Health Insurance Quotes in Pittsburgh, PA
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Pittsburgh, PA
Shopping for and comparing health insurance plans in Pittsburgh, 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 Pittsburgh, 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.
Comparing Health Insurance Coverage in Pittsburgh, PA
Logically speaking, people do not have the means to know exactly what their healthcare needs will be in the long-term. After all, life happens in the most unpredictable of ways. Therefore, figuring out what type of health insurance plan to go with can be a challenging decision to make. This decision needs to be made with careful consideration, as changes to plans can only be made on a yearly basis. Looking at past healthcare needs is a great place to start in considering the options for different plans. Another aspect that helps a great deal is knowing how a person's family history looks. If things like diabetes and cancer or heart problems run strongly in their family, then they want to make certain that their health insurance can at least help with some of those costs should a similar situation arise. Looking at both of these areas can help to make an educated guess of what will be needed for coverage over the course of the next year. People in Pittsburgh, PA who are rather healthy might not need to do more than visit with their primary care provider a few times over the course of a year. When a chronic disease comes into play, visits to doctors of various specialties become necessary. These factors will change the type of health insurance coverage that is needed.
People living in and around the Pittsburgh, PA area can purchase inexpensive plans that merely cover catastrophes, should they strike. It is important to understand that this coverage only helps with a yearly exam with a primary care doctor and situations that can be life-threatening, like a heart attack or a stroke. This plan would not be a good idea for people who travel a great deal or who spend time with dangerous hobbies as it does not cover emergency room costs. A higher premium plan will be needed to cover emergent care.
Therefore, it goes without saying that monthly premiums will be higher for people who need more coverage. As people pay more in premiums, the health insurance plan can provide more help in paying for those providers and services. The only way a proper decision can be made about what plan to purchase in Pittsburgh, PA is by looking at personal and family health histories, as mentioned previously. Having a little more coverage than what is expected to be used is a better situation than being underinsured should something financially devastating take place. Sometimes, paying more for coverage means saving a great deal on out of pocket expenditures in cases where a person is underinsured.
Different Types of Health Insurance Coverage in Pittsburgh, PA
You have several different options as far as types of healthcare plans available in Pittsburgh, PA. While the levels of coverage offered may be similar, the flexibility and convenience of these plans vary greatly. Some choices include a PPO, an HMO, an HSA, a POS, an FSA, an HRA, and an MSA. As confusing as this may seem, it really is important to understand the basic differences before you select a plan.
HMO, which stands for Health Maintenance Organization, provides health services for a fixed annual fee. This kind of medical insurance organization provides or arranges managed care, serving as a liaison with healthcare providers on a prepaid basis. When you have an HMO plan, you must choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP) to be the gatekeeper for all of your health-related needs. You choose the PCP from a network of local healthcare providers in Pittsburgh, PA who will then refer you to specialists or hospitals in the network when necessary. So if you need to see a specialist, you have to go to your primary care physician first and obtain a referral to a specialist if your primary physician deems it necessary for you to visit one. Some doctors do not accept HMO insurance plans, so although HMOs typically have lower premiums than other plans, there may be a limited network of doctors available to the insured. The best things about HMO plans are the reasonable out-of-pocket costs and the lack of deductibles.
PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization, and this type of plan allows for more flexibility and more choices thanks to a large network of healthcare providers that participate. Individuals insured under a PPO plan can choose any primary care doctor within the network and see a specialist or go to a hospital without the need for a referral. This applies even when you travel. However, your out-of-pocket costs are lower when you go with an in-network healthcare provider. With that being said, you can still get partial financial assistance for out-of-network costs. With PPOs you typically have deductibles, co-payments, and yearly spend limits for out-of-pocket costs.
A Point of Service (POS) plan combines elements of HMOs and PPOs by offering a decent-sized network of options to choose your primary care physician from. As long as you stay within the network, you don't pay any deductibles and copayments are low. However, seeing a doctor that is out-of-network makes copayments and deductibles high. You can also consider some non-traditional approaches to health insurance in Pittsburgh, PA. These options include a Health Savings Account (HSA), a Medical Savings Account (MSA), a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), and a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). These plans come with a lot of flexibility and operate on the general idea of you or your employer setting money aside in a tax-exempt savings account for all medical-related expenses. This money can be used for doctor's visits, prescriptions, and surgical treatments. In some cases, this money that has been set aside can even be used for over-the-counter medication.
Cost of Health Insurance in Pittsburgh, PA
Premiums paid for health insurance coverage in Pittsburgh, PA, whether the insurance is used or not, are non-refundable. Though the insured pays deductibles, these are not considered out-of-pocket expenses. The former refers to the minimal amount of money that the insured pays each year before policy benefits become active, while the latter refers to the amount that the insured pays before the insurer assumes 100% of the bill. Both types of payments usually begin with a clean slate every year, meaning a zero balance.
If a deductible is $3,000 a year and $2,800 is paid out of pocket, and if the plan doesn't change and renews, then everything starts over at a zero balance with no money rolling over from the previous year. There are some exceptions to this rule in Pittsburgh, PA that allow the paid deductible amount to rollover from the previous year to be applied to the deductible for the first quarter of the new fiscal insurance year.
Co-payments are not applied to deductibles. They are consistent payments for services rendered at the time and are the same for every visit. For example, every doctor visit will cost the same amount of money every time. So will hospital visits and visits to specialists, though perhaps not the same amount as the doctor visits. Co-payments may also consistent for prescription medication with the insured paying a certain amount or a certain percentage with every pick up. The plan then covers the remaining balance. Some policies carry a maximum lifetime benefit that reflects the maximum amount that the insurance company pays in all for the insured's healthcare. Once the maximum lifetime benefit is reached, the company will not honor any further claims.
The insured's employment status is in direct relationship to the type of insurance that is available to him or her. Employees of larger companies in Pittsburgh, PA are more likely to have access to group health insurance plans that offer more affordable coverage than do individual healthcare plans.
The law does not specify what type of insurance an individual must obtain. The self-employed and unemployed have access to private individual policy options, retired seniors have Medicare options, and qualified low income earners have Medicaid options.
If the insured has a particular physician in mind, then it is in the insured's best interest to determine what types of insurance plans in Pittsburgh, PA that physician accepts. He or she should also consider how changes in his or her policy may affect continued coverage with an established physician.
Get a Health Insurance Quote in Pittsburgh, PA Now
Purchasing health insurance is one of the most important things a person can do to support a healthy lifestyle. Buying a health insurance plan in Pittsburgh, PA is also an important step toward building a financially secure family, as being caught without health insurance during an emergency can put a financial strain on family resources.
Though several factors impact insurance rates and plans, MyRatePlan makes it easy to information on health insurance quotes in Pittsburgh, PA. To get a quote through MyRatePlan, just enter your ZIP code. Let us assist you in finding the best possible plans available to you. We can help you get a good deal on health insurance by starting with a free quote.