If you need to buy health insurance, you can choose from four basic types of insurance. These insurances vary in monthly cost, benefits and deductible.
The Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) made it impossible for health insurance companies to deny you health insurance due to an existing condition. Regardless of your current state of health, you have the right to buy health insurance. Depending on your age and financial situation, you may be eligible for one of these types of health insurance:
- Medicare: If you are over 65 and have paid into the system during your years of employment, you are eligible for Medicare. Within the Medicare system, you have a number of choices. To choose the plan that is most appropriate for your budget and health condition, it is recommended that you seek the help of an insurance agent to explain the options.
- Medicaid: Low-income earners and seniors or people with disabilities may be eligible for Medicaid. These programs are managed at the state level and vary in cost, what the program is called and how it is administered.
- Group Health Insurance: Many employers offer group health insurance to their employees as a benefit. About half of the people in the United States are covered by their work. You can choose from several different plans from your employer.
- Private health insurance: You can buy your own health insurance if you are not covered by your work.
HMO, PPO, EPO and POS: 4 health insurance options
You can choose from four basic types of health insurance, HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) and POS (Point of Service Plan). The basics for each type are as follows:
An HMO health insurance plan is usually lower in price and gives you access to doctors and healthcare facilities within the HMO network. If you go to an out-of-network medical provider, you will have to pay for the treatment yourself. But the lower premiums make these plans very popular.
A PPO plan allows you to seek treatment from which medical provider you choose. The cost of treatment is lower if you have access to a doctor within the planning network but pay part of the cost of treatment outside the network. If you have a doctor you want to continue visiting, find out his or her network before you buy and then choose. These plans are more expensive, and to reduce monthly premiums, you can opt for a higher deductible.
An EPO health insurance plan allows you to see a specialist without a referral, but you must use medical providers and hospitals in the plan̵7;s network. These plans do not cover any of the costs of out-of-network treatments. The premiums for these plans are generally more than one HMO, but lower than one PPO.
Choosing the right plan
To understand your options in health insurance, one of our expert agents would be happy to help you and help you choose the best plan for your budget, and which gives you the benefits you want the most.