Health Insurance Quotes in Littleton, NC
Compare Health Insurance in Littleton, NC
Health insurance is a form of insurance that covers the whole or a part of the costs incurred for an individual's medical care. This includes both medical and surgical expenses. There are a number of different types of health insurance policies to choose from, and depending on the coverage, an insured individual who has received medical care or services pays any out-of-pocket costs and gets reimbursed by their insurance company, or the provider is directly paid by the insurance company. MyRatePlan simplifies the process of comparing health insurance rate plans in Littleton, NC and lets you get a free quote online.
In Littleton, NC, health insurance can usually be obtained through private insurance or plans offered by employers. Low income individuals have access to healthcare through Medicaid. Insurance is also available to senior citizens through Medicare. Both Medicaid and Medicare are less costly than private insurance policies.
Health insurance in Littleton, NC can be obtained at various levels of coverage. The more inexpensive plans tend to be geared to catastrophic events, while higher cost plans could offer full coverage. Anticipation of healthcare needs tends to be a very important factor when it comes to choosing a health insurance plan.
Evaluating Health Insurance Plans in Littleton, NC
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 Littleton, NC 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 Littleton, NC 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 Littleton, NC
The amount of coverage isn't the only variation in health insurance plans in Littleton, NC. 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 Littleton, NC. 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 Littleton, NC, 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 Littleton, NC
When paying for health insurance in Littleton, NC, the monthly amount that an individual pays to the insurance company is called the premium. The individual will not be reimbursed for this money, regardless of whether he or she uses that insurance. A deductible, by contrast, refers to additional expenses that individuals are required to pay to the healthcare provider before the insurance company begins to chip in.
Deductibles differ from out of pocket costs, insofar as deductibles refer to the amount individuals are required to pay before their insurance company will help with expenses for a particular purchase, while an out of pocket cost refers to the total amount of medical expenses individuals will have to pay before the insurance company will cover the rest of their expenses. In other words, an out of pocket cost covers nothing until the individuals reach a certain payment cap, after which the insurance company will take over the rest of his or her medical bills for the allotted time.
Deductibles and out of pocket costs usually reset at the beginning of each year. Normally, money spent one year will not roll over into the next, so if an individual spent $1200 out of pocket against his or her $3000 deductible, this will reset to $0 at the beginning of the year, with the $1200 expenditure from the previous year having no impact on the individual's costs. In Littleton, NC, however, some plans offer consumers an alternative to this annual reset by putting these out of pocket expenses towards the deductible for the first quarter of the new year.
There are also co-payments and co-insurance, terms that refer to the financial responsibility of the individual patient after receiving medical treatment. If an individual has a $10 co-payment for seeing a physician, this means he or she will have to pay this amount at every visit to the doctor's office. After the co-payment, the insurance covers the rest. Co-payments do not count towards the annual deductible.
Also, some insurance companies in Littleton, NC have a maximum lifetime benefit, which sets a limit on the total amount of money the insurance company will pay for an individual person's healthcare. If an individual reaches this limit, the insurance company will no longer pay his or her medical claims.
An individual's coverage options largely depend upon his or her current employment status. Large companies often provide employees with a group insurance plan, one that usually provides employees with a more affordable option than other plans, but isn't mandatory upon employment.
Those who are self-employed or unemployed, however, will have to seek insurance from a health insurance company for private individuals. For unemployed or retired seniors, coverage options are available through Medicare. Likewise, if an individual has a low income, he or she can sign up for Medicaid.
If an individual wants to keep his or her current primary care provider, the person should check to see which of the available Littleton, NC healthcare plans are accepted by that physician. On a similar note, everyone should make sure to tell their doctors after changing their insurance company, checking with the insurance company to find answers to any specific coverage questions they may have.
Get a Quote Today for Health Insurance in Littleton, NC
It's difficult to keep track of all the factors that go into your healthcare coverage. MyRatePlan makes it easy for you to compare insurance plans to determine what's best for you and your family. You can get a free health insurance quote today just by entering your ZIP code.
Saving money is always a good thing, but be sure not to skip out on insurance coverage that you may need. There are a lot of factors to consider when making your final decision. Think about what your future habits and plans are and decide accordingly. A monthly insurance bill isn't cheap, but paying out-of-pocket for an unforeseen and uncovered circumstance could cost you even more. Let MyRatePlan do the work for you while helping you find the best health insurance plan in Littleton, NC. Get your free quote today.