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 Etowah, NC.
Although employers and private insurance companies are the most common providers of health insurance in Etowah, NC, 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 Policies in Etowah, NC
For many individuals, one of the most difficult things about choosing a health insurance plan is not knowing what the future holds. You could end up with an insurance policy that doesn’t fulfill your healthcare needs. To ensure the best results, you should base your decision on your past medical history.
If you are a relatively healthy person, you could save money by choosing an affordable health insurance plan that only pays for the basics such as an annual check-up or the occasional sick visit. However, if you have a serious health condition that requires you to see your doctor on a routine basis, a health insurance company that offers various coverage options would be a better choice.
An affordable option for individuals in Etowah, NC who only want health insurance for emergency situations would be catastrophic-only insurance. This is a good choice for those who rarely visit their doctor and only want health insurance if they are involved in a severe accident or have a sudden health issue that requires immediate medical assistance.
One thing to remember when comparing health insurance plans in Etowah, NC is if you have higher monthly premiums, you will also have better overall coverage. This is something to consider if you currently have a health condition such as heart disease or diabetes, and need quality, ongoing coverage.
Your lifestyle is another factor to think about when enrolling in a new health insurance plan. If you are an avid traveler, enjoy adventurous activities such as skydiving or mountain climbing, you will want to find an insurance plan that will cover visits to the emergency room for accidents or injuries.
Types of Coverage for Health Insurance in Etowah, NC
There are many different types of health insurance plans that can be purchased in Etowah, NC. While most offer different levels of coverage, some will offer similar levels of coverage that make the plans appear exactly the same. However, there are key differences that everyone must look out for, even if the coverage types are the same. For one, the premium may be lower on one plan than the other. The flexibility of each plan might also vary. Some of the main health insurance plans available include an HMO, PPO, POS, HSA, HRA, MSA, and FSA. Each of these types of plans are slightly different from one another.
For instance, an HMO is a health maintenance organization plan, which means that the individual covered by this plan will need to travel to their primary care physician for all healthcare-related needs. Under this plan, the individual is usually able to select a primary care physician in Etowah, NC from a vast pool of options. If ever the individual needs to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist, they must first seek a referral from the primary care doctor. This applies to all specialists. These plans tend to come with lower premium amounts but with a limited network of doctors. Despite these small downsides, deductibles are eliminated and out-of-pocket costs are kept low.
A Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, plan differs slightly from an HMO in that the individual who purchased the plan can choose from a much larger network of health care providers in Etowah, NC. When selecting a primary care doctor, the individual has sole choice of which one they use, while no referrals are necessary to see additional specialists. While this insurance plan offers a substantial amount of coverage for in-network costs, it's still possible to receive a limited amount of coverage when visiting a doctor or hospital that's out-of-network. These plans tend to come with copay options and deductibles as well as slightly higher premiums than an HMO.
A Point of Service, or POS, plan is crafted to be a combination of the previous two plans. The network is rather sizable and provides the individual with a choice of which primary care physician to see. There are no deductibles and very small copayments when visiting a healthcare provider in-network. However, both of these are very high when the doctor or hospital is out-of-network.
While the three previous types of insurance plans are among the most popular, there are also plenty of others to choose from, including a health reimbursement account, a health savings accounts, a medical savings account, and a health flexible spending arrangement. With any of these accounts, the individual's employer will set money into the tax-exempt account to cover any medical expenses. This money can be used for a wide range of healthcare costs, though is not always available for over-the-counter medications. If some of the money is not used during the course of the year, certain plans allow this money to be placed into the account for next year.
Health Insurance Costs in Etowah, NC
To have health insurance coverage in Etowah, NC, people will pay premiums each month. Even if you do not go to the doctor, you will not get the money back. Depending on the insurance plan, a deductible might be required. A deductible is the amount of money a person will be required to pay at the doctor’s visit. Many doctors require the deductible to be paid up front.
Deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are different. A deductible means the amount a person will pay yearly before the insurance begins, and out-of-pocket expenses is what individuals will pay before the insurance company will pay the full bill.
When a new year begins, both deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses will reset. Going forward, the previous year’s expenses will affect what happens. For example, if a person in Etowah, NC has a deductible of $4000 and they spend $3000 out-of-pocket, the insurance plan will remain the same for the next year. The $3000 does not carry over, so they out-of-pocket expenses will be $0. Some plans allow rollovers to occur. Therefore, the deductible amount a person paid can be used for the first quarter of the next year.
When a person visits the doctor, he might be required to pay a copayment or coinsurance. If the co-payment is $50 each time a doctor’s visit occurs, the insured will be required to pay $50. The insurance will pay the remaining portion of the bill. Co-payments will not be put toward the deductible.
In some cases, an insurance company will offer a maximum lifetime benefit. This is the most amount of money that the insurance company will completely pay for the healthcare. After a person has used all of the money, the company will no longer pay for any medical services.
Where a person works has a huge impact on health insurance coverage. Larger companies will provide a group health insurance plan. These are usually less expensive than if a person chooses a private plan. However, by law individuals are not required to participate in an employer’s plan.
Self-employed or unemployed individuals have the choice to buy private individual health insurance. Government programs, such as Medicare will assist seniors in receiving health care. Medicaid will assist people who make lower income.
Individuals need to ask their physician in Etowah, NC which insurance plans they take if they want to continue seeing a certain doctor. If a person’s insurance plan changes he needs to make sure he informs his doctor of the change. If the insured has any questions about coverage, he should contact the insurance company with any questions.
Get a Health Insurance Quote in Etowah, NC 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 Etowah, NC 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 Etowah, NC 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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