Health insurance is a contract between you and an insurer that pays for specific medical costs or preventative services. The insurance company agrees to pay certain medical costs or expenses related to an illness, injury, pregnancy, and/or preventative care in return for a monthly premium payment from the insured person (or his or her sponsor).
There are several types of health plans available on the Marketplace, depending on your needs and budget. These include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), and Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs).
HMOs are the most common type of plan, but they are expensive and tend to require referrals for specialists. This can make it difficult to get the right care when you have an unexpected illness or medical need.
PPOs are less common and tend to cost more than HMOs, but they offer flexibility in choosing a doctor, including the ability to see specialists without a referral. These plans are best for those who need a lot of healthcare and are willing to spend more on their premiums.
EPOs are a hybrid between an HMO and a PPO, and they typically cost less than both. They have no out-of-network coverage, but they can still save you money if you choose in-network providers for your care.
They also don’t typically require referrals for specialist visits and may offer better quality ratings than HMOs do.
These plans usually have low deductibles and moderate premiums. They are often a good choice for young people who expect to incur more medical costs than they can afford.
Deductibles: The amount that you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company starts to cover your medical expenses. Some health insurance plans have a higher deductible than others, so it’s important to compare them.
Coinsurance: Once you’ve met your deductible, the insurance company will pay a percentage of your medical expenses. This is often the same percentage that you’re required to pay toward your annual deductible.
Critical Illness: These insurance plans are designed to pay for the cost of treatment for serious illnesses or diseases. These diseases could be life-threatening and require prolonged treatment or lifestyle changes.
During the open enrollment period in most states, you can enroll in a health insurance plan if you or someone else in your family needs coverage. You can also enroll outside of this period if you qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying event.
The Affordable Care Act requires most individuals and small businesses to have health coverage, or they must pay a fine. It also lays out requirements for the types of health insurance that can be offered, and how much you’ll have to pay.
The Affordable Care Act allows you to compare the prices of many health insurance plans. You can use this information to determine which plan is most cost-effective for your needs and budget. Some of these plans are available in New York on the state exchange, and some are sold to individuals and families through private agents.