Self-employed people need health insurance just as much as do people who are working for someone else. In order to get the best coverage for a particular individual’s or family’s needs for the best price, it is important to consider several factors while shopping for cheap medical insurance.
The first consideration when looking for medical insurance is the type of network of medical personnel. There are four main types of networks. An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization is a network of medical personnel and facilities that work for the HMO. Each insured must choose a primary care physician from this network who will conduct all business through a clinic in the network. A PPO, which stands for Preferred Provider Organization, allows one to either choose a physician from the network or from outside the network. Either way, the patient is responsible for a co-payment, which is a percentage of the bill for each medical service. There is also a deductible that must be exceeded before the insurance starts to cover expenses for a service. The percentage of co-payment and the deductible are higher if medical personnel are outside the PPO network. The POS, or Point Of Service plan requires someone to choose a physician from the network. All services that do not require a specialist are performed by the same doctor. If a specialist is needed, the regular doctor will contact a specialist in the network. The network covers a broader geographic area than that of an HMO.
Group insurance is available to self employed people through associations. This type is much less expensive than individual plans. The Chamber of Commerce is a good place to go for information on those associations. Another step to take to get cheap medical insurance is to raise the deductible. The higher the deductible that is paid out-of-pocket, the lower the premiums are. When deciding between the final 2 plans, compare premiums, co-payments, deductibles, anticipated out-of-pocket expenses, percentage amounts of fees paid, and maximum limits on each claim and total claims over a lifetime.