Health Insurance Guide
Health has always been uncertain. We can try our best to keep fit, but after a certain age the expenses on health do increase. Its better to keep ourselves insured under a Medical Plan to make sure that our medical expenses are taken care of.
If we talk about Individual Health Insurance Plans in US, they are designed to help an individual and their families access care and cover the medical cost of receiving medical services from any physician, hospital or other provider.
There are different types of Medical Plans:
Health Maintenance Organization
Preferred Provider Organization
Point of Service Plan
Exclusive Provider Organization
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Protected Health Information.
Under HIPAA Privacy, unauthorized individuals cannot ask or inquire about any clinical or personal health information when counseling participants about their Medical Plans.
Indemnity Plans These plans are sometimes called Free-for-Service Plans, where:
An individual pays the medical care provider directly for services
Files claim to be reimbursed by the Plan
An Individual can seek care from any doctor or hospital and receive benefits.
Hospital precertification is required for some services in order to receive the highest level of benefits.
Pays reasonable and customary deductible coinsurance amounts, up to an out-of-pocket maximum
Rely on Utilization Management to control costs
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) An HMO provides prepaid benefits for most health care needs with no bills or claim forms. It provides services through a selected group of doctors, hospitals and other providers who are under contract to the HMO. To choose an HMO option, an individual must live or work in an area supported by the HMO network as defined by their home ZIP Codes.
An individual choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP) from a list of physicians
They pay copayment (instead of deductibles) each time they visit a provider
Services rendered by the PCP or from a provider referred by PCP is reimbursed
HMOs provide preventive care and rely on Utilization Management to control costs
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) A PPO is a network of contracted participating physicians and hospitals that agree to render their services at discounted rates.
PPOs maintain networks of participating doctors and hospitals; however, individuals are not required to choose a PCP to coordinate their care. They have the choice of using in-network and out-of-network providers, using in-network providers offers higher benefits though.
Point of Service Plan (POS) POS Plans have networks of participating doctors and hospitals that provide medical care at negotiable rate.
Individuals living in a POS service area, according to their home ZIP Codes, are eligible to join the plan and must choose an in-network PCP or facility from the list of providers
Using in-network providers offer the highest level of benefits
Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) EPO Plan resembles to HMO. Benefits are provided within a specific contracted network of physicians and hospitals with no out-of-network benefits available.
Individual chooses a PCP from the list of physicians
Individual are required to pay a predetermined copayment (instead of a deductible) each time they visit a provider.
Services rendered by PCP or by a provider referred by the PCP will be reimbursed
EPOs provide preventive care and rely on Utilization Management to control costs
by: Shaun Mike
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