Private health insurance generally consists of both group and individual plans. Just like car insurance, private health insurance generally requires an individual to pick a policy and agree to pay a predetermined sum every month called a premium in return for coverage. However, in contrast to car insurance, there are no deductibles or restrictions on the insured. In short, the insured pays whatever amount he or she wishes to for health care and is not limited in what insurance providers offer. As with all insurance, there are many types of private health insurance available today, and knowing what it is that you need can help you locate the most suitable policy.
Private health insurance companies include Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, Assurant Health, Celtic Insurance Company, Assurant Health, GEICO, Time Insurance Company, Celtic Insurance Group, and many more. The companies provide health insurance coverage for individuals as well as families. There are even insurance plans for students. Most private health insurance policies include some type of medical coverage but may include mental health benefits as well. Whether the policy will cover you completely will depend upon the specific policy.
Medicare is a government-run program that provides coverage for most people over 65. To qualify for Medicare, you must have attained the age of 65 and are enrolled in school. Medicare does not cover health insurance program benefits for children. Each year Medicare offers a choice of health insurance plans that are recognized by the government to supplement the Medicare program. When comparing private health insurance programs, keep in mind that all policies that are part of the Medicare health insurance program are standardized and offer the same coverage.
Private health insurance plans may also include supplementary benefits such as vision insurance, dental coverage, accident benefits, and extended hospital stays. These additional benefits are usually available only to policyholders who select certain Medigap policies. Some private health insurance plans may offer extra coverage for prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, preventive services such as screenings for cholesterol and blood pressure, hearing aids, and vision care. These additional coverage benefits can increase the cost of your premium. Make sure you understand what is not included in your policy before purchasing any plan.
In addition to Medicare, the United States government offers several other programs that are designed to provide private health insurance coverage for individuals and families. These programs are Medicaid and the Family Care Health Plan (FCHP). The state of Texas has also developed its own Medicaid program. Each state’s plans may vary, so it is important to shop around to find the policy that will meet your needs. Knowing what mental health benefits are offered, as well as the out-of-pocket costs associated with those benefits will help you decide which plan is best for you.
Some people wonder what the difference is between managed care and Medicare when they are comparing their options. Medicare is a set benefit plan that is funded by the federal government. Managed-care plans are private health insurance plans that are contracted by a network of health care providers. Unlike Medicare, medical expenses covered by managed care plans are not necessarily guaranteed by a specific level of care. Therefore, you may need to use the hospitalization coverage or emergency room services provided by the insurance company.