The purpose of health insurance is to cover or offset the cost of health expenses, whether medical or surgical, for insured individuals. There are a variety of health insurance plans available. Some types require the individual to pay up-front costs (also referred to as out-of-pocket costs) and be reimbursed later while other plans involve direct payments to the provider. To simplify the process of determining which health insurance plan is best for you, Wirefly offers free online quotes for comparing health insurance options in Earl, NC.
Typically, health insurance plans in Earl, NC are offered through private companies or employers. Senior citizens can also receive coverage through a program known as Medicare while low-income individuals can be covered by Medicaid. Medicaid and Medicare are both offered at lower rates than private insurance plans.
It is possible to select varying levels of coverage in health insurance plans. Lower cost plans may only offer coverage for catastrophic events, while more expensive plans would offer more complete coverage. In most cases, individuals attempt to anticipate their upcoming medical needs prior to choosing a specific coverage plan.
Earl, NC Health Insurance Plan Comparison
Choosing the right coverage for your health care needs can be extremely hard since the future can be unpredictable. The best way to properly predict how much coverage you’ll need is to use the amount from the past year.
The first type of coverage health insurance plans offer in Earl, NC is known as catastrophic insurance. This is the lowest cost insurance and is primarily designed for people who rarely visit their healthcare professionals. Of course, if you plan to visit your doctor on a regular basis and participate in dangerous activities, you will need a healthcare plan that can cover you more. This will usually cost you more in the end.
Most plans that provide more coverage require higher monthly payments. However, this also means that the more you put down, the more your insurance provider will give you when you run into a medical emergency. This, in turn, is why it’s so important to decide on the best plan to cover your health care needs. The last thing you want to do is purchase coverage that will offer less protection or coverage that costs too much to afford.
Types of Health Insurance Coverage in Earl, NC
When individuals shop for health insurance coverage in Earl, NC, 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 Earl, NC 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 Earl, NC, 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 Earl, NC. 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.
Basic Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Earl, NC
Health insurance premiums are the amount paid each month to receive coverage. The premiums paid are not returned to you, even if the subscribers do not use the insurance benefits. Deductibles are additional money that must be paid to healthcare providers for services received where the health insurance company doesn’t cover the whole cost of the procedure.
Out of pocket costs are treated differently than deductibles. Health insurance providers require a minimum amount to be paid by a subscriber before they will begin to pay for services; this is what’s referred to as the deductible. Out of pocket refers to the amount of money that must be paid by the subscriber before their health insurance will pay 100% of medical costs incurred. Both the out of pocket and deductible amounts paid reset each time the plan renews, which is generally annually, and are not eligible to roll over to the next year. While this is a general rule, there are some health insurance plans in Earl, NC that allow an exception for deductibles paid in the previous year may count toward the deductible amount only for the first quarter of the new plan year.
Health insurance co-pays and co-insurance refers to the subscriber’s responsibility to pay certain amounts for a medical visit or for a given procedure. As an example, if the PCP co-pay on a health insurance plan is $25, then the subscriber can expect to pay $25 each time he or she visits their primary care physician. The insurance company will cover the balance of what the physician charges for a visit and the co-pay amount.
Most health insurance companies that provide coverage in Earl, NC will have an allowance for a maximum lifetime benefit under their plan. This amount is usually quite large and doesn’t come into play for most subscribers and is meant to protect the insurance company from being responsible exorbitant medical expenses. Once this maximum amount is met, the insurance provider will not make any further payments for the subscriber.
In today’s market, the subscriber’s employment status determines which health insurance plans may be available to purchase. Large employers will generally provide health insurance as a benefit of employment. The employer shares part of the premium costs making this method of access to insurance more affordable than most. Employees are not required to participate in the group plan sponsored by their employers, but it benefits them in most cases.
Self-employed individuals, or those who do not work, are able to buy health insurance in the private market. Seniors, low-income families, and unemployed individuals may be able to apply for and receive premium assistance through the government, usually under a service called Medicaid.
If a subscriber already has a family physician or a specialist they see for treatment in the Earl, NC area, it’s important to check with a potential new insurance provider to ensure the physician is in the plan’s network. The subscriber also must notify their physicians when coverage changes so the proper health insurance company can be billed for expenses.
Get a Health Insurance Quote in Earl, NC 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 Earl, NC.
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.
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