As a subcategory in the broader field of insurance, health insurance is the section that covers part of the health expenses incurred by an insured person. Today, there are different kinds of health insurance plans available. Depending on the coverage, there are two possibilities when an insured individual seeks medical services. Either the insurance company pays the medical service provider directly, or the insured person covers the costs with an out-of-pocket payment and is later reimbursed by his or her insurer.
As a health insurance comparison website, Wirefly offers more than free online quotes. It also makes it easy to compare the different types of health insurance plans available in Augusta, GA.
Although employers and private insurance companies are the most common providers of health insurance in Augusta, GA, it is also available to low-income earners through Medicaid and to senior citizens via Medicare. Compared to private insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare provide health insurance services at a significantly lower cost. There are several levels of coverage included in this type of insurance. While the least expensive plans usually cover catastrophic events only, high-cost plans will most certainly provide full coverage. As a result, people often try to anticipate their medical care needs before deciding the most suitable health insurance plan.
Comparing Health Insurance Options in Augusta, GA?
Since it is difficult to know exactly what medical costs will be incurred throughout the year, it can be tricky to determine the amount of health coverage you need. Using an indicator to estimate upcoming costs can assist you in making an educated guess regarding future medical expenses. For instance, if you are generally healthy and only visit your physician on an infrequent basis, a low-cost plan may provide sufficient coverage for your situation. Alternatively, if you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease that requires frequent doctor's visits, you may want to consider a higher cost plan that includes a wider range of coverage.
Catastrophic-only insurance offers one of the lowest-priced options for health insurance coverage in Augusta, GA. This is ideal for individuals who rarely visit the doctor or only wish to be covered in the event of a significant emergency. Alternatively, if you travel often or participate in dangerous activities, it may be wise to have a plan that covers visits to the ER or regular visits to a physician.
Plans that offer more coverage usually come with a more costly monthly premium. Essentially, this means that a higher monthly premium will equate to lower health care costs in the event of a claim. For this reason, it is essential to evaluate your health history and lifestyle to determine the most economical option based on your specific needs. Be sure to cover the basics and increase your coverage as needed or as your budget allows.
Types of Health Insurance Coverage in Augusta, GA
When individuals shop for health insurance coverage in Augusta, GA, they have many options. Some of the types of plans include PPO, HMO, POS, HSA, HRA, FSA, and a MSA. People need to find the right one that is best for them. These plans each differ in what they will offer. The terms and flexibility will vary. Selecting an insurance plan can seem complex; therefore, it is important that people understand each type of plan, so they will know what to expect from each one.
A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) is a plan in which people usually have less out-of-pocket expenses, but they will also have fewer choices in the doctor’s they can see. Normally, with an HMO, people will have coverage for most preventative medical procedures. One of the best things about HMOs is that people will not be required to pay a deductible. Most of the time, the co-payment will be small. Individuals must choose a physician inside the network with proper authorization from the primary doctor, so sometimes the options are limited. This type of coverage is good for people who prefer lower premiums, and want certain preventative coverages for regular check-ups.
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) is a plan that offers a larger network of providers. These doctors are contracted to offer services to members at a lower or discounted price. The insured is not required to choose a primary care doctor, but has the option to see a choice of physicians within the network. Individuals normally have a yearly deductible that they must pay before coverage can begin. Many of the services require a copayment that the insured needs to pay. With this option, there are also limits on how much a person can spend annually. If a person chooses a doctor out of the network, the out-of-pocket expenses will be higher. No referral is needed for a PPO. This type of coverage is good for people who like flexibility and the freedom to choose their doctor and do not mind the higher premiums.
A Point of Service (POS) plan is a combination of an HMO and PPO. The insured will choose a primary care doctor in Augusta, GA from the network of providers. Co-payments are minimal, and no deductible is needed. If a person goes to see a doctor out of the network, the prices are much higher. This is good for individuals who prefer flexibility when choosing doctors and enjoy the balance of more choices as opposed to lower premiums.
In Augusta, GA, there are some unconventional options to health insurance. A Health Savings Account (HSA), a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and a Medical Savings Account (MSA) are options for health insurance in Augusta, GA. With these choices, individuals will set up a tax-exempt savings account and put money aside to pay for anything that people need for medical care. This can include prescriptions, routine doctor’s visits, and surgeries. In some cases, the money can even be used for over the counter medications. This option has lots of flexibility when it comes to how the money is distributed, and any extra funds can be applied to the next year.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Augusta, GA
The premium is a payment you make each month to buy health insurance coverage in Augusta, GA. 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 Augusta, GA 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 Augusta, GA 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.
Get a Health Insurance Quote in Augusta, GA Today
Since it's impossible to predict what will happen from one day to the next, having health insurance is definitely a great decision that will benefit both you and your family. While it can sometimes be very difficult to ascertain which health insurance plan is the best, Wirefly can make the search very simple and hassle-free. Just by entering a ZIP code, you will receive a health insurance quote detailing the available plans in Augusta, GA.
When deciding on a plan, make sure not to skimp on your specific health care needs. Though it's certainly possible to save some money if certain coverage types are excluded, it's essential that you don't eliminate coverage types that you'll actually need in the future. While the premiums for insurance plans aren't exactly affordable, the out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical care when not insured can be far higher. By using Wirefly, you can find the best insurance plan for your needs, which can save you a lot of time and money. Just enter your ZIP code for a free quote today.
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.