Health Insurance Plans

You can buy health care coverage in 3 ways:

Through your company.

This is the to the lowest degree expensive way to gain insurance. If you work for a big organization, it may pay some or all of your monthly premium. Large businesses have the negotiating power to provide lower premiums and better benefits. You probably will not be required to pass a health exam, and your preexisting ailments may be covered. You're also more likely to have a choice of services if you work for a big company.

Small businesses, on the other hand, are at a disfavour in negotiating insurance reporting. They may have problems even obtaining coverage founded on the health history of one or more employees, and their cost per acqisition are likely to be more expensive. Some states have supported laws that demand insurers to offer coverage to small groups within a given price.

If you and your married person are both covered by insurance at your jobs, the insurance agencies may coordinate your benefits. That means that whatever is not covered by one plan (your primary carrier) could be paid by the former(a)--provided you and your spouse are each covered under the other's health plan

. You may never receive more than 100% of the cost of the services provided. Not all insurers have the same regulations, so check with your employee benefits counselor to see how benefits will be unified.

If you lose or leave your line of work, you have the option of extending your existing insurance program for up to 18 months under The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA). The same law allows an employee's family to continue coverage for up to three years following death or divorce. COBRA permits you to continue your health care coverage at your former employer's group rate, plus a small (maximum of 2%) administrative fee. If you fail to pay the costs, your coverage will be canceled and you will not be able to reestablish it.

COBRA coverage ends when you start new employment with health benefits. The option to carry coverage under COBRA is critical if you cannot afford the high costs of an individual policy or if you have a preexisting consideration.

As an individual person

If you are self-employed or not working, and are not covered by another family member's insurance, you should purchase an individual policy. The premiums for single person can be expensive, even for the most basic plans. The best advice is to comparison shop and purchase the best coverage you can afford. Group insurance coverage may be available to members of certain trade or professional organizations. A few states have 'risk pools,' which provide insurance coverage to any person regardless of prior health problems. determine with your state insurance orgnaization if you are unable to obtain coverage on your own. Note that some preexisting conditions may not be covered under your individual health insurance program. Be sure to determine with your insurance provider what is and is not covered.

Medicare and Medigap insurance.

Once you are 65, you can obtain Medicare insurance programs from the federal government's health insurance plan. You also may qualify if you have certain disabilities. Medicare does not pay all of your associated costs, and there are deductibles. Excluded are most nursing-home care or long-term care in the dwelling. Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs. Many people over 65 buy a Medigap insurance policy from a private insurer to supplement Medicare coverage.

There are 12 standard Medigap policies, labeled A through L, which make it easy to comparison buy. Depending on which bundle you choose, Medigap coverage may pay for such things as Medicare deductibles, coinsurance amounts or prescription medication. Medigap insurers must accept you, regardless of preexisting conditions, if you apply within six months of becoming eligible for Medicare. If you wait longer, you may be refused coverage.