Knowing about the latest developments in health insurance can help you to decide on a plan that is right for you. Major reforms have been made in health insurance by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which will come into force over a period of several years.
While some of the provisions of the act have already been enforced, most of the other provisions will come into force by 2014. The reforms will make better health care available to everyone, offer more choices, reduce costs, and make health insurance companies more accountable.
Choose the right healthcare plan
If you want to buy medical health insurance, your options will usually be from one of these 3 categories:
- The most costly health insurance plans are those based on the traditional fee-for-service model. They allow maximum flexibility in the selection of providers of health care.
- Lower co-payments are offered and more preventative care costs are covered by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), but the choice of providers of health care is restricted. HMOs are assessed and accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
- Lower co-payments and more flexibility in the selection of a provider are offered by Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). You will get a list of providers from a PPO, from which you can choose.
You need to know that you may be required to pay a part of the costs if you opt to go outside the PPO or HMO network. Get free, no-obligation health insurance quotes now.
How to choose the right healthcare plan
Go through the fine print carefully and seek clarifications if you are not able to understand any of the details. Find out about how disputes will be resolved. Ask about the maximum out of pocket payments you will have to make to cover costs. Find out about co-payments and deductibles.
You need to know about the availability of coverage for all prescribed medicines and coverage for nursing home care / home care. Ask about coverage for special conditions, like physical therapy, pregnancy, and psychiatric care, and for specialists, like dentists and eye doctors.
Group health insurance plans
Healthcare coverage is provided by employers to many people and others are covered by government programs, like the Veterans Administration, Medicaid, or Medicare.
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows a person who is no longer covered by an employer because of divorce, death, unemployment, or loss of status as a dependent child to continue to get coverage for some time. The cost of the insurance will have to be paid by the person who is insured, not the employer. The insured person must be given at least 60 days to decide about whether to buy this coverage.
An insurance pool is offered by some states to residents who are not able to get coverage due to a health condition. Inexpensive coverage is also offered by most states to kids who lack health insurance. You need to contact the department of insurance in your state to find out about your options. Get free, no-obligation health insurance quotes now.