Health Insurance Quotes in Columbia, PA
Compare Health Insurance in Columbia, PA
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 Columbia, PA and lets you get a free quote online.
In Columbia, PA, 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 Columbia, PA 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.
Comparing Health Insurance Coverage in Columbia, PA
Just as the source of insurance varies, so do your coverage options. Some plans are inexpensive, but cover only major health problems or hospitalization. Other plans in Columbia, PA cost more money, but have lower deductibles and cover a much wider variety of healthcare services.
Since there is no way to know what the future holds for your health, using your past experience is the best way to determine how much health coverage you'll need. If you're fairly healthy and visit your doctor sparingly, it's probably safe for you to go with a low cost plan offering minimal coverage. These types of plans are known as catastrophe plans since they cover you only in the event of a serious health problem or emergency care.
If, however, you have a chronic health condition such as diabetes or visit the doctor often, you'll want a plan that provides more coverage. These plans cost more upfront, but save you money over the long term by covering basic doctor's visits, testing services and preventive screenings. These plans may also cover you while you are traveling outside of Columbia, PA as well as when you are at home.
Columbia, PA Health Insurance Types
People soon discover that there are many types of plans for health insurance to choose from in Columbia, PA. On first glance, they may appear to offer very similar levels of coverage but the flexibility of the different plans can vary. HSA, POS, HMO, MSA, FSA, HRA, and PPO are just some of the options people have to choose from. While confusing, it is important that people understand the differences in what these options have to offer before committing to a specific plan. Picking the wrong type of plan can have a devastating financial impact. Here is an explanation of some of the more common types healthcare insurance and how they work.
PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. This type of plan will typically consist of a large healthcare provider network that enables the insured person to choose the doctor they want to see or visit with a specialist without the need for a referral. So long as the insured visits a hospital that is within the network, the covered person will receive the most financial coverage. However, when a visit is made to a hospital outside of the network, partial assistance for costs can be received. Co-payments and deductibles are typically associated with PPO's and there are limits on yearly out-of-pocket expenses.
Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, is a healthcare network that requires the customer to select a primary care provider to serve as the main point of contact for all of the insured person's needs in terms of healthcare. This means that people insured with an HMO-type healthcare insurance will have to go through their primary care provider and get a referral before going to see a specialist. HMOs in Columbia, PA may have a lower premium than most other types of insurance plans, but many doctors do not accept HMO plans and means that the insured will have limited options. However, the plus side to HMOs is that there are no deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for the insured are usually very affordable.
Point of Service plans, or POS plans, combine features of both PPOs and HMOs. Along with a decent sized healthcare network, POS plans do not require the insured to pay deductibles and have very low co-payments, so long as the insured stays within the network. If the insured has to go outside of the network, deductibles and copayments can become very high.
Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), Medical Savings Accounts (MSA), Health Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA), and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are non-traditional forms of health insurance plans that are also available in Columbia, PA. These types of accounts are usually arranged through an employer and an employee where they set tax-exempt money aside in a savings account for medical expenses. These types of plans offer flexibility and can be used for surgical treatments, prescriptions, and doctor's visits. Many of these plans will allow for unused money to be rolled over into the next year.
Breaking Down Health Insurance Costs in Columbia, PA
There are several potential costs with health insurance plans in Columbia, PA. 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 Columbia, PA 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 Columbia, PA 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 Columbia, PA 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 a Quote Today for Health Insurance in Columbia, PA
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 Columbia, PA. Get your free quote today.