Health insurance is a type of health care coverage that can help you pay for medical services if you get sick or injured. It can cover a variety of medical costs, including hospital visits, doctor’s office visits, prescription drugs and other services.
There are several types of health insurance plans, each designed to meet different needs. It’s important to understand each type so you can choose the right one for your situation.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan: These are often less expensive than HMOs and come with more flexibility, such as the ability to see any provider without a referral. You’ll need to use a network of in-network providers, though. You can also use out-of-network providers, but you may be responsible for more costs.
High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): HDHPs offer a lower monthly premium than traditional healthcare networks, but with a higher deductible. This is a good option for someone who can’t afford a lower deductible but wants the security of knowing they’ll be covered in the event they need expensive services.
Medicare & Medicaid: These are federal and state programs that provide medical coverage for low income adults, children, pregnant women and others. They are also available for people with disabilities.
Depending on your family’s income, you may be eligible for a tax credit to reduce the amount of your health insurance premium. This credit can be up to $6,500 per year if you’re single or $12,200 if you have a family.
You can find a health plan that’s best for you by shopping online or visiting a local health insurance agent. You should ask about the plan’s deductible, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum.
When choosing a health plan, you should consider your personal medical history. It’s important to choose a plan that covers your preexisting conditions.
It’s also a good idea to shop for plans that offer a wide network of doctors and hospitals. This will make it easier to find a doctor near you when you need treatment, especially in rural areas where access to care can be limited.
Check the company’s ratings: Most health insurance companies have a rating with AM Best and a Better Business Bureau score. These ratings show a company’s financial health and how responsive it is to customers’ complaints.
You can search for ratings of commercial and private health insurers on the National Commission for Quality Assurance website. These ratings are based on several different measures, from how easy it is to get an appointment with a doctor to how long it takes to process claims.
The best health insurance is a high-quality, widely available and affordable plan. You should look for a provider that offers a variety of benefits, has a large network and provides excellent customer service.
Choosing the right health insurance for you can be complicated, but understanding the basics will help you make an informed decision and save you money. The first step is to understand the 4 “metal” categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. These levels were created by the Affordable Care Act to show the value of a health insurance plan.