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Getting Health Insurance Coverage To Meet Your Family's Needs

Nov 6, 2007
With the escalating cost of medical care, getting a health insurance should become a top priority if you intend getting at least part of your health expenses covered at a reasonable cost. With a complex and constantly changing health insurance system, choosing the right health insurance is by no means easy. The information below may help make it easier for you to make a decision regarding health care insurance.

Types of Health Insurance

Managed Care and Fee-For-Service are basically the two types of health insurance. Although different from each other, both plans cover a wide range of medical, hospital and surgical expenses with some even offering dental and prescription drug coverage.

Managed Care: These plans provide their members with comprehensive health services and offer financial incentives to those patients who utilize the services of the providers listed in the plan.

Fee-for-Service: Members of these plans typically see the doctor of their choice and are responsible for paying the necessary fees. The claim form can be filed later either by the patient or the medical provider.

What to Look for in a Health Care Plan

When deciding which health plan to choose you need to take into consideration the cost of care, the services that the insurance plan covers and the quality of the insurance plan.

Cost of the health care plan: Find out what is the monthly premium you will have to pay as well as the deductibles you will be expected to pay for from your own pocket, before you get reimbursed. Also find out the premium for having all your medical expenses covered and for covering just the larger expenses. Determine what percentage of your medical expenses will be reimbursed after you've met your deductible. Equally important, find out how much less you are likely to be reimbursed if you use the services of a doctor that is not within the insurance company's network.

What are the services covered by the plan: It is important that the insurance plan you choose should cover the services that you are most likely to use. Check that the hospitals, doctors and other medical providers that you would like to use are covered by the plan. Also ascertain what are the procedures involved for getting the necessary care and reimbursement in the event of an emergency. Check if the plan covers preexisting medical conditions or chronic conditions including cancer, AIDS, asthma and alcoholism, it any of them pertains to you.

Quality of the Insurance plan: Before finalizing any health care plan check how it has been rated by recognized independent government as well as non-government organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Check the statistics and see the number of complaints that have been filed against the plan as well as the number of members who have dropped out within a specific period.
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