Health Insurance Quotes in Bristol, PA
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Bristol, PA
Shopping for and comparing health insurance plans in Bristol, PA is a daunting task. With so many different plans to choose from and various coverage options, it's hard to know what is best for you and your family. Some plans may be subsidized by your employer while others require you to pay the entire premium yourself. Some will pay your healthcare providers directly while others will reimburse you. Fortunately, MyRatePlan makes it easy to compare insurance plans and get a free online quote so you can make an informed decision about your healthcare coverage.
Health insurance comes from three primary sources. The first is from your employer. If you work full time in Bristol, PA, your company may offer you a health insurance plan. Some employers will buy this plan for you while others will help make the insurance affordable by paying a portion of it for you. In some instances, you will be asked to pay all of your premiums yourself, but will be offered a discount for being part of a large group who is buying insurance services together. Think of this as a type of group discount.
The second possible source of health insurance is the government. Medicaid and Medicare programs provide insurance for the elderly and those in certain income brackets. You may also provide yourself with health insurance by purchasing a policy from an insurance agent or directly from an insurance company.
Compare Health Insurance Coverage in Bristol, PA
No one can predict their future health concerns, making it difficult for everyone to anticipate unplanned healthcare expenses. This means that people cannot always anticipate the amount of health coverage necessary for a given year. Those shopping for a healthcare plan should look carefully at their past medical history to try to estimate their future coverage needs. If a person visits his or her primary care physician infrequently, an inexpensive plan might be sufficient coverage for the most basic medical needs. If, by contrast, a person suffers from a chronic condition, one that requires constant visits to the doctor's office, he or she may need a significantly higher rate of coverage.
In Bristol, PA, the lowest cost plan available only covers catastrophic illnesses. This plan is tailored toward those who almost never visit the doctor and only need coverage in the unlikely event of an emergency. Likewise, those traveling or engaging in dangerous activities will need to buy their coverage accordingly, making sure that regular trips and ER visits are included in their care package.
If a person in Bristol, PA purchases a higher coverage plan, he or she will likely have to pay a higher premium, increasing his or her monthly payments significantly. These increased monthly payments increase the amount of coverage the person's insurance company allows each month, letting each individual tailor his or her payments toward his or her healthcare needs. For this reason, individuals must anticipate their healthcare needs before they happen, otherwise they may be stuck without coverage and forced to pay out of pocket. If a person can afford it, he or she should try to cover more than just his or her basic healthcare needs in an effort to account for unforeseen emergencies.
Types of Health Insurance Policies in Bristol, PA
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 Bristol, PA.
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 Bristol, PA.
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 Bristol, PA 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 Bristol, PA. 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.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Bristol, PA
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 Bristol, PA 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 Bristol, PA. 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 Bristol, PA 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 Bristol, PA 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 Bristol, PA 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 Bristol, PA 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.