Having health insurance can greatly help you with a lot of medical concerns, especially if you have particular situations that can be dangerous to your health. However, getting insurance is more than just signing up for something; it is being aware of situations you can be in where your medical expenses can be paid on your behalf. Health insurance is more than just pieces of paper that you sign; it is an act of taking into consideration a whole lot of options in order to better ensure and guarantee your safety. This article presents the benefits of getting insurance and what you have to look for in order to reap maximum benefits.

It might help to look into a few numbers about health insurance coverage before learning its benefits and what to look for. For instance, according to the World Health Organization, global health expenditure is at $7.3 trillion, with $4.4 trillion of that amount being spent internally by governments to provide health care and other forms of support to its citizens. The organization also noted that while it’s important to raise avenues for better access to health care, it’s also important to make sure funding on the matter is spent as efficiently as possible.

In terms of spending, the United States and Norway are the biggest spenders in health care in 2013, with a per capita amount of $8,508 and $5,699, respectively. Interestingly, much of the spending of the United States on health care isn’t government related, but rather expenditures through private means, such as insurance. Meanwhile, Norway’s spending is more in terms of socialized medicine, which means it provides health care through internal institutions such as its Government Pension Fund.

Getting Insured: What You Need to Look For

Providers such as Blue Country Insurance are capable of providing you with the kind of insurance care you might be needing in the future. Whatever insurance you get, you need to be careful with what you sign up for – as not only will it be a financial investment; it also takes into account the kind of situations you can be in where potential medical expenses will be paid by your insurer. As such, you need to take a number of factors into consideration:

You can actually benefit depending on the marketplace you’re in: A lot of people tend to get their health insurance from employment benefits. This means you don’t necessarily need to go through government insurance marketplaces or exchanges anymore, since your work becomes your marketplace. Interestingly, even if you already have health insurance courtesy of your employer, you’re still allowed to search for alternatives in other marketplaces, although these might cost a lot more.

  • Employers tend to dedicate a portion of their employees’ salary into paying the premium, which means the insurance they offer will likely be cheaper.
  • Depending on where you live, you can check out your region’s marketplace. In the United States, there are federal marketplaces or even Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
  • If you’re looking for health insurance, see first if your employer is offering insurance options.

You can also receive benefits depending on the kind of health insurance plan you have: A lot of countries have their own sets of health insurance plans, which means you’ll likely have a ton of options to choose from. In the United States, for instance, there can be as much as four (4) common types, namely, HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, and POSs, and other more specific types. These have varying costs and networks as well.

  • Health Maintenance Organizations or HMOs only provide coverage within its networks, unless it’s an emergency. Specialists need referrals from your healthcare provider. HMOs are great if you want lower costs and still receive care from a doctor assigned to you.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations, or PPOs, allow you to reach outside the network, but in-network services are much cheaper to avail. They don’t need referrals for specialists and special procedures, and this plan works best if you want more provider options.
  • Exclusive Provider Organizations are similar to HMOs, where they only provide coverage within a plan’s network, unless it’s an emergency. You don’t need a referral to access specialists and procedures, though. This is beneficial if you want lower costs but still access special services without referrals.
  • Point of Services, or POSs, don’t necessarily require you to stay within the network to avail services, but they’re generally less expensive. You need a referral to access specialists and procedures as well as out-of-network doctors, though. POSs work if you’re looking for a primary doctor and more provider options.

You have a ton of coverage options, which means you really should look into your history: A lot of insurance plans actually cover a lot of costs, sickness, injuries, and diseases. This means the best approach in choosing the best insurance one for you is to also put your family’s medical needs under consideration. What previous treatments did any of your family members require? What diseases run in your family? What kind of accidents are you prone to experience given your work or situation at home?

  • Plans requiring referrals can be a bit inconvenient, given that you need to do a lot of work to see people or specialists even inside or outside networks. This is why a lot of people choose other plans.
  • As with the above, HMO and POS plans are attractive if you want your primary care provider to do much of the paperwork for you in terms of records and visits. Likewise, EPO or PPO might work for you if you want to choose your providers, especially if you’re basing coverage on specific conditions.

You have a lot of companies to choose from, all of them with their own networks: Aside from having multiple insurance plan options, companies themselves can offer varying networks of providers and services you can choose from. This means certain insurance providers may likely offer options that are “better” in terms of both specializations and costs.

  • For instance, insurance companies can offer lower rates if you see doctors within their network, and they may not provide coverage if you see out-of-network specialists.
  • Likewise, you can approach finding the right plan for you in reverse. If you have a doctor you prefer, try to look for a plan that has them in a network. On the contrary, if you don’t have a preference in terms of doctors, you may want a plan that has a large network instead.

You can also benefit depending on how much you have to spend: Aside from the size of the network itself, you may want to see how much exactly you have to spend for the plan overall. In addition to premiums, there are deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. As such, the total money you spend out-of-pocket is limited, and at the same time the maximum you can spend for coverage is limited. If your premium is lower, then it means your out-of-pocket costs will likely be higher.

  • Pays depend on how often you see doctors – both specialists and physicians – for care, as well as if you take expensive medicine on a regular basis. These also depend if you always need emergency care, if you have a chronic condition, or if you have surgery planned.
  • Try getting a plan with higher costs out-of-pocket versus the premium if you rarely need to see a doctor and if you can’t afford monthly premiums that increase because out-of-pocket costs are low.

You can benefit from the coverage included in the plan: If you’ve narrowed down your plan options, you can at least now focus on the kind of care you’ll actually receive with your options. Don’t skip this step, as this decides whether or not a plan can actually help your family with their specific needs.

  • Determine whether you and/or your family members have to take certain medication or if you have common family diseases. See if you and/or any family member has special conditions to take care of or if you’re prone to certain conditions such as injuries and accidents because of the nature of your work or where you live.
  • With these in mind, see if all these are covered under your plans of choice. This is especially the case in terms of medicine and other forms of care.
  • See if the plan has options for maternity care, should you think you need one for yourself or for a spouse. It’s also important to check if they have options for coverage if something happens to you abroad.

The Bottom Line: Getting Health Insurance for Your Needs

If you want to get health insurance, it’s important to understand that there are a lot of coverage options available for you. These aren’t meant to confuse you, but rather to ensure that your health and safety are taken care of. Health insurance exists to cover hospital expenses in order to avoid financial hassle should an accident or other special circumstances happen. Take the above benefits into consideration, and remember the factors to consider in order to make the best of your health insurance coverage.