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 Oakwood, VA.
Typically, health insurance plans in Oakwood, VA 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.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in Oakwood, VA
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 Oakwood, VA 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 Oakwood, VA, 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.
Types of Coverage for Health Insurance in Oakwood, VA
There are many different types of health insurance plans that can be purchased in Oakwood, VA. While most offer different levels of coverage, some will offer similar levels of coverage that make the plans appear exactly the same. However, there are key differences that everyone must look out for, even if the coverage types are the same. For one, the premium may be lower on one plan than the other. The flexibility of each plan might also vary. Some of the main health insurance plans available include an HMO, PPO, POS, HSA, HRA, MSA, and FSA. Each of these types of plans are slightly different from one another.
For instance, an HMO is a health maintenance organization plan, which means that the individual covered by this plan will need to travel to their primary care physician for all healthcare-related needs. Under this plan, the individual is usually able to select a primary care physician in Oakwood, VA from a vast pool of options. If ever the individual needs to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist, they must first seek a referral from the primary care doctor. This applies to all specialists. These plans tend to come with lower premium amounts but with a limited network of doctors. Despite these small downsides, deductibles are eliminated and out-of-pocket costs are kept low.
A Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO, plan differs slightly from an HMO in that the individual who purchased the plan can choose from a much larger network of health care providers in Oakwood, VA. When selecting a primary care doctor, the individual has sole choice of which one they use, while no referrals are necessary to see additional specialists. While this insurance plan offers a substantial amount of coverage for in-network costs, it's still possible to receive a limited amount of coverage when visiting a doctor or hospital that's out-of-network. These plans tend to come with copay options and deductibles as well as slightly higher premiums than an HMO.
A Point of Service, or POS, plan is crafted to be a combination of the previous two plans. The network is rather sizable and provides the individual with a choice of which primary care physician to see. There are no deductibles and very small copayments when visiting a healthcare provider in-network. However, both of these are very high when the doctor or hospital is out-of-network.
While the three previous types of insurance plans are among the most popular, there are also plenty of others to choose from, including a health reimbursement account, a health savings accounts, a medical savings account, and a health flexible spending arrangement. With any of these accounts, the individual's employer will set money into the tax-exempt account to cover any medical expenses. This money can be used for a wide range of healthcare costs, though is not always available for over-the-counter medications. If some of the money is not used during the course of the year, certain plans allow this money to be placed into the account for next year.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Oakwood, VA
The premium is a payment you make each month to buy health insurance coverage in Oakwood, VA. 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 Oakwood, VA 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 Oakwood, VA 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 Health Insurance Quotes in Oakwood, VA Today
While health insurance is one the most beneficial things you can do for your family as a whole, so many factors can impact health insurance plans and rates. Fortunately, the task of acquiring health insurance quotes in Oakwood, VA has been made easier by Wirefly. You only need to enter your ZIP code.
Although there are many ways to save money on health insurance, do not eliminate needed coverage just to save some money. For instance, if you intend to have children, choosing a plan that includes maternity coverage now ensures you won’t have trouble getting covered in future. Even though insurance premiums are not cheap, the out-of-pocket cost of health care is exponentially greater. We can ensure you find the best insurance plan based on your needs and financial situation. All you need to do is get your free quotes today.
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