The fact of the matter is that while health insurance will protect you from catastrophic medical bills, you can’t rely on it to cover everything in your medical expenses.
What are catastrophic medical bills? It includes things like organ transplants, bone marrow procedures, and even cancer treatment.
While these treatments can save your life, they will cost you an arm and a leg (and perhaps more).
The first thing you need to know about health insurance is that it does not cover most of the expenses related to organ transplants or cancer treatment.
Types of Coverage
There are a lot of different types of health insurance out there.
Before you dive in and purchase one, you should know what your options are.
There are four basic types of plans: PPOs, HMOs, point-of-service (POS) plans and indemnity plans.
PPOs and HMOs typically cost less than other types of coverage but come with more limited networks that can make care more expensive when you go outside them.
Point-of-service plans may be either a high-deductible plan with a savings account attached to it or have low premiums but have high deductibles for specific services like doctor’s visits or prescriptions.
Having individual health insurance may be right for you if you’re self-employed, a contract worker or an employee of a small business.
Depending on your specific situation, your employer may offer group health coverage—meaning that you don’t have to worry about getting covered while working at any company because they take care of it as part of their benefits package.
Individual plans are offered directly by companies and through government marketplaces like Healthcare.gov or state exchanges (like Covered California).
You can also use websites like eHealthInsurance to compare prices for individual coverage and learn about available tax credits and subsidies, but keep in mind that these sites usually feature plans from only one carrier (so consider shopping around during open enrollment if you want more options).
One of the best things about being part of a group health insurance plan through your employer is that you’ll be able to benefit from far lower premiums than if you were to purchase individual coverage.
And just because you’re covered as part of a large group doesn’t mean that there aren’t unique features available to you.
While your coverage will fall under some basic parameters set by HIPAA and other regulations, check with your HR department to see if there are any add-ons that could improve your experience.
Some employer’s may even cover some or all out-of-pocket expenses for treatment not covered by your plan (like dental), which can save you a bundle in medical bills over time.
Alternative Methods of Coverage
If you’re not a fan of traditional health insurance coverage, there are many other options available to you.
Some people purchase health care sharing ministries, in which people with similar values pay a small fee to join and then pool their money together to help pay for each other’s medical expenses.
Consumer-driven health plans require higher deductibles but lower premiums and give members more control over how their health care dollars are spent.
Some businesses offer employees rewards for participating in wellness programs like employee gyms or weight loss competitions—but these can be especially challenging if you have a preexisting condition.
And finally, if all else fails, there’s always self-pay: If you have money saved up, consider paying out of pocket to treat your condition.
Health Insurance plans
It can be difficult to choose a health insurance plan.
Just like with other kinds of insurance, you’ll want to look for one that fits your specific needs.
Before you do that, you’ll want to know what they are: Deductible: The deductible is basically an amount of money you need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance will start picking up part of your medical costs.
There are typically different deductible amounts based on which coverage level (bronze, silver, gold) and what policy (HMO or PPO) you choose.
If a family member ends up having surgery or something else that isn’t covered by regular checkups, it might not make sense for your family to pay for a high deductible.
Blue Cross Health Insurance
When people start to look for health insurance, they tend to see various options offered by different companies.
It can be confusing to decide which plan is right for you.
That’s why it’s important to know what blue cross health insurance really means and which types of plans it covers.
Blue Cross offers many different types of health care coverage, from individual policies to small business and large group policies.
Which health insurance is best for me quiz
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Individual health insurance
Similar to group health insurance, but provided by a private company or person.
This means that even if you change jobs, you can keep your individual health insurance for as long as you like.
The drawback is that premiums are likely to be higher than those for group policies and deductibles may be higher as well.
Because premiums can vary significantly between plans, it’s important to compare your options carefully and understand what’s covered by each plan before deciding on a plan that works best for you.
Best health insurance for self-employed
Getting a health insurance plan that meets your needs can be daunting.
Do you go with a cheap option that has low monthly payments but high deductibles, or do you find a more expensive plan with higher benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs? Choosing your health insurance plan can come down to one question: what’s more important to you, keeping premiums low or paying for medical services out of pocket at little cost? If possible, it’s best to look for an affordable combination plan that includes both co-insurance and co-payments.
A good compromise between getting inexpensive care (premiums) and being covered in case of emergency or unexpected surgery.
Best affordable health insurance plans
Health insurance isn’t cheap and it can be difficult to sort through all of your options.
If you don’t have good health insurance, it can mean even higher healthcare costs.
If you have high-deductible health plans, you could save on premiums by adding a health savings account (HSA) to your benefits package.
Because HDHPs and HSAs are linked, if you participate in one then you automatically get enrolled in both.
If high-deductible plans aren’t for you but you want some relief from rising healthcare costs, then an HSA might still be an excellent idea for your situation.
Look into how you could benefit from an HSA or pick a plan with a low deductible today!