The insurance sector in the United States is a very large and booming sector with over 5,977 insurance companies running as of the time this article was written. 858 of these insurance companies specialised only in providing various types of health insurance to the public.
This large pool of health insurance companies readily accessible to the public or anyone interested brings about competition, better services and a more affordable cost. In this article we will be taking a deeper look into the health insurance sector of the USA as well as talking about some of the insurance plans available and their individual cost. We will also be talking about some of the best health insurance companies currently leading the way and blazing the trail in the health insurance industry.
But before we do that, let's talk a little bit about health insurance and what it stands for.
What Is Health Insurance and How Can I Benefit From It?
Health insurance can simply be said to be any program that helps you pay for all of or some part of your medical expenses. This became important with the steady rise in the cost of health care services within the country making it difficult for the common man to easily afford quality health care. The passing of the Affordable Care Act negated this trend.
You can benefit from these medical assistance by either buying an insurance plan through a private insurer, social insurance or a social welfare program usually funded by the government.
Exactly How Much Of My Medical Expenses Will My Insurer Cover?
The exact medical cost you will be insured for all depends on the kind of insurance plan you buy. There are various kinds of insurance plans and prices available to the public, finding the one that suits your various needs is important. The premium prices will vary depending on different factors like: state, age, disabilities, health history and the kind of insurance coverage you want.
Here is a list of the 3 most common types of insurance plans available for purchase as well as their price difference, benefits and draw backs in order to help you find the best plan for you:
- PPO(Preferred Provider Organization)
This is the most common type of health plan with about half of Americans already enrolled in it. The biggest benefit PPO brings to the table is that it allows you get treatment from very large network of care facilities and doctors scattered all over the country. With PPO, you don't have to get referrals first from your primary care physician (PCP) in order to see a specialist. The downside of PPOs is the cost of premiums. They are usually much more expensive than other health plans.
- HDHP(High-Deductible Health Plans)
This is the second most popular health plan in the United States. With its low premium cost, it provides a way for families to mitigate cost while still receiving quality health care. However, the downside to this is that with HDHPs low premium cost comes a lower coverage range and a higher out of pocket cost to you.
The IRS defines an HDHP as a health plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual and $2,700 for a family. Many HDHP deductibles exceed $3,000, which means you would need to pay that amount of out-of-pocket when you seek care before the insurer starts helping you pay for services.
So if you want a low premium cost insurance because you don't expect to need health services often, then HDHP is for you.
These are the cheapest kinds of health plans with low premiums and often don't have deductibles and if they do, they're much lower than other plans.
One of the downside to the HMO health plan is that they have a more limited network of providers, and you must get referrals from your PCP to see a specialist. You can not also get treatment from health facilities not in the network. And in the event you do get care from outside of the HMO network, you will pay for the care on your own unless it's an emergency.