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Cost Health Insurance Low - Low Cost Health Insurance Policies

types of health insurance plans

Many people have group health insurance provided by their employer as part of the benefit package offered by the company. But a growing number of people are either self-employed or working for an employer that does not offer health care benefits, therefore need to seek insurance coverage for themselves and their family. Finding low cost health insurance to meet those needs requires doing homework.

The first step in selecting the right low cost health insurance option is to review current health care needs. Also look at any health issues that occurred in the past five years. The determination of how the health care system might be accessed in the future should be based on that review.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

There are many different types of health care insurance options. Each option has its benefits, so review each independently and include all out of pocket costs, not just monthly premium payments, in the decision of the best plan.

Indemnity Insurance – the most commonly known type of insurance is a plan where a person is indemnified by a health insurance company. Indemnify means to protect or make compensation for any damage or injury, or to insure. These types of plans will pay for many health care costs on a pre-determined fee schedule. Any provider can be accessed for care, and the individual covered under indemnity plans will be responsible for any payment above the fee schedule of the insurance company. There is usually a deductible that must be paid by the individual before the insurance company payment begins. This type of plan is usually the most expensive because of the freedom of the individual to select any provider of care.

Managed Care Insurance – These plans also cover the health needs of an individual, but have a list of providers that must be used for the coverage to be 100%. Care provided by a specialist (any doctor that is not a family practice doctor of pediatrician) usually requires a referral by the family practice doctor. There is generally a fee associated with each visit to a doctor, but there is no deductible that must be met before the insurance company begins payment. Managed care plans are usually called Health Maintenance Organizations or Preferred Provider Organizations. This health care insurance option will generally have a lower monthly premium because all care is managed through the family doctor.

Finding Low Cost Health Insurance Plans

There are many ways to reduce the cost of health insurance plans. Many major insurance companies have non-group insurance plan options. Working with a broker (an individual licensed to sell non-group health insurance plans) can help identify a low cost health insurance option.

There are insurance plans that offer menu-style benefit plans. These are plans that carve-out areas of coverage that an individual doesn’t need, such as a maternity benefit for a woman past child-bearing age, thereby reducing costs.

Increasing the out-of-pocket deductible will lower the monthly premium cost, as well as increasing copayment amounts in managed care plans.

Another way to become eligible for low cost health insurance plans is to become a member of a business group or association. A self-employed individual can join an association that represents his/her industry. These associations often purchase health care plans that they pass on to their members as low cost insurance options. There are also groups of social associations through which individuals can get health care insurance plans. Local Chambers of Commerce offer insurance plans that are affordable. A person can take advantage of group rates instead of purchasing individual insurance plans, which can be more costly.

Whichever option is chosen, be careful and do all the homework. If using an insurance broker, make sure they are reputable and have him/her everything put in writing before making a selection. Also ask the selected insurance company to send a list of exclusions, lifetime dollar maximums, and arbitration policy in case of disputes. Always get at least 3 quotes and ask all questions you can think of. If a company does not want to supply answers, beware!

Also beware of discount health coverage plans. They are not insurance, merely discounts on services received. Note that they do not use the word “insurance”.

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