Health Insurance Quotes in Houston, TX
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Houston, TX
Shopping for and comparing health insurance plans in Houston, TX 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 Houston, TX, 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 Plans in Houston, TX
A person's future healthcare needs can be quite unpredictable, and this can make it difficult to accurately decide how much health coverage you will need for the upcoming year. The past is the best indicator to use to predict the future with an educated guess about what you will need. For example, if you tend to stay in a relatively healthy state and do not have to visit your primary care doctor or a specialist regularly, you could probably be sufficiently covered with a low-cost health insurance plan. However, if you suffer from a chronic disease or condition requires regular doctor visits, then you will be better off looking at insurance in Houston, TX that offers a wide range of coverage.
One of the least expensive health insurance plans in Houston, TX is a catastrophic-only insurance plan. This plan is most suitable for people who hardly visit the doctor and only want coverage for emergency situations. On the other side, if you happen to travel often or participate in dangerous activities, you will need an insurance plan that will have you covered for ER visits and regular visits to the doctor.
When you have higher coverage, you typically have a higher monthly premium. This basically means the higher your monthly payments, the more your insurance company will contribute towards your medical needs. This is why it is so important to take your health history and lifestyle into consideration as you figure out what choice is best for your needs in an economic sense. Just make sure that you at least have the basics covered and add more coverage as you can afford it, and as you see necessary.
Types of Health Insurance Plans in Houston, TX
Many types of insurance plans are currently available in Houston, TX. However, they vary based on convenience and flexibility. Among the most popular plans are PPO, HMO, POS, HRA, MSA, HSA and FSA.
A Health Maintenance Organization, also called an HMO, is a network that requires the customer to choose a primary doctor who acts as gatekeeper. When the customer needs to see another doctor or any type of specialist, that customer must go through the primary care doctor first. The primary care doctor must assess the patient and determine if he or she needs to see a specialist. If so, the primary care doctor makes the referral to the specialist. A benefit of HMOs is that they are more affordable in that they require low monthly premiums, no deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses are reasonably priced. One drawback is that the patient is generally only seen by a small network of doctors, and this is because many healthcare facilities do not accept HMO plans.
Another popular health insurance plan in Houston, TX is the Preferred Provider Organization, also called a PPO. Unlike HMO plans, PPOs generally have a large network of participating providers. The insured person may choose whichever in-network doctor they desire, and specialists can be seen with no referral requirement. Choosing an in-network provider rewards the insured by giving them more coverage to see the in-network doctor. However, going out of network is not a complete loss to the customer, as PPO plans also offer partial assistance for expenses paid to out of network healthcare providers. PPO plans also have drawbacks. While they do limit the yearly out of pocket expenses to the insured, they also require deductibles and co-payments.
A POS, also called a Point of Service plan, utilizes a combination of PPO and HMO services. A POS plan offers a moderately-sized network of physicians as options for primary care doctors. The insured pays no deductibles and pays low co-payments, but only if the insured stays in network. However, the insured must pay a much higher price for co-payments and deductibles whenever treated by an out of network doctor.
In addition to the above options, consumers in Houston, TX, also have the option of purchasing a less traditional insurance plan, such as a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), a Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA), a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Medical Savings Account (MSA). These four options all require the insured or the insured's employer to set money aside for medical expenses in a tax-exempt savings account. The money is then used to pay for doctors, surgical procedures, prescriptions and other medical expenses. One benefit these plans all have in common is the flexible of how they can be used. Some of the plans even permit the insured to roll the money over and use it the following year.
A person's employment status is a huge factor in determining the type of health coverage offered. Large companies can typically offer a group plan, which is less expensive than a single health insurance plan. However employees are not bound by law to enroll in a group plan.
Unemployed and self-employed people in Houston, TX may choose to buy an individual or private plan. Unemployed senior citizens can get Medicare from the federal government, which provides financial assistance. Some people qualify for Medicaid if they have a very low income. Medicaid is a type of government assistance designed to benefit the poor.
Cost of Health Insurance in Houston, TX
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 Houston, TX 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 Houston, TX 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 Houston, TX 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 Health Insurance Quote in Houston, TX Today
Health coverage is essential for everyone and every family, giving everyone access to the medical attention, checkups, and coverage they need. Many different factors help determine the rates and coverage of a health insurance plan, but MyRatePlan lets everyone easily and quickly get a quote regarding the best health coverage available in the Houston, TX area. Individuals can find this out simply by typing in their ZIP code.
When looking to save money, it's often tempting to sacrifice large parts of a coverage plan, cutting out parts of the coverage that seem unnecessary. However, this isn't always the best decision, as everyone should always try to anticipate their future needs. For example, if someone plans on having children, she should make sure to include a maternity package now, rather than waiting to find coverage later. No one should eliminate necessary coverage in order to save money. While many insurance programs can cost a heavy financial burden, the price of out of pocket expense is even greater. Instead, MyRatePlan offers to save individuals money by matching them to the best healthcare coverage plans in the Houston, TX area, saving them tons of money, and giving them a free online quote instantly.