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 New Jersey.
Although employers and private insurance companies are the most common providers of health insurance in New Jersey, 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 Potential Health Insurance Plans in New Jersey
When considering which health insurance plan in New Jersey to purchase, it's important to understand that it's impossible to know what will happen in the future, so it's wise not to try and guess what health care requirements might present themselves over the next year. To make a more educated guess as to the best health insurance plan to select, consider looking at past health care needs. This can assist in the identification of the level of care that's required for the next year. Anyone who has been generally healthy over the past few years and is still in good shape will likely only need to purchase a low-cost plan that offers only essential benefits. Individuals with more severe conditions should heavily consider plans that offer an extensive amount of coverage to account for any necessary medications or surgical care.
The catastrophic insurance plans mentioned previously are designed primarily to cover emergency healthcare costs. While no other costs and expenses are covered, this might be enough for healthy individuals in their 20's and early 30's. People who regularly play sports on a competitive level should choose a plan that provides coverage for both doctor visits and trips to the ER. These are just a couple of scenarios that could help determine which plan to purchase.
In order to receive a larger amount of coverage, New Jersey individuals will typically be required to pay higher monthly premiums. By paying a higher premium for the coverage, the insurance company will readily pay more for any healthcare needs the individual has in the future. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing between insurance plans is to always have the basics covered. Once these needs are covered, further coverage can be purchased depending on health history and general lifestyle.
What are the Different Types of Health Insurance Coverage Available in New Jersey?
As in other areas of the country, there are many types of health plans available in New Jersey. Each plan can offer a similar level of coverage for subscribers but with varying levels of flexibility and practicality. HMO, PPO, POS, HSA, HRA, FSA, and MSA are some of the major types of plans available today. In order to choose the best option, the subscriber will want to understand the basics of each type of plan.
The first type of plan to mention is the HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization. HMO plans are made up of a network of physicians and requires you to have a primary care physician, or PCP. The PCP acts as gatekeeper to all your healthcare needs. If one needs the care of a specialist, he or she will have to see the PCP on file first to obtain a referral to the specialist. HMO plans will generally have lower premiums than other health insurance plans. Options on healthcare providers may be limited if physicians in the area don’t accept HMO plans. Costs on this type of plan are usually reasonable and predictable.
PPO, or Preferred Provider Organization, is another popular type of plan in New Jersey. PPO plans have a large network of providers and doesn’t require a PCP. Specialists can be seen without referral and, as long as they are within the network of preferred providers, the subscriber will pay the preferred co-pay for services rendered. Most PPO plans have deductibles that must be met and limits for yearly out of pocket expenses.
Point of Service Plans, or POS, is a combination of an HMO and PPO plan. As long as the subscriber visits providers participating in the network, then the co-payments are low and there are no deductibles to be met. On the other hand, if a provider must be seen who is not in the provider network, then deductibles and high copayments will apply.
The other types of plans available to subscribers in New Jersey are not traditional but can be just as effective. These alternatives include the HSA (Health Savings Account), FSA (Flexible Spending Arrangement), and the MSA (Medical Savings Account). These accounts run on money set aside by the subscriber or their employer, usually from pre-tax wages, and is meant to be used to pay medical related expenses. These expenses include prescriptions, co-pays, and some accounts will even cover OTC medications. Unused money in these accounts at the end of the year may be able to roll over to the next year.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in New Jersey
The premium is a payment you make each month to buy health insurance coverage in New Jersey. 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey Now
Everyone, including individuals and especially those with families, needs suitable health insurance coverage. While many factors have an effect on plans and their rates, it’s quick and easy to get quotes in New Jersey on Wirefly just by entering a ZIP code.
Saving money is great, but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of important coverages. Couples who plan to have children at some point should make sure they get plans with maternity coverage to avoid any difficulties with getting that coverage later. The most important thing to remember is that it’s never smart to get rid of coverage just to save a buck. Monthly insurance premiums may not be cheap, but they pale in comparison to how much health care can cost when paying out of pocket. People looking for the best health insurance plans in New Jersey should use Wirefly to find the right plans and save money by getting free quotes from a variety of providers today.
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