Health Insurance Quotes in Texas
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Texas
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 Texas area, and even get a free quote online.
Most health insurance in Texas 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 Texas
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 Texas 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 Texas 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.
Texas Health Insurance Types
People soon discover that there are many types of plans for health insurance to choose from in Texas. 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 Texas 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 Texas. 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.
Cost of Health Insurance in Texas
Your premium is the monthly charge you pay to your insurance provider. This payment is made regardless of how much you actually use your insurance. Your deductible is the amount of money you pay to your healthcare provider for covered services. Once you reach the maximum required amount your insurance company will take over the costs of your healthcare. For example, if your deductible is $2000 then you must pay for services until you have paid $2000. After you have paid this amount you are only required to pay a copayment or coinsurance.
A copayment refers to the portion of the bill that you pay for a Texas doctor's office visit or medical service. If the copayment for a given treatment is $15, then every time you are given that treatment you would pay $15. Any cost for the service beyond the $15 is paid by your insurance. These payments cannot be used to pay into your deductible.
Deductibles are not the same as your out-of-pocket costs. A deductible is the annual fixed amount that you must pay before your insurance starts to cover you. Your out-of-pocket cost is the total, cumulative amount of money that you will spend on your healthcare from your own finances.
Payments made toward deductibles usually do not roll over with each new year and are instead reset. For example, say you have paid $1500 on your $2000 deductible. When your insurance plan renews your paid amount will reset to zero and your deductible will remain at $2000. There are some plans that allow you to keep your paid amount from the previous year and apply it toward part or all of the new year's deductible.
Some insurance companies enforce lifetime benefit maximums and only pay a set amount for your medical services. A maximum amount of benefits is set and the insurance providers will not pay for more, regardless of deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.
Many individuals in Texas receive health insurance through their employment. People who work for large businesses or corporations are likely to qualify for their company health insurance. This type of insurance will typically cover the employee's family, as well. Being on a company insurance policy is usually an easy and affordable option, but anyone is allowed to purchase insurance through a private party.
Self-employed workers have the freedom to purchase private, individual insurance. Senior citizens and disabled individuals can qualify for health insurance through the government program Medicare. Low-income families in Texas can get coverage through Medicaid, a similar government assistance program for needy individuals.
Check with your primary care physician to see the types of insurance they accept and notify them of any changes. Remember to ask your insurance company about any questions you may have regarding your plan.
Get a Free Online Health Insurance Quote in Texas
Shopping for health insurance may feel overwhelming, but having coverage is a liberating sensation. Knowing you can protect your health is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family. So sit down, take a deep breath, and let MyRatePlan help you navigate your Texas healthcare choices. Just give them your zip code and let them do the rest.