Private health insurance is what you need when you don’t have a state-funded insurance plan to pay for your medical expenses. For the majority of people in the USA, private health insurance plan is a requirement.
More than half of the Americans are using private health insurance plan. It is only for elderly citizens, eligible special children and low-income household to avail the public sources of health support. A few examples of public programs are Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP.
In the USA, if you don’t have your health expenses covered by an insurance plan (public), you have to take any private insurance plan by yourself. That can pay total or partial health expenses on your behalf at the time of need.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
This year, US healthcare system took a drastic turn in introducing major reforms. It has changed the entire health system of the country. It has changed the concept in the mind of US citizens about the health coverage.
The newly imposed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a mandate that every American citizen must have a medical provision or he must be ready for a penalty. It is not fully imposed yet, some of its conditions are under a challenge at Supreme court.
These provisions of the act will be completely imposed in a few years. Only a few parts of it were imposed right after it was signed and made a law. Most of the changes are towards the betterment of senior citizens, special children, and young adults.
A few years ago, a provision of Promoting Individual Responsibility (2014) was highlighted. It said that the citizens are also responsible for covering their medical expenses. Therefore they must purchase a health insurance plan or be ready to pay a fine as a penalty.
How can you buy a private health insurance?
If you aren’t covered by the state, it is your duty to purchase a private insurance plan to finance your health expenses. It is imposed on all young adults that are US citizens.
Before purchasing any health insurance plan, it is necessary to look for all the available options, get all the relevant details and study them. For example, you should be aware of a few things, prior buying a health insurance plan. You must know what type of treatments, medicines or facilities does it cover.
What are the pre-existing conditions?
There are some government programs based on the latest legislation regarding health policy that helps those with pre-existing conditions. In context to the current government, these pre-existing conditions for people below 19 years of age are no longer a valid reason to refuse coverage in a family health insurance plan. For the people under 19 years of age, if they want to enroll themselves, they need to be a part of any open enrolment period for it.
Insurance companies, most of them are not fraud. To maintain their name and business, it is required by all insurance companies to spend a good portion of their money on the insured person, which they collected them from him.
There is no chance that an insurance company, except for the actual misleading and confused status, can be a fraud to you. For those, which are unable to pay for the healthcare insurance, there is also an option for financial assistance.
Guideline to select a good private insurance plan
Selecting a private health insurance plan can be tricky. Regardless of all other factors, you should select the one that best meets your requirements and the prospective circumstances.
The insurance policy experts say that every person should think carefully and read all the details of the package they are interested, before signing for it. Following are a few things that you should consider before signing a health insurance plan privately.
- Check if it is one plan or separate plans
It is better to get one plan for your better half or the whole family. But there is always an option to buy a separate plan or one plan for all. In this case, many health insurance providers offer deals. It is better to roam around and gather all the information on available options.
- Check if consulting the doctor is included or not
If you are considering a complete plan, make sure to check if the doctor’s consultation is included in the plan or not. Otherwise, you may have to pay extra from your pocket for just consulting the doctor or the healthcare provider. (hospital, clinic etc.)
- Select a relevant plan
There are so many insurance plans, which cover consultation, assistance, tests, medicines, and every surgery. Yet there are a few with are a combination of any of these. There is always an option on what do you want to be added up to your insurance plan.
It is necessary to buy an insurance plan that is as per your requirements. For example, if you are over 50 years of age, it is highly unlikely to pay for maternity as your top priority. So it is better to take time and invest in something that you will actually use.
- Select carefully between a simple plan and premium
You are only required to get the basic health insurance. There is no penalty for premium treatments and insurance policies. Purchasing the health insurance plans depends on your income too.
If your average income is not very high and you are enjoying a good health, for now, there are fewer chances that you will ever need a complex treatment or surgery. In this case, it is better to invest in essential requirements only.
How much an average health insurance costs you in the USA?
Health insurance is flexible in the USA. It is neither too expensive nor too cheap. As per a survey report of eHealthInsurance in 2010, the individual health policy is high in demand.
It further tells that for a premium insurance policy, the average amount to be paid is $167.00 USD per month. The family plans had an average of $392.00 USD per month.
For those who cant afford this premium health insurance, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) is a saver. Following are the options open for people with special needs.
Medicaid is an option that is always available for low-income citizens. It provides the health benefits to many people after the legislation has passed. By the year 2014, people that are earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for availing the benefits by Medicaid.
For all the people that earn less than the 400% of the federal poverty levels, are eligible to apply for the financial assistance, which will cover their health insurance through governmental subsidies.
- Children’s Health insurance program (SCHIP)
The Children health insurance program is a combined program of state and federal government to provide the insurance facilities to children in families, which are eligible for Medicaid but still cant, afford private insurance plans.
These programs are governed by the individual states, which are as per requirements made by the federal center for Medicare and Medicaid services.