Hard to believe as it may seem, there’s more than one insurance company out there today that is willing to offer your family group health insurance. That’s right; your family constitutes a group and reaps all the rewards of a group including lower rates than individual insurance premiums. This new trend in insurance is partly in response to Obama-care and partly in response to an economy that’s left many uninsured or unable to pay the premiums their employer plans offer.
Private health insurance is the main source of health coverage for the majority of people in the United States. Approximately 58% of all Americans have private health care coverage. For elderly citizens and eligible children and families from low-income households, public programs are the primary source of coverage.
Should You Get Private Insurance?
Many people today feel they have no choice but to accept the insurance offered by their employer regardless of what it costs and whether it meets their needs. Lots of people don’t even bother submitting claims to their insurance carriers because they know even the simplest visit or procedure will be rejected or paid at such a low rate it’s not worth the hassle of the paperwork. According to earnestparenting.com, even when it comes to something as mandatory as vaccines for children many people are opting out in part due to the high costs associated with the doctor’s visit.
New Times, New Trends
In this day and age with so many people out of work and without benefits or with sub-par benefits, insurance companies have responded with new ideas. One new idea is that a family can qualify as a group. It can be an immediate family such as parents and children or an extended family that includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Frankly, the more the merrier and the cheaper.
Is it Safe to Get Your Own Policy?
According to getooutofdebt.org, the Federal Trade Commission charged a telemarketing operation with bilking millions of dollars from thousands of consumers by tricking them into buying what they believed was comprehensive health insurance, when in fact they had paid for something decidedly less. At the FTC’s request, a federal court stopped the defendants from marketing or selling any products or services related to medical discount plans or health–related insured benefits, pending resolution of the case.
HMO v PPO
There are two types of plans most families will be both interested in an able to afford: They are Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs). While HMOs are less expensive you have to be willing to give up on seeing the same doctor, counselor, or nurse every time. You may get lucky and have some consistency but that’s not the name of the game there. A PPO offers you the choice of the provider within their network whom you would like to see but you pay for it. You will see the same doctor, therapist or nurse at every visit but your premiums will be higher than that of an HMO.
How do I Choose?
There’s a lot to take into consideration when deciding whether to reject your employer’s benefits and strike out on your own; least of which is am I getting better coverage and/or am I getting it at a better price. To be frank, in most cases the price won’t be advantageous but the coverage will be. Having a family plan created just for your family’s needs may be desirable enough.
Karen Boyarsky is an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @boyarskykareni
Earnest Parenting: help for parents considering private health insurance.
Image courtesy of Ha-Wee via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.