In the United States, millions of Americans do not have health insurance. In general, there are three ways to obtain health insurance. You can obtain it through your employer or group organization program - often the least expensive method. You can obtain a self directed or self-coverage policy - often the most expensive option. You may also qualify for the country's Social Security programs if you are unable to work or are at retirement age. In short, this type of policy provides protections from the high cost of obtaining preventative, diagnostic and/or emergency medical care.
How Health Insurance Works
There are numerous types of health insurance products. In some policies, individuals will join the group and pay for the ability to use the health insurance benefits. Some employers cover this fee for the employee as one of the benefits of working for the company. The premium is paid to the insurance company and gives the covered parties the ability to access medical care for less than paying out of pocket. However, many policies have restrictions and limitations, depending on the way it is set up.
- You may have to choose between specific doctors and medical providers for service.
- You may be limited by the amount or types of services you can obtain using your health insurance.
- You may be required to use only specific hospitals or care providers without paying a significantly higher fee.
Many policies will provide for preventative care, or well care of an individual. This type of policy ensures that you are able to see a doctor without a high cost of doing so. However, there may be limitations to obtaining medical care.
Health insurance programs are controversial in terms of what they offer, what they charge as well as the limitations and roles they play in managing an individual's care. For example, some companies require the patient to visit a primary care physician for an initial diagnosis and then, upon that professional's opinion, they will encourage the individual to see additional doctors or specialists. If the individual goes outside of the covered providers, he or she may pay more for the service.
The problem with health insurance is that it is critically important to have. With the cost of medical care on the rise, many individuals are paying an exceedingly high amount of money to pay for doctors and medical care. With health insurance, you have less overall cost from these medical instances.
- In the event of an emergency, you do not have to pay upfront for care.
- You can obtain the preventative care that you need to pinpoint the onset of illness before it further occurs.
- You can protect your family and loved ones from ailments.
- You can get the medical care you need.
In many cases, having health insurance is something to strive for. However, many people find that the cost of it is prohibitive if their employer does not offer the policy.
The cost of health insurance is dependent on a number of factors. This includes things like your overall health, age and other risk factors. Factors also include:
- The type of policy you obtain - Generally those policies with more flexibility will cost more
- The amount of coverage you obtain - there may be an annual cap on coverage amounts
- Your health factors, including if you have any ailments
- If you have carried health insurance consistently
- If your employer is covering the costs or covering a part of the cost
Health insurance costs also range by region. You will need to compare several companies to find the most affordable health insurance for your needs. Doing so can help you to find what you need for less in many cases.
It is critically important to have health insurance whenever possible. If you are carrying health insurance and then become ill, you have the medical care you need. However, if you do not have insurance protection and then become ill, obtaining health insurance at this point is very hard to do. It can also be very expensive. Continuous coverage is the best way to keep your costs down in the long term.