is one of the greatest decisions you can make, for both and your family. The process may seem overwhelming as there are a number of things that can impact your health insurance plan options and rates. However, Wirefly makes getting a health insurance quote in South Lake Tahoe, CA simpler than ever. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code.
It may be tempting to try to cut down on health insurance costs, but be sure you do not cut out any coverage that you actually do need. For instance, if you plan on having children later in life, you should choose a plan that covers maternity care. This way you will be prepared for the future and you will not need to worry about when the time comes. Do not try to cut down on coverage just to save a quick buck or two. Insurance premiums costs are never cheap, but ultimately, they are less expensive than paying medical bills without the help of health insurance. We here at Wirefly can help you save money on your health insurance and find the best insurance plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA. Get your free quote today!
Health Insurance Plans in South Lake Tahoe, CA ZIP Codes
Wirefly Is America's Most Trusted Source For All Cell Phones, Plans, TV, and Internet Deals
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.