The Best Health Insurance Plans: Coverage Options

Everyone is looking for the best health insurance plan that will provide adequate coverage but not cost a fortune.

Looking at the options for health care coverage can be confusing. When you choose from a plan, consider coverage options that might be right for you.

Health Savings Plans

Health savings accounts (HAS) offer a tax deductible way to pay your out-of-pocket health care costs.

There are two components of this type of savings account. One is a liquid account that pays current health expenses. The other is a portable, tax-advantaged savings account that follows you if you move to another locations or change companies. HSAs allow you to build up money in the account to pay for unforeseen medical expenses.

High Deductibles

Many people make use of a high deductible health insurance plan in conjunction with a HAS.

Under a traditional health insurance plan, the insured (and often their employers) pays high premium rates on everyday coverage. With the high premium rates, an individual is able to go to the doctor or hospital any time they need to for a small fee or co-pay. Deductibles on these traditional plans are often low – as low as $250 or $300  -- but premium payments are high.

With a high-deductible plan, the insured expects to pay higher amounts when they visit the doctor or dentist. Most health expenses are not covered by the plans, because the insured is paying a deductible that can range from $1,000 to $10,000.

However, in exchange for the high deductibles, individuals pay lower premiums.  People in good health take the money that they save in monthly premiums and save the money in their HSA.

The money in the HSA is tax deductible. An insured individual can use the money in the HSA to pay for office visits and checkups through the year, and use whatever is left to build a nest egg from which to draw in the event of a serious illness.

Preventative Care

Another feature to look for in health plans is coverage for preventative health visits, or checkups. Some plans cover these visits fully, others only provide coverage after the first $100 or $200 dollars paid by the patient.

If you have several children and visit the doctor frequently for well child care and adult physicals, then you may want to look for coverage for physicals in your health insurance plan.

Pregnancy/Maternity Care

Some policies will ask if you want maternity coverage, or expenses for the prenatal and postnatal care of a mother.

If you are a single man, for example, or you have finished having children and don’t anticipate needing that benefit, you can sometimes get a policy without this coverage and save some money.

Hospital-Only Options

There are other plans that provide coverage only for hospital stays or similar major medical problems. Any amount less than this is covered out of pocket by the patients.  This type of policy is also used together with HSAs.

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