Health Insurance Quotes in Charles Town, WV
Compare Health Insurance Plans in Charles Town, WV
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 Charles Town, WV area, and even get a free quote online.
Most health insurance in Charles Town, WV 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 Charles Town, WV
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 Charles Town, WV 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 Charles Town, WV 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.
Types of Health Insurance Plans in Charles Town, WV
Many types of insurance plans are currently available in Charles Town, WV. 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 Charles Town, WV 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 Charles Town, WV, 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 Charles Town, WV 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.
Breakdown of Health Insurance Costs in Charles Town, WV
You may have heard the term "premium" when it comes to health insurance. A premium is the amount of money you pay monthly to have health insurance coverage. Whether you use your insurance or not, this money is never returned to you. Another familiar term is "deductible." This is the additional money you are required to pay to any healthcare providers before your insurance company starts to make their promised contributions for any medical costs.
Keep in mind that deductibles are different from out-of-pocket costs. A deductible is an annual financial responsibility but out-of-pocket refers to how much you have to spend before your insurance company will pay 100% of your bill.
Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs typically reset each year, with the previous year's expenses having no impact moving forward. So if you have a deductible of $5,000, for example, and you spent $3,000 out-of-pocket last year and your insurance renews with the sample plan in place, your out-of-pocket expenses are reset to $0 and that $3,000 from last year does not roll over. However, some plans in Charles Town, WV offer an exception to this rule and allow a rollover of your paid deductible amount from the previous year into the first quarter of the new insurance year.
Co-payments, also known as co-insurance, refers to your financial obligation of a medical visit or service. If your co-payment for visiting a primary care physician is $25, then every time you see your primary care physician, you pay $25. From there the insurance covers the balance if the services rendered are within coverage on your plan. Co-payments are not applied toward deductibles.
You may also receive a lifetime benefit from your insurance company. This refers to the maximum amount of money that your insurance company will pay in total for your healthcare. Medical claims will no longer be paid by the insurance company once this maximum amount is reached.
Your employment has a significant impact on the health insurance plans that are available to you in Charles Town, WV. Working for a large company will likely qualify you for their group health insurance plan. This is usually more affordable than getting individual healthcare, but no one is required by law to participate in these group health insurance plans.
Being self-employed or unemployed presents the option of purchasing private, individual health insurance. If you are a senior and do not work, you are eligible for government financial assistance through Medicare. Low income individuals can apply for government assistance as well, which is called Medicaid.
It is important to check with your doctor to see which health insurance plans they accept in Charles Town, WV if you want to continue visiting a specific physician. Notify your doctors if your insurance plan changes, and be sure to check with your insurance company regarding any specific questions or concerns about your coverage.
Get a Quote for Health Insurance in Charles Town, WV
One of the best things a person can do for themselves or their family is to make certain they have access to a health insurance plan in Charles Town, WV. Life brings on so many ups and downs in regards to health, and these items can affect not only the plan options available but what rates are being applied. Looking forward to all of the aspects of life that can make certain that the right plan is chosen. For example, if a woman plans on having a baby in the future, she needs to make certain that her plan offers maternity coverage and that a new family member can be added to the plan. It is important to note that eliminating coverage to save up-front costs is not the wisest idea in case disaster does strike. Here at MyRatePlan, we want to help people find the right plan for them, so enter your ZIP code for a free quote today.