WomensFinance.com

GET STARTED
Banking & Savings
Financial Planning
Estate Planning
Insurance

CREDIT & DEBT
Manage Debt
Create a Budget
Credit Basics
Repair Credit
Protect Credit

MONEY MATTERS
Buying a Car
Paying for College
Buying a Home
Healthcare
Taxes

LIFE EVENTS
Marriage
Divorce
Widowhood
Children
Retirement

INVESTING
Get Started
Stocks
Bonds
Mutual Funds
IRA
401(k)
Glossary

CAREER
Find a Job
Back to Work
Choose a Career
The Workplace
Working Mom

Email this page  E-mail this page



 Money Matters :  Healthcare

Insuring Your Health

Healthcare
Insuring Your Health

Health insurance protects you and your family from life's uncertainties. A broken arm, an accident, or maybe a serious illness that keeps you from going back to work. Being covered means you can have the peace of mind should the unexpected occur.

Choosing health insurance is not a simple task. You have to be ready to learn about the different types of health care plans and what they provide in terms of service, benefits, and costs. You also have to determine what your personal needs are and what you're willing to spend on adequate health coverage. Only then will you know what type of coverage is best for your overall needs.

There are three types of health insurance plans: managed care, indemnity (also known as fee-for-service plans), and government-sponsored health plans such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Managed Care Plans

Managed care plans normally offer a cost advantage over traditional health insurance plans. In exchange for lower costs, your choice of health care providers is limited to an approved network of physicians.

There are three main types:

  • Heath Maintenance Organization (HMO). With HMOs, you receive managed care in return for a fixed monthly fee from you or your employer. All your medical care comes from a single provider, so you're limited to selecting physicians affiliated with the HMO. If you need to see a specialist for any reason, you have to first go through your HMO and primary care provider. HMOs have the advantage of lower co-payments and reduced paperwork. The only disadvantage is the limited physician network from which you can seek treatment. This could prove disruptive if you have to switch doctors.

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). PPOs are similar to HMOs and fee-for-service plans. An employer provides this type of plan by setting up contracts with a group of health care providers. By arranging such a network, the employer is able to keep health care costs low for both you and your health care provider. However, there is still some flexibility within the plan. You're allowed to see doctors outside the network as long as your willing to pay higher costs for the service.

  • Point-of-Service (POS). Some HMOs will offer a fee-for-service type plan known as Point-of-Service. With this type of plan, you're allowed to seek care outside the approved network of physicians. But in order to do so, you must be willing to pay a higher monthly fee and a higher co-payment for any services you receive.


MORE

    Back to Top


Copyright © 1999-2012 WomensFinance.com. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy
By accessing and using this page, you agree to the Terms of Service.