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 Columbia, SC.
Typically, health insurance plans in Columbia, SC 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.
Columbia, SC 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 Columbia, SC 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 Columbia, SC
When individuals shop for health insurance coverage in Columbia, SC, 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 Columbia, SC 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 Columbia, SC, 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 Columbia, SC. 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.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Columbia, SC
The premium is a payment you make each month to buy health insurance coverage in Columbia, SC. You agree to pay the insurance company each month for the privilege of having in-force insurance. You are required to make monthly premium payments even if you don’t see the doctor in that month.
A deductible is the additional amount of money you must pay to health care providers before the insurer pays the promised part of any medical or health care expense. Deductibles differ from out-of-pocket costs. A deductible is the amount of money for which you are responsible before the insurance company begins to pay. In comparison, out-of-pocket expenses refer to how much you spend before the insurer pays 100 percent of your bill.
Both deductibles and out-of-pocket costs generally start over at the beginning of each year. However, the previous year’s medical and health care expenses may have an impact on the current year deductible and out-of-pocket costs. For example, if you have a $4,000 deductible and spent $2,500 out-of-pocket last year, your out-of-pocket expenses reset to zero. The $2,500 spent last year does not roll over to the current year. There are exceptions to this rule of thumb, however. Some plans in Columbia, SC allow you to rollover the paid deductible amount from the prior year towards the deductible for the first quarter of the new plan year.
Co-payments, sometimes referred to as copays or coinsurance, refer to your portion of the financial responsibility for a medical service or doctor visit. If your co-payment at the primary care physician’s office is $20, you pay $20 to the doctor’s office each time you see him or her. Your insurer covers the balance is the services are eligible for coverage by the plan. Co-payments do not apply towards the annual deductible.
Your insurer may offer a maximum lifetime benefit. In other words, the insurance company establishes a maximum amount of money that it will pay for your health care. Once the insurer’s maximum is reached, the insurer no longer pays for health and medical care claims.
Employment status impacts the type of health insurance plans available to you. If you are employed by a large company, you may qualify for the group health insurance plan. Group health insurance is often the most affordable type of health insurance. However, you are not legally required to accept the employer’s group health insurance. If you accept the employer’s plan, premiums are usually directly deducted from your paycheck. Your employer may share the premium costs to make the plan more affordable.
You may purchase private health insurance if you are self-employed or unemployed. If you age 65 or older or you are considered disabled by Social Security and do not work, you may request Medicare benefits. If you are low-income, you may receive Medicaid insurance. Both Medicare and Medicaid are subsidized by the federal government.
Check with your doctor to discuss which health insurance plan in Columbia, SC will allow you to continue to see him or her if you want to continue treating with that doctor. Tell your doctors if your health insurance plan coverage changes. Contact your insurer regarding specific coverage questions.
Get an Instant Quote for Health Insurance in Columbia, SC
You already know how important it is to have a good health insurance plan for yourself and your family. Now you need to find out which plan and company offer the best options that fit your needs. There are many options to consider, and choosing a health insurance plan in Columbia, SC can be an overwhelming experience. That is why Wirefly has made it easy to get a quote quickly, just by entering your ZIP code.
Don’t miss out on the health coverage that you need just because you don’t have time to compare health insurance plans and rates in Columbia, SC. Wirefly can help you find the right plan with the amount of coverage you need at a price that you can afford. It only takes a few minutes for you to get your free health insurance quote, let us help you simplify one of the biggest decisions you will make by helping you compare health insurance rates today here at Wirefly.
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