The first thing to know about medical coverage is what it is. In most cases, a medical plan will only cover services provided by a network of approved providers. In most cases, health maintenance organizations are the least expensive of the three types of plans. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) allow you to see any doctor you want and charge less for services. While PPOs are less expensive, they are not the best option.
Catastrophic illness insurance, or hospital-only insurance, pays for only expensive hospitalizations. These plans often have high deductibles and won’t cover routine care or doctor visits. You may also have to pay a co-insurance amount. In the worst case scenario, you might pay thousands of dollars for treatments. And, in some cases, catastrophic illness policies don’t cover most services, including prescriptions.
Another type of medical coverage is called indemnity. This type of insurance doesn’t have a network of providers. Instead, you choose which doctors and hospitals you want. Fees for services vary depending on the plan, so you may end up with a huge medical bill. Therefore, you may want to check the conditions of the policy before you make the final decision. And remember that some insurance companies make misleading claims.
Managed care plans are often offered by employers. Managed care plans negotiate contracts with hospitals, clinics, and labs on your behalf. This ensures that your health care is coordinated. With an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), you’ll likely have a primary care physician and must visit other doctors for specialty care. If you go outside of the network, your insurance plan may not pay for the service. If you opt for an HMO, you may have to pay a higher co-payment or risk being denied.