Health Insurance Quotes in Salem, MA
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Salem, MA
What is health insurance? Health insurance covers a person's medical expenses, including everything from surgery to other health related costs. In the United States, a number of different healthcare coverage options are available. Some options charge the individual an out of pocket expense, later reimbursing them through the insurance company, while others involve the insurance company paying the provider directly. With MyRatePlan, one can compare health insurance rates and coverage in the Salem, MA area, and even get a free quote online.
Most health insurance in Salem, MA comes from either employers or private companies. Senior citizens also have access to Medicare, and low-income individuals are covered through Medicaid. Medicare and Medicaid offer health insurance coverage at a reduced rate, making it more affordable than private plans.
Private insurance plans offer many different levels of coverage. Less expensive plans might only cover catastrophic emergencies, providing people with minimal coverage. More expensive plans, by contrast, often offer complete health coverage. When seeking a healthcare plan, individuals must anticipate their future healthcare needs and choose their plan accordingly.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in Salem, MA
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 Salem, MA 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 Salem, MA 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 Salem, MA
As has been stressed already, there are many different types of medical insurance policies that need to be compared in order to choose the best fit. All such policies do have the tendency to provide similar amounts of coverage. The biggest difference to be analyzed is the wide range of flexibility and accessibility of the policies available in Salem, MA.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) policies come with the mandate that the insured party has a primary care provider. A primary care provider is the physician who is in charge of the patient's overall healthcare. For example, if a specialist is needed, the patient must first go his or her primary care provider to get a referral if the primary care provider agrees that such a specialist is good for the patient. These plans tend to have lower premiums than other medical insurance plans, but there is also quite often a limitation regarding the network of doctors that HMO insured patients can see. However, HMOs never have deductibles, and the out-of-pocket costs tend to be significantly less than those of other health insurance plans in Salem, MA.
PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans tend to have exceedingly large networks of doctors available to patients. The insurance holder chooses any one of those doctors in the network as his or her primary care provider. Specialists can also be found within this network, meaning that no referral is required as is the case with HMO plans. As long as the patient chooses doctors and specialists within the network, the coverage will be very inclusive. On the other hand, coverage may be more limited, although not usually withheld, if it is necessary to seek medical care outside of the network of providers. Most PPO policies include deductibles, copayments, and annual limits to out-of-pocket spending.
POS (Point of Service) policies in Salem, MA combine the benefits of both HMO and PPO plans. The network of doctors to choose from is sizable but not to the degree of PPOs. There are no deductibles, and copayments remain low so long as the care provider is within the network. On the other hand, deductibles and copayments are quite high if the insurance holder seeks care from a provider outside the network.
These first three types of medical insurance policies are the most common types of health insurance plans found in Salem, MA. There are also some newer approaches to medical insurance that are now available and worth looking into. Among these are the HSA (Health Savings Account), the HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement), the FSA (Flexible Spending Account), and the MSA (Medical Savings Account). These are all accounts that rely on funds that the insured individual or employer has reserved in a tax-exempt savings account. All medical expenses, then, are taken out of such an account. It can be used for medical appointments, surgeries, prescription medications, and other treatments occasionally including over the counter medicines. Such plans tend to be highly flexible with regard to ways in which the money can be used. Some even allow for funds to roll over into the next year.
Health Insurance Costs in Salem, MA
First and foremost, the insured has to pay a premium for their chosen plan. This payment can be made monthly, and employers deduct it from paychecks pre-tax. However, people who pay for a plan from a private company will not have this luxury. This money is never seen again once it is paid, regardless of how much or how little the plan is used.
It is important to not confuse deductibles with out of pocket costs. This cost determines the annual responsibility a person has as far as paying for treatments and services. Deductibles happen in addition to premiums. At the same time, the money paid toward a deductible does not roll over from one year to another. It resets at zero at the beginning of each year. However, some insurance plans in the Salem, MA area offer an exception to this rule.
Co-payments happen for almost any doctors visit. It is the minimum amount of money the insured is expected to pay on top of a premium. Once the co-payment is paid, the insurance plan will cover the rest of the costs other than deductibles and out of pocket costs dictated by the plan.
Another important factor to consider is maximum benefit coverages. Some of these coverage limits are yearly, and others are for the lifetime of the plan or the insured. This amount notes the absolute most a plan will pay for treatments and services. Any claims that come in after this maximum is reached will not be covered.
People have two ways to go about gaining health insurance in Salem, MA. Most people gain insurance through their employer, who pays part of the premium costs for the insured. The rest of the premium and other out of pocket costs are paid by the insured. Most premium deductions are made pre-tax on paychecks. Since these plans happen at a group rate through a company, they are cheaper in the long run.
People in Salem, MA who are not employed or who work part time can go with a plan from a private company. These plans tend to cost more for premiums, though. Seniors, people who are disabled, and people in low-income situations can qualify for insurance help through the government, mostly in the form of Medicare or Medicaid.
Get a Salem, MA Health Insurance Quote
One of the best and most practical actions you can take is to make sure that you and your family are covered for medical emergencies. MyRatePlan takes the guess work out of the confusing and complicated process of finding the right type of healthcare and makes getting a quote in Salem, MA simple and hassle free. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code.
There are many ways you can save money on coverage. However, there are important elements that should not be left out simply for the sake of saving a buck. What may not seem important now might be very important in the future, starting a family for example. Keep in mind that out-of-pocket expenses for medical care are significantly more expensive than premiums for health insurance. If you are in the Salem, MA area and need health insurance, check out MyRatePlan and let us find the best insurance for you at the best possible price with your free quote.