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Securing private health insurance can be confusing, especially if you’re not covered by your employer or if the employer offers a number of options from which to choose. Determining which plans are best for you and/or your family is difficult.|
Private health insurance refers to health care coverage that is funded either by you or by your employee or a combination of both. This type of insurance does not include federally-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, though many Medicare recipients also carry secondary private health insurance to pick up the costs that may not be covered by the government program.
In today’s world of insurance, the number of types of policies is staggering. However, the reasons for carrying private health insurance are clear. Most people, especially in emergencies, cannot afford the expenses associated with hospital and physician care. That’s where this insurance plays a role.
Medical insurance will reimburse patients for a large portion of their medical care, and though premiums can be quite expensive, the cost of having no insurance is usually higher. In short, private medical insurance offers security.
There are many variations of health plans but basically, they fall into two broad categories: 1) managed health care plans and 2) fee-for-service or indemnity health plans. Managed health care plans, often under fire but still the most popular form of health insurance, attempts to offer moderate health care at a reasonable price, stressing preventative care. In return for paying low premiums, subscribers might be restricted as to where they seek health care, whether or not they can use health care providers outside of the “system,” and must follow strict procedures when seeking the care of a specialist.
Fee-for-service private health insurance offers unlimited choice of physicians and facilities, almost always at a higher price than managed care plans. However, unlike managed care, which stresses preventative medicine, indemnity plans often do not cover such items as annual check-ups, office visits, and immunizations. This makes health care costs difficult to handle for large families that require frequent doctor’s visits.
Choosing the right private health insurance for you depends largely on your financial situation, family make-up, and a number of other specifics. Your employer’s human resources department can provide advice on plans they offer or licensed insurance agents may assist in determining what best fits your needs.
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