Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

Charles Goodman Group: Trustworthy Insurance Agents of Chappaqua

Millions of people around the world have access to health insurance through their employers, and their employers may pay half or more of what the insurance costs. Many other workers do not have access to the same insurance, however. They either work for a company that does not offer insurance or do not work enough hours to receive coverage. Those worried about choosing a health insurance policy through the marketplace associated with the Affordable Care Act can find out what they need to consider when picking a policy and talk with a Chappaqua insurance agent to find out more.

Those who do not have access to an insurance plan through their employer may qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. These government programs are open to those of an advanced age, those who fall below certain income levels and those who meet other requirements. There are also several types of standard insurance plans.

The first of those insurance plans is a fee plan. This plan gives patients access to specific doctors and treatments. Patients pay a set rate based on the treatments chosen and the work provided. This is often fairly expensive, which is why many opt for an HMO or a PPO plan.

Both HMO and PPO plans limit where patients can go. An HMO will have a network of medical professionals working together, and patients can only see a doctor working in that network.

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If they meet with a doctor or visit a hospital or office outside of that network, the patient will likely be responsible for all the costs.

A PPO program, or Preferred Provider Organization, is similar to an HMO but does not rely on a specific network. Patients can see doctors and go to clinics and hospitals placed on a large list of professionals who agree to work with that insurer. A PPO program usually has a larger number of professionals for patients to choose from than an HMO does.

In addition to looking at the type of program or plan, patients will also want to consider the cost of the plan. Insurers charge a premium that patients must pay each month, but many insurers also use a co-pay system. A co-pay can range from $10 to $500. Patients may this amount when seeking help from a medical doctor, and the insurance company agrees to cover the cost above that amount. A higher premium usually results in a lower deductible and a lower co-pay.

Those interested in choosing or buying a new health insurance plan can consult with a professional insurance agent or broker.