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Affordable Health Insurance

Oct 26, 2007
Understanding the types of insurance that are available to you is important when shopping for insurance. Healthcare cost increases have effected the availability of affordable insurance.

Health insurance is broken down into three main types, health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and traditional indemnity plans.

HMOs, also known as managed care, are usually the least expensive option for health insurance. Generally, HMOs charge one monthly rate for all health care. Set fees or co-pays are charged for visits to medical providers within the organization. Annual deductibles aren't usually a part of an HMO plan.

To make HMOs an affordable type of insurance, restrictions are placed on every service. HMO members are assigned a doctor or primary care (PCP) for all of their health care needs. Seeing doctors outside of the organization is usually not covered with this type of plan. This health insurance plan model also restricts you to certain treatment options, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, and imaging services.

PPOs are managed care with a bit more flexibility, sort of a middle ground between HMOs and traditional indemnity plans. PPOs offer an affordable health insurance plan that covers care given by providers at a higher rate than that of non-plan providers. People who want to choose a doctor or hospital that is not a member of their insurance plan and are willing to pay more for these choices like this type of plan.

Traditional indemnity plans are not frequently listed in the category of affordable health insurance plans anymore. Since the rise of HMOs and PPOs traditional indemnity plans that allow you to choose when and where you receive care, along with who provides this care, are nearly non-existent. This type of health insurance includes annual deductibles. After deductibles are met coverage is figured as a percentage of billable rates. Out-of-pocket costs in some plans have a stop-loss, or upper limit, annually as well. Being able to choose your doctors and specialists instead of being assigned to a group is important some people, especially those who know they are going to need a specialist (IE: someone with a chronic disease that will require ongoing treatment such as diabetes or asthma).

Choosing the plan that is right for you depends on your lifestyle and how you plan to use your insurance coverage. HMOs offer lowest out-of-pocket costs, lowest premiums, and the least amount of freedom to make choices regarding your healthcare. PPOs are less restrictive but cost a bit more. Traditional indemnity plans have the most freedom but, mattering how you use the coverage, can be the least affordable of all these insurance plans.

Comparing insurance plans with others available to you is important when you are looking for affordable insurance. Compare rates and costs for services you usually use along with services you may use in the future. Online searches are helpful when comparing plans.
About the Author
John brings you to the wide array of free info on Health Insurance and the choices you have when it comes to choosing the right company. You can get Insurance rates by browsing through ads on my blog so please take a look.AffordableHealthInsurance
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