Health Insurance Quotes in District of Columbia
Compare Health Insurance Quotes and Plans in District of Columbia
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 District of Columbia is easy with MyRatePlan and provides you with a free online quote with the best coverage at the best prices.
In District of Columbia, 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.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in District of Columbia
One of the primary challenges in deciding what health insurance policy to select is determining the amount of coverage needed for the upcoming year, because healthcare needs can be unpredictable. The most effective approach is typically to consider past healthcare needs, and then use those for an educated guess as to future needs. A consumer who is young, in good health, and doesn't need to make frequent visits to doctors or specialists, will likely be fine with the coverage provided by a low-cost policy. Those with chronic diseases and those who need to visit the doctor frequently for issues will be better off with health insurance that has more extensive coverage.
If an individual only wants the basics, the cheapest health insurance plans in District of Columbia are catastrophic only insurance. These policies work well for those who rarely see the doctor and just need coverage for emergencies. For people who travel often or engage in risky activities, it's important to find a plan that covers more frequent trips to the doctor and even ER visits.
Of course, more coverage will also usually come at a cost in the form of a higher monthly premium. Consumers in District of Columbia who pay more get policies that pay more for their healthcare needs. Every consumer needs to look at their lifestyle, background and health history to find the most affordable option that covers their needs. The best way to go is to start with the basics and add more coverage if it's needed and fits the budget.
Types of Health Insurance Policies in District of Columbia
The amount of coverage isn't the only variation in health insurance plans in District of Columbia. There are also different types of plans, and each work a bit differently. When shopping for health insurance, it is critical that you understand the difference between an HMO, PPO, POS, HSA, FSA and MSA.
One of the most common types of insurance is the HMO, or health maintenance organization. In this type of plan, all of your healthcare is accessed through one doctor, known as your primary care physician (PCP). You must see your PCP before going to a specialist or any other healthcare provider. When you do, he will give you a referral to see any other necessary medical doctor. Your HMO will also require you to use doctors, specialists and hospitals of their choosing. While this can be inconvenient, HMOs offer low premiums and broad coverage with low out-of-pocket costs.
Similar to the HMO is the preferred provider organization (PPO). Like the HMO, a PPO will have a list of preferred healthcare providers in District of Columbia. If you visit one of these preferred caregivers, the company will pay all or most of the cost. A PPO, however, allows you to see doctors and specialists outside of the plan. If you do, you'll have to pay a larger portion of the bill. A PPO costs a bit more than an HMO but allows you to see any doctor you choose without a referral.
For the best of both worlds, consider a point of service (POS) plan. Under a POS plan, you will have to choose a primary care physician like in an HMO. Although you'll see your PCP for most things, you can still opt to use a doctor outside of the network like you can in a PPO. A POS system combines the benefits of an HMO and PPO into one policy.
In an effort to insure more people in District of Columbia, new types of health insurance have been developed. While HMO, PPO and POS policies offer traditional coverage, new plans have been developed that allow you to set aside tax-free money to pay for your healthcare. There are four such plans: the health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement account (HRA), health flexible spending agreement (FSA) and the medical savings account (MMSA). All of these plans work in essentially the same way. You or your employer place money into a savings account before it is taxed. The money is then withdrawn as needed and used to pay for your medical expenses. If you don't use all of the money in your health account, some plans allow you to roll it over and keep it for use during the next calendar year.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in District of Columbia
You may have heard the term "premium" when it comes to health insurance. A premium is the amount of money you pay monthly to have health insurance coverage. Whether you use your insurance or not, this money is never returned to you. Another familiar term is "deductible." This is the additional money you are required to pay to any healthcare providers before your insurance company starts to make their promised contributions for any medical costs.
Keep in mind that deductibles are different from out-of-pocket costs. A deductible is an annual financial responsibility but out-of-pocket refers to how much you have to spend before your insurance company will pay 100% of your bill.
Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs typically reset each year, with the previous year's expenses having no impact moving forward. So if you have a deductible of $5,000, for example, and you spent $3,000 out-of-pocket last year and your insurance renews with the sample plan in place, your out-of-pocket expenses are reset to $0 and that $3,000 from last year does not roll over. However, some plans in District of Columbia offer an exception to this rule and allow a rollover of your paid deductible amount from the previous year into the first quarter of the new insurance year.
Co-payments, also known as co-insurance, refers to your financial obligation of a medical visit or service. If your co-payment for visiting a primary care physician is $25, then every time you see your primary care physician, you pay $25. From there the insurance covers the balance if the services rendered are within coverage on your plan. Co-payments are not applied toward deductibles.
You may also receive a lifetime benefit from your insurance company. This refers to the maximum amount of money that your insurance company will pay in total for your healthcare. Medical claims will no longer be paid by the insurance company once this maximum amount is reached.
Your employment has a significant impact on the health insurance plans that are available to you in District of Columbia. Working for a large company will likely qualify you for their group health insurance plan. This is usually more affordable than getting individual healthcare, but no one is required by law to participate in these group health insurance plans.
Being self-employed or unemployed presents the option of purchasing private, individual health insurance. If you are a senior and do not work, you are eligible for government financial assistance through Medicare. Low income individuals can apply for government assistance as well, which is called Medicaid.
It is important to check with your doctor to see which health insurance plans they accept in District of Columbia if you want to continue visiting a specific physician. Notify your doctors if your insurance plan changes, and be sure to check with your insurance company regarding any specific questions or concerns about your coverage.
Get a Quote for Health Insurance in District of Columbia
One of the best things a person can do for themselves or their family is to make certain they have access to a health insurance plan in District of Columbia. Life brings on so many ups and downs in regards to health, and these items can affect not only the plan options available but what rates are being applied. Looking forward to all of the aspects of life that can make certain that the right plan is chosen. For example, if a woman plans on having a baby in the future, she needs to make certain that her plan offers maternity coverage and that a new family member can be added to the plan. It is important to note that eliminating coverage to save up-front costs is not the wisest idea in case disaster does strike. Here at MyRatePlan, we want to help people find the right plan for them, so enter your ZIP code for a free quote today.