Health Insurance Quotes in Alabama
Compare Health Insurance Quotes and Plans in Alabama
Health insurance is a type of coverage that covers some of the cost accrued through surgical and medical health expenses. As with other types of insurance, there are various types of health insurance policies that provide people with different levels of coverage. Typically, the insurance company will pay the provider directly or the customer pays the expenses out-of-pocket and is then reimbursed by the insurance company when a claim is filed. Comparing health insurance in Alabama is easy with MyRatePlan and provides you with a free online quote with the best coverage at the best prices.
In Alabama, health insurance is usually made available through either private insurance companies or through employers. Medicaid and Medicare provide health insurance to low-income individuals and senior citizens respectively. Medicaid and Medicare are both available at rates that are lower than those of private insurance providers. However, these types of healthcare coverage have to be applied for.
As stated earlier, health insurance plans are available at different coverage levels. To cover only major medical emergencies, a plan can be obtained at a lower cost. However, full coverage plans typically cost more. Most consumers will anticipate potential healthcare needs before deciding on a specific plan and provider to ensure they are covered for potential medical needs.
Health Insurance Coverage in Alabama
Most health insurance coverage in Alabama is provided by policies written through employers or private insurance companies. Once deductibles are met, insurance providers pay the remaining balance one of two ways. They either pay the healthcare provider directly or reimburse the insured who has already paid the provider. Qualifying individuals who earn a low income wage are covered by Medicaid, and a significant number of senior citizens are covered through Medicare. Both of these types of health insurance are available at a lower cost than private insurance coverage, with reasonable co-payments and lower to no deductibles.
Once the potential insured has established a list of coverage necessities, the task becomes a matter of covering as many of those necessities, according to priority, that a budget allows. MyRatePlan is designed to simply compare cost and coverage of health insurance plans in Alabama, and to provide a free quote online.
Different Types of Health Insurance Policies in Alabama
Different health insurance options exist for people living in Alabama and surrounding areas. Most of these plans offer similar coverage levels, but some plans are more flexible and convenient than others. The typical choices include the following: FSA, HMO, HRA, HSA, MSA, POS, and PPO. While this list is quite comprehensive, and the terms seem a little confusing, people need to understand the differences between them.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) focuses on the insured person having a primary care provider to coordinate all of their healthcare needs. In many ways, this doctor acts as a gatekeeper. For instances where a person needs to visit a specialist for one reason or another, they need to first go to their primary care doctor. A referral to visit another doctor is required before services from that other doctor are covered. In most cases, these services will not be covered without the referral, and sometimes the referral cannot be gained after treatment to take place retroactively. These plans have lower premiums, and there are limited options when picking a doctor. The pool to choose from is smaller as some providers will not accept HMO plans. The plus side to this plan type is the fact that deductibles do not take place, and the related out-of-pocket costs are minimal and rather reasonable.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans have a larger network of providers in Alabama that participate in connection with it. As with HMO, a PPO plan requires the insured to pick a primary care doctor, but the list of options is much larger. As a bonus, a referral is not needed to visit a specialist, though people can opt to go for a referral anyway. Doctors and hospitals either belong to the network or they do not, and going with in-network options reduces the amount of out of pocket the insured has to pay. The opposite is true of doctors and hospitals who do not participate in the network. Most people decide to go with in-network options to save them money in the long run. This plan type operates with deductible and co-payments, and it also places limitations on how much is spent out of pocket each year.
The Point of Service (POS) plans fall in the middle between HMO and PPO. The network of doctors and hospitals offers a decent amount of choices, and so long as treatment options fall within these options, the insured does not have to pay any outrageous deductible or co-payment. On the other hand, going with an out of network option means paying much, much more.
These three types are the most common types of plans available to people in Alabama, but there are some other, less conventional options. These options include a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), and a Medical Savings Account (MSA). They all operate under the same circumstances where the insured or their employer pays into an account in a tax-exempt manner to cover treatments. Anything from doctors' appointments to medications can be covered under one of these plans. The main attraction to one of these plans is the flexibility they offer as far as how the money in the account can be spent. A bonus is the fact that monies roll over from month to month and year to year.
Breaking Down Health Insurance Costs in Alabama
There are several potential costs with health insurance plans in Alabama. The first is the premium, which is how much the individual pays every month for his coverage. It's essentially a monthly service fee, as the individual never gets this money back.
The deductible is the amount that the individual needs to pay for medical expenses first each year before the insurance provider starts paying its portion. There are also out-of-pocket costs, which are different than deductibles in that out-of-pocket costs are the amount an individual needs to spend each time before the provider pays 100-percent of the bill.
With most plans, the deductible and out-of-pocket costs reset at the beginning of the year, and expenses from the previous year don't factor in moving forward. For example, if an individual's plan has a $5,000 deductible and he paid $3,000 out of pocket one year, his out-of-pocket expenses will go back to $0 at the start of the year. There are plans in Alabama that allow policyholders to roll over what they paid for their deductibles to the first quarter of a new year.
The co-pay is the amount the individual must pay each time he visits a healthcare facility. If his primary care physician co-pay is $20, he'll pay that every time he visits his doctor. His insurance provider covers the rest of the costs from the visit, provided any services he receives are covered on his plan. Co-pays don't count towards a plan's deductible.
Some insurance plans have maximum lifetime benefits, which are the maximum amount that the provider will pay for the individual's healthcare. If the provider reaches this maximum, it won't pay any further for the policyholder's claims.
A major factor in health insurance plan options in Alabama is the individual's employment status. Large companies usually have group health insurance plans with lower rates than employees would get purchasing individual healthcare. However, the law doesn't require employees to participate in these plans.
Individuals who are self-employed, such as freelancers and business owners, and those who are unemployed can purchase private, individual insurance coverage. Senior citizens are eligible for financial assistance from the government by getting Medicare. Those who are in low-income brackets can also apply for government assistance through the Medicaid program.
If an individual has a specific doctor he likes, he needs to check the health insurance policies in Alabama that will allow him to keep seeing that doctor. It's also important that he informs his doctor if his plan changes, and that he contacts his provider if he has specific coverage questions.
Get Quotes On Health Insurance Plans in Alabama Online
Health insurance is one of the most important decisions you can make for yourself and your family. Make sure you take the time to consider all of the health insurance options available to you in Alabama. As you assess all these factors in choosing a health insurance plan, MyRatePlan can help simplify the process greatly. Just enter your ZIP code above and see many ways in which you can save money on your health insurance policy.