Health Insurance Quotes in North Houston, TX
Compare Health Insurance Plans in North Houston, TX
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 North Houston, TX area, and even get a free quote online.
Most health insurance in North Houston, TX 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.
Comparing Health Insurance Coverage in North Houston, TX
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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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.
Types of Health Insurance Policies in North Houston, TX
The amount of coverage isn't the only variation in health insurance plans in North Houston, TX. There are also different types of plans, and each work a bit differently. When shopping for health insurance, it is critical that you understand the difference between an HMO, PPO, POS, HSA, FSA and MSA.
One of the most common types of insurance is the HMO, or health maintenance organization. In this type of plan, all of your healthcare is accessed through one doctor, known as your primary care physician (PCP). You must see your PCP before going to a specialist or any other healthcare provider. When you do, he will give you a referral to see any other necessary medical doctor. Your HMO will also require you to use doctors, specialists and hospitals of their choosing. While this can be inconvenient, HMOs offer low premiums and broad coverage with low out-of-pocket costs.
Similar to the HMO is the preferred provider organization (PPO). Like the HMO, a PPO will have a list of preferred healthcare providers in North Houston, TX. If you visit one of these preferred caregivers, the company will pay all or most of the cost. A PPO, however, allows you to see doctors and specialists outside of the plan. If you do, you'll have to pay a larger portion of the bill. A PPO costs a bit more than an HMO but allows you to see any doctor you choose without a referral.
For the best of both worlds, consider a point of service (POS) plan. Under a POS plan, you will have to choose a primary care physician like in an HMO. Although you'll see your PCP for most things, you can still opt to use a doctor outside of the network like you can in a PPO. A POS system combines the benefits of an HMO and PPO into one policy.
In an effort to insure more people in North Houston, TX, new types of health insurance have been developed. While HMO, PPO and POS policies offer traditional coverage, new plans have been developed that allow you to set aside tax-free money to pay for your healthcare. There are four such plans: the health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement account (HRA), health flexible spending agreement (FSA) and the medical savings account (MMSA). All of these plans work in essentially the same way. You or your employer place money into a savings account before it is taxed. The money is then withdrawn as needed and used to pay for your medical expenses. If you don't use all of the money in your health account, some plans allow you to roll it over and keep it for use during the next calendar year.
Cost of Health Insurance in North Houston, TX
Premiums paid for health insurance coverage in North Houston, TX, 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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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 North Houston, TX 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.