Health Insurance Quotes in Washington
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Washington
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 Washington area, and even get a free quote online.
Most health insurance in Washington 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.
Health Insurance Plans in Washington
It can be quite hard to figure out how much coverage is needed for a particular year. That means that looking for the best policy to fit an individual's needs involves making the most educated guess possible. The best way to make a good estimate of your needs for the future is by assessing your past needs. A person who does not have any conditions that require regular medical visits, and who has stayed relatively healthy in recent year will likely be well suited by a lower costing policy with limited coverage. On the other hand, a person with a chronic disorder or weak immune system who requires constant medical attention will be best served by a more expensive policy that offers enough different types of coverage to serve individual needs.
Catastrophic Only policies provide health insurance for the lowest prices available in Washington. Such policies are only for people who are healthy enough to feel comfortable with a plan that only covers the most pressing emergencies. Therefore, they are too limited for most in need of medical insurance. Even activities like frequent travel and daily chores can put people at risk for small medical needs that would not be covered in such a policy but cannot easily be planned for. While it's definitely challenging to plan for the unforeseen, small injuries and illnesses can cost much more than anticipated if health insurance coverage is not sufficient for the needs at hand.
As a general rule, the more inclusive the coverage offered in a policy, the higher the monthly premium is. Thus, medical insurance can be seen as a financial investment. The more you invest in your policy every month, the better covered you are when you have a medical need and the less you will need to pay out-of-pocket for expensive procedures, tests, and treatments. Finding a policy in Washington that covers ER visits and frequent doctor appointments will always help should health needs change suddenly. So, in deciding how much is best for you to invest in a health insurance policy, an assessment of lifestyle and the danger involved in daily activities will help towards planning for the unpredictable. The most important aspect of choosing a health insurance policy is making sure that the basics are all met, and then add more coverage based on the perceived needs from that assessment.
Different Types of Health Insurance Coverage in Washington
You have several different options as far as types of healthcare plans available in Washington. 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 Washington 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 Washington. 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 Washington
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 Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington
Providing health insurance for self or family is one of the most important endeavors of responsibility. With so many factors affecting health insurance rates and plans, MyRatePlan helps to narrow the search for suitable health insurance coverage in Washington with just a ZIP code. Saving money on health insurance should not mean denying necessary coverage because of cost. The trick is to eliminate cost without compromising coverage.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to save money and maintain proper coverage is proper and realistic planning for possible future events. For example, if the insured intends to marry and/or have children, then it may be more beneficial in the long run to choose a plan that includes spousal or maternity coverage from the beginning. Some plans force the insured to wait until a certain time of year to make changes or apply additional fees to make changes. These stipulations can cause out-of-pocket expenses that overwhelm the insured.
No matter what type of insurance is chosen and no matter how much the premiums are, out-of-pocket expenses are always going to be much higher. Let the professionals at MyRatePlan narrow the search for quality, suitable insurance plans in Washington. Entering your ZIP code is all it takes to search for and save on health insurance with a free quote today.