Saving money on individual health insurance policies
In today’s economy, many people are forced to enroll in health insurance for individuals policy due to being unemployed or by being employed by a company that is unable to provide individual insurance to its employees. You should consider yourself fortunate if you receive health coverage from your employer. Individual health insurance coverage can be extremely expensive if you do not choose carefully. While you are more likely to pay higher out of pocket costs with an insurance for individuals policy than with an employer funded group plan, there are some effective ways to lower your individual medical insurance costs. Here is a look at how you can save money when enrolling in a health insurance individual policy.
Just like with any other purchase, when you want to buy individual health insurance you will want to shop around and compare various individual health plans policies with a fine tooth comb. Healthcare insurance for individuals policies have different features and vary quite broadly from one another. In order to find the medical insurance for individuals policy that best fits your needs, comparison shop and you can quickly see which individual medical insurance coverage policy is right for you.
Hmo versus Ppo
The type of plan you choose could mean the difference between saving money and shelling out a lot more than you intended. There are several different types of individual health insurance plans available on the market. Just two of the options are Ppo (Preferred provider organization) and Hmo (Health maintenance organization). A Ppo policy allows you greater flexibility with the doctors and hospitals you visit. However, you can expect to pay a higher out of pocket cost in terms of deductibles and premiums.
Alternatively, Hmo policies frequently have a lower out of pocket cost. However, with Hmo policies, you will not have the same flexibility that a Ppo individual medical insurance plans would allow and it may only allow you to visit specific healthcare providers.
Higher premium often means lower co payments
A common method of determining premiums of medical insurance plans for individuals is if you pay a higher premium, your out of pocket costs, such as copays and deductibles, will be less. This is where you will need to weigh your options very carefully. If the consumer is in good health, he or she may want to consider a plan that has a low premium, since he or she does not to have many medical expenses throughout the contract year. However, if the consumer expects to have a considerable amount of medical costs throughout the year, he or she may want to consider a plan that offers a higher level of benefits.
Keep your eye out for additional perks
Some individual policies have added benefits, such as prescription coverage programs to enhance a healthy lifestyle, such as dental insurance for individuals coverage. Not all individual policies are created equal. When you are shopping around, don’t just look at the basic services that the plan covers. Call the insurance carrier and ask if there are any added bonuses to enrolling with them as opposed to a competitor. You may be surprised by how much one insurance carrier offers versus another.
Look out for age branding and pre existing condition clauses
Enrolling in an individual policy is much different than signing up for health coverage with an employer. Many individual policies are subject to age banding and pre existing condition clauses that can cause the individual insurance plans to skyrocket. Prior to enrolling, ask a representative at the insurance company if your plan is subject to age banding or pre existing condition clauses. Age banding is a method that insurance companies use to determine premium rates.
As patients age, their need for health insurance becomes greater than it was when they were young adults. Due to this fact, some insurance companies charge a higher rate for aging subscribers. Additionally, if you have a pre existing condition, your health insurance carrier can employ a clause stating that it does not have to pay for charges related to pre existing conditions for a specific amount of time. Play it safe, and get all of your information upfront about these costly features.
Beware of hidden costs
There can be other hidden costs with individual health insurance options, such as co insurance. Co insurance is a percentage of the total bill that is the patient liability. Typically, there is a co insurance limit or out of pocket maximum clause on most individual policies. However, if there is no maximum, patient costs can skyrocket. Be sure that you understand your health insurance policy before signing on the dotted lines. Most health insurance carriers will give potential subscribers a breakdown of patient liability should they need to seek medical care. Don’t let your medical policy catch you off guard, review the information at great length before making a decision.
Enrolling in an individual health insurance policy can be quite expensive if you do not tread carefully. You can protect your wallet when enrolling in an individual health insurance policy by carefully comparing the features and prices of each individual policy, and selecting the one that best meets the needs of your family.