The best way to secure yourself against unexpected illnesses or accidents is through health insurance. Health insurance is a type of insurance that will pay for a share of your health expenses such as surgical and medical costs whenever you visit a doctor. There is a wide variety of health insurance plans available. In some plans, you may be required to pay for medical costs and get reimbursed later while in other plans your insurer will pay for your costs directly. With Wirefly, you can simply compare different health insurance packages in Portage, PA, and also receive free online quotes.
There are four ways of getting health insurance in Portage, PA. First, you can be insured under your employer. Alternatively, you can be covered through private insurance. Senior citizens are usually covered through Medicare while low income earners use Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid are far much cheaper than private insurance.
Health insurance comes with different levels of coverage. The cheaper packages are geared towards catastrophic events while the more expensive packages provide full coverage. Before choosing a plan, it is advisable to estimate your health care needs.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in Portage, PA
The challenge in selecting a health insurance plan is accurately predicting health care needs for the year. If an individual doesn’t get enough coverage, he’ll pay more out of pocket, but if he gets a plan with extra coverage that he doesn’t need, he’ll end up paying more than necessary for his monthly premiums. The best strategy for most people in Portage, PA is checking out their past health care needs to assess how much coverage they’ll need going forward. Those who are fairly healthy and don’t make too many doctor’s visits will most likely be fine on a low-cost plan. People who make frequent trips to the doctor or have a chronic condition should look for a more comprehensive plan so they don't get stuck with any hefty out-of-pocket costs.
When it comes to low-cost plans in Portage, PA, it doesn’t get much less expensive than catastrophic-only insurance. As the name implies, this type of plan only covers health care for serious emergencies. People who travel often or participate in high-risk activities will require insurance that covers visits to the ER and trips to the doctor.
As coverage gets more comprehensive, monthly premiums tend to get higher. When a person pays more for an insurance plan each month, he can expect the insurance company to also pay more when he receives healthcare. People should use their personal health histories and lifestyles to find the insurance plan that provides the coverage they need at the most economical price. The best way to do so is start with the basics and then add any other important coverages that are within budget.
Different Health Insurance Plans in Portage, PA
There are a variety of options for health insurance coverage in Portage, PA. Although plans may offer similar coverage terms, their convenience and other details may differ significantly. Just a few of the choices include a PPO, an HSA, an HMO, a POS, an FSA, and HRA, or an MSA. Although these different plans may seem overwhelming or confusing, it is important to understand the differences before choosing a plan. Read on to learn the basic differences between these coverage options.
HMO is short for Health Maintenance Organization. A network such as this requires the covered individual to select a primary care physician to handle all of their health-related issues. This means that if you are seeking treatment from a specialist, you are required to see your primary care physician first to get a referral. Your primary care doctor in Portage, PA must deem it necessary for you to receive treatment from a specialist before you are able to meet with one. Although HMOs typically have lower premiums compared to other options, the network of available physicians may be limited since certain doctors refuse to accept HMO plans. The advantage of HMO plans is that they do not require deductibles and the out-of-pockets expenses are usually reasonable.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans in Portage, PA generally involve a broad network of participating health care providers. The insured individual is allowed to select any primary care physician within the network and is also able to receive treatment from specialists without the need for a referral. If you visit doctors or hospitals within your network, this will offer you the best financial assistance. However, you can typically receive partial coverage for out of network costs as well. Generally, PPOs involve co-payments, deductibles, and limits on your out-of-pocket spending.
A Point of Service (POS) plan is basically a combination of HMO and PPO plans. POS plans offer a fairly large network of physicians to select a primary care physician from. As long as you receive treatment from a health care provider within your network, you are not responsible for any deductibles and the cost of co-payments will be reasonable. However, if the insured individual needs to see an out-of-network provider, deductibles and copayments will be high.
In addition to the more traditional approaches to health insurance, there are plans such as a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), a Health Savings Account (HSA), a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and a Medical Savings Account (MSA). These non-traditional plans are based on the premise that yourself or your employer sets aside tax-exempt money to cover any medical expenses. This money can be used to cover visits to your physician, surgical procedures, prescriptions, and, occasionally, over the counter medicines. These coverage options offer an increased level of flexibility in terms of how much money is used. Certain plans even allow leftover money to be rolled over into the following year.
Basic Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Portage, PA
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 Portage, PA 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 Portage, PA 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 Portage, PA 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 Portage, PA 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 Portage, PA.
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.
Wirefly Is America's Most Trusted Source For All Cell Phones, Plans, TV, and Internet Deals
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.