Few things are as confusing as having to decipher all the acronyms you will have to deal with on the first week of your new job. Deciding on your health benefits and understanding the various health insurance plans available can be a very daunting process. But in the light of the current economy, having a health insurance plan can be a blessing.
Some companies may provide you with a few choices to choose from while others may only offer one. Whatever the situation may be in your company, you should take the time to review your choices carefully as this is one of the most important decisions you will be making for a while.
If your company doesn’t offer a health insurance you should try to procure one on the market. Recent changes in legislation have made the process much easier and finding an affordable plan shouldn’t be too difficult.
Don’t fall into the mistake of feeling tempted to forego health insurance. Health insurance isn’t very expensive and if you’re young and healthy there is no reason for you not to plan a budget to include health insurance. Living without health insurance is like being on a ship without a life jacket. While chances are you may never need a lifejacket, finding yourself without one when you need it is catastrophic.
PPO or HMO
If you’ve ever inspected a hospital bill you’ll discover that insurance companies get big discounts. This is because insurance companies are able to negotiate rates with doctors and hospitals. They are able to get good rates and discounts because of the sheer volume of customers they bring with them. This functions in much the same way as a group buying program.
There are two main types of health insurance places. HMO and PPO. HMO (health maintenance organization) insurance plans provide you with a Primary Care Physician who refers you to various medical services. This system allows the insurance company to get discounts because they keep you within a network of medical services and providers. Any time you need to see a specialist, your Primary Care Physician will refer you to one.
PPO (preferred provider organization) is a type of insurance plan that allows you to choose from within a network of healthcare providers without having to go through a primary care physician. You don’t require a referral to see various specialists or healthcare providers. A PPO health insurance plan cuts out the middle man.
There are other types of health care plans but these are the main two you will find in most companies. Other types are simply a variation of these two.
How to Pick the Right Plan:
When you’re faced with several different plans to choose from, how do you pick the right one? First you should decide what you’ll need it for, for example if you are relatively healthy and don’t need to see a doctor regularly, you should choose a higher deductible plan to save some money on your monthly payments. If you visit the doctor frequently, try to find a plan with low co-pay. If you are comfortable with certain doctors, you should check to see if they accept the health plan you’re considering.