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 Washington, UT.
Typically, health insurance plans in Washington, UT 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.
Washington, UT 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 Washington, UT 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.
Common Types of Health Insurance Plans in Washington, UT
There are many types of health insurance covers to choose from in Washington, UT. 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 Washington, UT 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 Washington, UT, 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 Washington, UT, 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.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Washington, UT
The premium is a payment you make each month to buy health insurance coverage in Washington, UT. 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 Washington, UT 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 Washington, UT 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 a Health Insurance Quote in Washington, UT 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 Washington, UT.
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.
Health Insurance Plans in Washington, UT ZIP Codes
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