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Health Insurance

By Sara Chambers

When you are in your late teens and twenties, possibly up to the age of forty, it's hard for people to understand why they need health insurance. For some people, it may be less expensive to pay full price when going to the doctor then pay the monthly fee associated with health insurance. These people may ask whether or not health insurance is even worth it. For most people, however, health insurance is a huge money saver. But what are the different types of health insurance and how should you go about determining what is right for you.

There are mainly two types of insurance: Indemnity plans and managed care plans. Indemnity plans are insurance plans in which an insurer reimburses the insured for medical expenses no matter who provided the service. There are three plans within the indemnity category. These include reimbursement of actual charges, reimbursement of a percentage of the actual charges and indemnity. In the first plan, the insurer will reimburse for the entire cost of the service, the second plan covers a percentage, while indemnity pays a certain amount daily for a certain number of days.

Managed care plans have three main types: HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations), PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) and finally POSs (Point of Service plans). In an HMO plan, members pay a flat monthly rate. In most circumstances, the HMO member must use medical professionals from the preferred network. Unlike HMOs, PPOs are paid on a service by service basis. PPOs are often sponsored by employers or insurance companies who reimburse the insured for the service, minus of course any co-payments. A POS is a plan in which the insured pays no deductible and a small co-payment as long as the service provider is a part of the network.

So, what should you do? Well, you should start by investigating your health insurance options. What does your employer provide? Most employers do not pay the deductible for their employees; however, the rate is reduced as it is often a group situation. The best way to determine the best plan for you is to educate yourself on what is available and what you need.

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