As a subcategory in the broader field of insurance, health insurance is the section that covers part of the health expenses incurred by an insured person. Today, there are different kinds of health insurance plans available. Depending on the coverage, there are two possibilities when an insured individual seeks medical services. Either the insurance company pays the medical service provider directly, or the insured person covers the costs with an out-of-pocket payment and is later reimbursed by his or her insurer.
As a health insurance comparison website, Wirefly offers more than free online quotes. It also makes it easy to compare the different types of health insurance plans available in Charleston, WV.
Although employers and private insurance companies are the most common providers of health insurance in Charleston, WV, it is also available to low-income earners through Medicaid and to senior citizens via Medicare. Compared to private insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare provide health insurance services at a significantly lower cost. There are several levels of coverage included in this type of insurance. While the least expensive plans usually cover catastrophic events only, high-cost plans will most certainly provide full coverage. As a result, people often try to anticipate their medical care needs before deciding the most suitable health insurance plan.
Comparing Health Insurance Policies in Charleston, WV
For many individuals, one of the most difficult things about choosing a health insurance plan is not knowing what the future holds. You could end up with an insurance policy that doesn’t fulfill your healthcare needs. To ensure the best results, you should base your decision on your past medical history.
If you are a relatively healthy person, you could save money by choosing an affordable health insurance plan that only pays for the basics such as an annual check-up or the occasional sick visit. However, if you have a serious health condition that requires you to see your doctor on a routine basis, a health insurance company that offers various coverage options would be a better choice.
An affordable option for individuals in Charleston, WV who only want health insurance for emergency situations would be catastrophic-only insurance. This is a good choice for those who rarely visit their doctor and only want health insurance if they are involved in a severe accident or have a sudden health issue that requires immediate medical assistance.
One thing to remember when comparing health insurance plans in Charleston, WV is if you have higher monthly premiums, you will also have better overall coverage. This is something to consider if you currently have a health condition such as heart disease or diabetes, and need quality, ongoing coverage.
Your lifestyle is another factor to think about when enrolling in a new health insurance plan. If you are an avid traveler, enjoy adventurous activities such as skydiving or mountain climbing, you will want to find an insurance plan that will cover visits to the emergency room for accidents or injuries.
Common Types of Health Insurance Plans in Charleston, WV
There are many types of health insurance covers to choose from in Charleston, WV. 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 Charleston, WV 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 Charleston, WV, 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 Charleston, WV, 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.
An Overview of Charleston, WV Health Insurance Costs
Your health insurance premium is the amount of money you pay monthly in order to keep your health insurance coverage active. This money will not be returned to you no matter if you use your insurance or not. Your deductible is the amount of money you are required to pay up front at the time of a medical appointment. Any money that is still owed to the health care provider after the deductible is paid will be covered by your insurance company.
Deductibles and out of pocket costs are two different things. Your deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying before you insurance starts to pay. Your out of pocket costs are the amount you will pay before your insurance company reimburses you for your bill. Both deductibles and out of pocket costs start over at the beginning of the year. The expenses of the year prior do have an affect on your future costs.
For example, let’s say you have a deductible of $3,000 and you only spend $1,000 out of pocket. If you keep the same insurance plan, your out of pocket costs reset to $0 and the amount you spent previously does not roll over. However, there are some plans that let you roll over your deductible toward the first quarter of the next year. This is not standard and will be clearly stated if this is the case.
Your copayment is the amount you are responsible for paying for a regular medical visit or service. This is also called a coinsurance payment. So, if your copayment is $25, you will be required to pay that $25 every time you go to visit your primary care provider. Your insurance will cover any balance left over, as long as the service is covered by your insurance plan. Copayments do not apply to deductibles.
Your insurance company might also give you something called a maximum lifetime benefit. A maximum lifetime benefit is the total amount of money that your health insurance provider will provide for health care. After this amount is reached, your insurance company will not pay any more medical claims.
The health insurance plans that are open to you in Charleston, WV depend a lot on your employment status. If you work full time for a large company, you may be able to get insurance through your business. This is typically a group insurance plan that is more affordable than individual health care. However, you are not required to purchase insurance through your place of work.
If you are unemployed or self-employed, you will most likely need to purchase an individual health insurance plan. This is provided by a private company. If you are a retired senior, you may be eligible to receive government assistance with the Medicare program. If you have a low income, you may have the option of applying for government assistance in the form of Medicaid.
You may choose to discuss your insurance options with your regular health care provider, especially if you wish to continue seeing them. Also, you should inform your doctor in Charleston, WV if your health insurance plan changes. Speak with a representative from your insurance provider if you have any further questions.
Get a Health Insurance Quote in Charleston, WV Today
Buying health insurance is one of the best ways to care for yourself and your family. There are many different factors that may affect insurance plan coverage and rates. Wirefly simplifies the task of comparing health insurance plans and getting health insurance quotes in Charleston, WV. Just enter your ZIP code to start.
While it is possible to save money on health insurance in several ways, do not pass on the coverage you may need. For instance, if you plan to have a child in the future, choose a plan that includes maternity coverage to avoid the trouble of obtaining coverage later. Make sure that you do not eliminate coverage you need to save money on premiums. Although insurance premiums are not cheap, out-of-pocket costs for future medical care are potentially many times more costly. Let Wirefly help you find the best insurance plan in Charleston, WV. Save on health insurance by getting free quotes now.
Health Insurance Plans in Charleston, WV ZIP Codes
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