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 Salem, OR.
Typically, health insurance plans in Salem, OR 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.
Salem, OR 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 Salem, OR 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.
What are the Different Types of Health Insurance Coverage Available in Salem, OR?
As in other areas of the country, there are many types of health plans available in Salem, OR. 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 Salem, OR. 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 Salem, OR 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.
A Cost Breakdown of Health Insurance in Salem, OR
The amount of money payable each month for health insurance coverage is known as a premium. Irrespective of whether you use your insurance or not, you will never be reimbursed what you paid as premium. Deductibles are not the same as out of pocket expenses. A deductible refers to the amount of money the insured needs to pay a healthcare provider before the insurer begins paying a claim. On the other hand, out of pocket refers to the amount the insured needs to spend before the insurer pays the entire bill.
Although out of pocket costs and deductibles often start over with every year, the expenses of the previous year usually impact these two payments moving forward. Assume the insured has a deductible of $4,000, spent $2,500 out of pocket in the past year, and keeps the same plan when the insurance renews. In this case, the out of pocket expenses will be reset to zero and the $2,500 spent the past year will not roll over. However, some of the health insurance plans in Salem, OR are exempted from this rule, allowing the insured to roll over the amount of deductible paid from the previous coverage year to the deductible for the coming year’s first quarter.
Also known as coinsurance, co-payment refers to the financial responsibility of the insured for medical services. If the co-payment to see a primary health care provider is $20, then the insured pays $20 every time he/she sees that health care provider. The insurer will then cover the balance if your plan includes the services rendered. However, a co-payment does not apply to a deductible.
The insurer could also give the insured a maximum lifetime benefit, which is the maximum amount the insurer will pay for your health care in total. The insurance provider will not pay any medical claims once the payments already made add up to this maximum.
Employment status also impacts the health insurance plans available to a person. If you are an employee of a large organization, you might get on the company’s group health insurance plan, which is much more affordable than personal healthcare. However, participation in group health insurance plans is not required by law.
You can purchase private, individual health insurance in Salem, OR if you are either unemployed or self-employed. Senior citizens who don’t work can receive financial assistance from the government through Medicare. People with low-income can also apply for financial support from the government through Medicaid.
Check with your doctors to find out which of the health insurance plans offered in Salem, OR is acceptable to them, especially if you intend to keep seeing your current physicians. If your insurance plan changes, make sure you inform your doctor. Also, check with your insurer about any specific question that pertains to your coverage.
Get a Health Insurance Quote in Salem, OR 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 Salem, OR.
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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