Health insurance is an insurance category that covers part of the costs of the insured person’s health costs, including medical and surgical expenses. Different types of health insurance are available. Depending on the coverage desired by the insured, the individual pays out-of-pocket costs and receives reimbursement from the insurer or the insurance company directly pays the insured’s provider. Wirefly simplifies the health insurance plan comparison process in Highlands, NC. Get a free online health insurance quote from Wirefly.
Health insurance policies in Highlands, NC may be available through an employer group insurance policy or through a private insurance policy between the insured and the insurance company. Health insurance is also available to senior citizens and disabled persons through Medicare. Medicaid is a federal insurance program that is administered at the state level. It helps low-income individuals get health care. Both Medicare and Medicaid programs provide health insurance at lower costs than private health insurance policies.
Private health insurance is available to the insured with various levels of coverage. For instance, a plan with inexpensive premium costs may cover only catastrophic events while a higher-cost premium plan offers full health care coverage. It is important for individuals and families to anticipate health care needs before selecting a health insurance plan.
Comparing Different Health Insurance Plans in Highlands, NC
The future healthcare needs of any person are quite unpredictable. As such, correctly determining the amount of coverage you will need for the coming year might prove difficult. An individual’s past is the best indicator to use for his/her future healthcare needs since it offers an educated guess about what one might need in future. For instance, if you are healthy more often than not and rarely need to see a medical service provider, you will most likely get adequate coverage from a low-cost health insurance plan. On the other hand, looking into a medical insurance plan that offers a broad range of coverage is probably the best option if you are suffering from a chronic health condition and need to pay a specialist or your primary healthcare physician regular visits.
The catastrophic only insurance is one of the health insurance plans available at a low price in Highlands, NC. This insurance plan is ideal for those who rarely visit medical service providers and only want to be covered in case of a serious emergency. For those who participate in dangerous activities or travel on a regular basis, an insurance plan that covers frequent trips to the doctor‘s office, as well as ER visits, is probably the best choice.
Higher coverage is usually available at a higher monthly premium, meaning the more your monthly payments, the more your insurer pays towards your medical needs. As such, considering your lifestyle and medical history is important. It helps you to determine the most economical option for your healthcare needs. Aside from ensuring you have the basics covered, adding more coverage based on affordability and necessity is also recommended.
Common Types of Health Insurance Plans in Highlands, NC
There are many types of health insurance covers to choose from in Highlands, NC. These plans may look like they offer the same coverage; however, their convenience and flexibility is very different. The main types include HMO, PPO, POS, HSA, HRA, FSA, and MSA. Determining the differences between these choices will help you choose an appropriate plan.
Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO. An HMO is a plan that restricts you to a particular healthcare provider. This means, whenever you have a health concern, you will only visit a particular physician for assistance. In cases where you need additional attention, this primary care doctor will be the one to refer you to a specialist. Health maintenance organization plans in Highlands, NC are cheap compared to other plans. The major downside of HMO plans is that the network of doctors you can choose from is limited because some physicians do not offer HMO plans. The upside of HMO is that out-of-pocket expenses are relatively low and reasonable. Furthermore, you do not have to pay any deductibles.
Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO. A PPO plan involves a large network of physicians. This means that you have a bigger circle of doctors to choose from. With this coverage, you are not limited to the referrals given by your primary care doctor. You can visit a specialist without consulting your primary physician. When you are treated by doctors who are within the circle of health care providers contracted by your insurance carrier, you get to pay low medical costs. However, if you are treated by doctors who are outside the network, your insurance carrier will only pay a small fraction of the costs. With PPOs, you are subject to copayments and deductibles. There is also a limit to the amount of out-of-pocket expenses you can incur annually.
Point of Service, or POS. A POS plan combines the features of HMOs and PPOs. With POS coverage, you have a reasonable circle of medical practitioners from which you can choose a primary care doctor. Provided you remain within the circle of doctors in Highlands, NC, you will pay low copayments. There are also no deductibles in this plan. However, if you insist on seeing a physician outside the network of doctors, the deductibles and copayments are high.
Non-Conventional Health Insurance Plans. Some of the non-conventional health insurance plans in Highlands, NC, include "Medical Savings Account" (MSA), "Health Reimbursement Account" (HRA), "Health Savings Account" (HSA), and "Health Flexible Spending Arrangement" (FSA). All these plans work on the grounds that you or your employer has set aside some money in a savings account for all your medical expenses. The funds that have been set aside are used for paying doctor prescriptions, surgical treatments, doctor visits, and over-the-counter medicine. These plans provide a lot of freedom with regards to how you can use the money. Some plans even give you the option of rolling unused funds to the next year.
Basic Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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 Highlands, 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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