Health Insurance for Startups
If you want good affordable insurance that provides American health-care quality or better, move to Canada. If you are stuck with the American nightmare, read on.
Overview: The Four Types of Health Insurance Plans
When looking for health insurance, you really need to do your research. There are four main types of plans, and each offes something slightly different to the insured person.
When people are selecting what kind of health insurance they should buy, they quickly realize that there are many different things to consider. What is their health history? What kind of coverage will they need in the future? Will the insurance provide the coverage they need, now, at an affordable cost? Do people have the option to select their physician, or is that a decision made by the insurance company? For many, the place to begin is to learn about the different types of plans that are available to consumers. There are four main types of plans:
-Health Maintenance Organization (HMO),
-Point of Service (POS),
-Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), and
With an HMO, the insured person is able to select their primary physician, who is the doctor they will see for all routine medical care. If more extensive care, or the need for a specialist, arises, it is the primary physician who refers the patient to another doctor. As long as the insured person stays with the primary care physician they select, then the HMO plan is a simple and effective plan that works for many individuals and employers.
The next plan is the POS, which is similar to a HMO, in the respect that the insured person selects a primary care physician. In addition, like a HMO, the primary care physician is the one to go to for referrals to other physicians, but patients also have the option of referring themselves to a physician. The drawback is that the patient may have to pay some out-of-pocket costs and charges.
The third plan, the PPO, differs from both the HMO and the POS in that an insured person does not have to select a primary care physician. Patients are also allowed to go outside of their insurance network for medical care, but the out-of-pocket costs may be high and the benefits will be slightly lower. An important plus to having a PPO is that if an insured person is involved in a serious accident, and is taken to a medical facility that is not covered by their plan, the person will not be financially punished, and the PPO will help or cover the costs. This is in contrast to a HMO or POS, where the patient may have to pay for all the costs of a medical emergency that involves a non-network physician or facility.
Lastly, there is the traditional health insurance plan. This is where the insured person has the absolute freedom to select their provider. People with this sort of plan may need to personally pay a combination of deductibles and co-pays, which may be costly. However, a traditional plan may be the most flexible and freeing of all the plans.
By no means are any of these health insurance options perfect, and none offer absolute comprehensive medical coverage. People who are interested in having health insurance will need to take the time to research the specifics of each type of plan, before making a choice. What kind of plan a person may choose will depend on, amongst other things: their employer, their financial situation, and the medical needs of the individual and their family.