Individual Health Insurance Cost Question & Answers
How much will a healthcare insurance for a family of 3 cost?
I am planning to enroll in an Individual & family health care insurance. I wondering how much would a good insurance for Me, My Wife and 1 year old Daughter would cost. I have corporate insurance now. But the company I join doesn’t provide me with one.
Sarah Fields answers:
You should consult in person with an independent agent to get the best policy for you. They are familiar with what is available in your area. Insurance policy costs are different in different states and depend on several factors like age, health, amount of deductible and covered benefits.
Any suggestions for an individual health insurance to go with my medicare?
My fathers health insurance through GM is going to be cancelled in Jan of 2009 and now we are in the process of trying to find another plan to go with his Medicare plan, is there anyone out there that has a suggestion for him?
Sarah Fields answers:
He’ll need to visit a local agent that works with all the major companies in his area because this can get very confusing. There is no extra charge using an agent.
You do not want to look for an individual health insurance policy, he’ll need either a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan. He’ll also need a Part D prescription drug plan or he’ll face penalties by not having one. Most Medicare Advantage plans will have Part D included but some, and all Supplements, do not.
There is no way for anyone here to have any suggestions. He’ll need to talk with someone knowledgeable with the different plans. There are Medicare Supplements Plans A through L. The plans are exactly the same from company to company; the only difference is premium. There are also several types of Medicare Advantage plans (HMO, PPO, PFFS, POS, MSA, SNP, PACE and Cost Plan) and the one that’s best depends on his current situation and budget as well as his state because these plans are county specific. Some companies will have only one or two types while other companies will have most types although what any company has will vary by county.
Generally, the Medicare Supplement will have a higher premium but very little if any extra charges when he uses the plan. The Medicare Advantage plans will have a low, or even a $0, premium but will have co-pays when he uses the plan.
What’s the best company to get individual health insurance? What organizations offer group health plan?
I am talking about health insurance that covers doctors, prescriptions, and hospital expenses.
Sarah Fields answers:
The best place to start is by doing what you’re doing now – asking for personal recommendations. What kind of health insurance are you looking for? It might be a good idea to jot down a list of the different aspects of a health plan and then chart the differences between various plans you come across. Here’s an example:
·Monthly price (premium)
·Yearly deductible (amount you spend before the insurance company will start paying)
·Copay amount (amount you pay per service)
·Coinsurance amount (amount you split with the insurance company – usually a percentage; i.e., you pay 20 percent and the insurer pays 80 percent)
·Freedom of choice (can you visit whatever doctor you want?)
·Preventive medicine and routine doctor visits (does the plan include these?)
·Mental health (included in the plan; copay amounts; maximum number of annual visits).
I’d check out Consumer Reports (link below), America’s Health Plans (link below), US News & World Reports Best Health Plans, and whatever other informational resources you can find. I’d also talk with locally licensed health insurance agents. I’ve also included a couple of articles about choosing a health plan that might be useful. They are government-authored, but they’re actually pretty good (all links below).
HMOs (health maintenance organizations) are popular right now, and they usually include mental health coverage in their plans. A typical example is that you would pay a monthly fee and then a copay when you visit your therapist (usually around $50 for a plan with low monthly payments). One potential problem, though, is access to physicians. An HMO might not have the kind of mental health specialist you’re looking for. Before you enroll in an HMO, I would strongly urge you to look at their mental health specialist roster. For more choices, you might opt for a PPO (preferred provider organization) or a traditional fee-for-service plan.
As for organizations that have group health plans, try asking your state insurance department (link below). Some trade associations have group health plans and so do some church organizations
You should try visiting MostChoice.com. It’s a Web site that helps you shop for health insurance. They have free instant price quotes and policy information on health plans near you, but their specialty is getting you in touch with state-licensed agents. There’s no cost or obligation to buy insurance. You just fill out a short form and wait for the agents to contact you (within 48 hours). Have your questions ready and let them work until one of them delivers the plan that’s right for you. You might want to have a set amount you want to spend each month on insurance and tell the agents to work within those parameters.
You can find MostChoice here: http://www.mostchoice.com/health-insurance.cfm
Hope this helps,
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