What is the Best Health Insurance Plan?
The healh insurance market provides a lot of choices for consumers. And there is not a simple answer when trying to decide which major medical plan would be the best for you and the people you love. You need to examine how these plans work, and then decide which one will work the best for you.
The Types of Medical Plans
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) are very common today. The insurer has a network of doctors, hospitals, therapists, etc., and you will enjoy the highest level of benefits if you stick to the list. If you decide to ge medical services out of the network, you can still be covered, but at a lower level. A PPO plan allows some choice, and still provides coverage, so it is very popular.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) – This is more restrictive than a PPO. You must stick to the insurer’s provider list o be covered. However, if you live in an area with a big network, you may be very satisfied as the coverage is usually very strong.
Even though both HMO and PPO plans have networks, the insurer will probably allow for some coverage exceptions in the event of an emergency or urgent care need. If you cannot find a certain type of provider in the network, you may also get permission to use another provider. You just need to understand how the plan works before you need the service.
One newer type of plan is called an HSA (Health Savings Account). If you like to manage your own medical costs, and are good at saving, this may be an option to consider. You can fund the savings account to pay for medical expenses, and the money is tax deductible. Some accounts even pay interest!
Any unused HSA funds roll over to the next year. And you can cash out your account at retirement age. So this is a good way to combine health insurance with retirement savings.
Just keep in mind that some people are not happy with HSA plans because they do not ever fund their account. If you do have medical expenses that you need to pay, and have no cash in your account, that money will have to come from another source.
There is not one best health insurance plan for everybody. Your own best decision will depend upon the types of plans in your local area, the way you would prefer to plan for health plans, and the flexibility you want.