This short article will take you through all the basic information you ought to know before taking out a new health care plan. It can be difficult to know where to start when trying to select the best plan for you. There are simply so many options from a vast amount of organisations available to you on the market. This is where we come in and we hope to take you through the ins and outs of what a pan may entail in the hope that you can then make a more educated decision to take out the best plan for you.
First of all, health care plans tend to refer to subscription based medical services organised through health maintenance organisations typically known as HMOs. The term ‘health plan’ or often used to describe these plans whilst insurance companies refer to them as ‘insurance plans’. As mentioned above the plans tend to be subscription based where a typically monthly fee is paid in return for certain selected, fixed and agreed medical services. The plans can include a number of hospice days, a number of home doctor visits, a certain amount of credit in medical and preventative care etc.
When the plan is signed both parties will have agreed what is to be omitted form the health care plan and what medical services are included. The number of deductibles in a plan determines what category of plan it falls into. If there are less deductibles this is known as a low deductibles. This means that you are covered by services in the plan and could save you money later on by avoiding health care bills from specifically uncovered treatments. However, this means that the plans tend to be more expensive so are better for people who may be becoming ill regularly. If a plan has more deductibles this is known as a high deductible and means that you are covered by less on the plan. These types of plans tend to cost the consumers less, however, if you become ill and require treatment which has been deducted from your plan you may be exposed to costly medical bills so these are a few things to consider.
In the United States there is a scale in place which contains the different levels of health care plans available in the marketplace. These scale consists of four metallic names to represent the levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The levels are split by the percentage of health care costs that they cover you by. Bronze covers you by 60%, Silver covers you by 70%, Gold covers you by 80% and Platinum covers you by 90%. You simply pay the remaining percentage varying depending on each level i.e. for platinum you pay 10% and for bronze you pay 40%.
In terms of how the payments varies, depending on which level of health care plan you take out you will pay different monthly payments and potentially some out of pocket payments further down the line. The platinum covers you the most and therefore costs you the most per month. However, are you care covered by a greater number of services the out of pocket cost when treatment occurs will be far less. On the flip side, the bronze covers you the least at 60% so therefore your monthly costs will be lower as you are covered by less. This mean, however, that the potential out of pocket costs are likely to be high as you will not have the luxury of receiving much of the service on behalf of you plan.
In the UK, over 5 million individuals have some form of private medical insurance. That is the same as the entire population of Scotland! there are a vast amount of different health care plan providers such as APRIL UK, Health on Line, Saga, Permanent Health Company and WPA all who were listed as some of the UK’s most used medical insurance companies this year. Plans here also differ greatly and can be taken out specifically for things such as dental care or accidents specifically. In the UK there are a few similar alternatives to a more formal health care plan such as health care cash plans. This involves the customer paying a monthly fee in return for reclaiming the costs of various medical treatments. Alternatively from this, you can buy critical illness cover which will see you covered for a certain type of serious illness which can be especially useful if you are aware of any illnesses that may run in your family.
Your employment situation could also affect the types of health care plan you are qualified for. Firms of any size tend to have some sort of plan set up for employees form similar providers to those you would take out a plan for your family on. It is useful to check out what sort of health insurance potential employers offer you as it can often make a massive financial difference, some companies even offer plans which cover not only you but your family as well. The types of plan will vary depending on what type of provider they comes from, for example, an exclusive provider organisation (EPO) or a health maintenance organisation (HMO).
Ultimately, when it comes to selecting a health care plan that is right for you it is absolutely crucial that you bear in mind all that is mentioned above plus much more. For more information on the specifics of private health insurance and public health insurance please check out one of our pages dedicated to those topics.