Family health insurance is specifically designed to cover families, which usually means covering children. Family health insurance plans need to be flexible since the plan will need to cover several people who may have differing health conditions. iHealthCoalition.org recommends anyone looking at purchasing this kind of insurance get at least three quotes from different companies before deciding on a policy.
There are many kinds of private family health insurance plans. The most commonly used plan is the preferred provider organization (PPO). This type of plan has a network of preferred providers from which the user can choose. When you use one of these in-network providers, most of your medical expenses are covered. You can choose to go outside of the network, but you will have to pay more.
Another option for family health insurance is the health maintenance organization (HMO). An HMO differs from a PPO in that it has a group practice with doctors who have an agreement with the HMO to provide care. HMO care is typically comprehensive and most people pay a fixed monthly premium. However, the choice of doctors is limited to those that are in the HMO. If they need care outside of the HMO, their primary care doctor needs to refer them to someone.
A third option is the point of service plan (POS). Point of service plans are basically HMOs which provide the patient the option of referring themselves out of the HMO and still allowing for coverage for some services.
Your premium is what you pay the insurance company every month (or every year) to have the insurance. A deductible represents the amount you will need to pay for medical care before the insurance company will begin to cover you. A co-pay is a requirement by the insurance company that the insured user pay a part of their costs to cover you. Frequently it is applied to doctor’s office visits and prescription medications. A co-insurance payment is a percentage of your overall health care costs. A typical co-insurance arrangement is 80/20, which means that the insurance company pays 80 percent of the costs involved, and the insured pays 20 percent.
If you are seeking family health insurance, there are certain considerations you should take into account. Ask yourself, for instance, if the policies you are considering offer preventative coverage. It is very important for children to get preventative care, such as office visits and immunizations to protect them from common childhood illnesses. Also, ask about whether your health insurance company offers discounts for healthy living. You should find out about whether your policy has limits on the length of time you can receive coverage for any one diagnosis.
If at all possible, avoid policies that exclude pre-existing conditions. Be sure you are educated about what the policies you are considering will not pay for. Some providers are not covered by insurance upfront; instead the company will reimburse the patient after he or she has paid the full amount to the provider. Make certain you know the difference between the two.