Know the Difference Between an Individual Health Insurance Plan and a Family Health Insurance Plan
Individual health insurance plans and family health insurance plans, while basically the same, differ in degree of coverage as well as cost. Learn the difference between the two types of insurance products.
Individual Health Insurance Plans and Family Health Insurance Plans – Do You Know the Difference?
Trying to locate the right health insurance plan to fit your budget isn’t always the easiest thing to do especially with the growing cost of health care here in the United States. Determining what you want a health insurance plan to accomplish for you and your family and determining the needs to be covered will help you decide what health insurance plan may work best you and your family.
What are Individual Health Insurance Plans?
The first place to start our discussion is with the individual health insurance plan. An individual health insurance plan is basically what it says it is. An individual health insurance plan is a health insurance plan for one person. If you find you have no one else to insure with a health insurance policy then this will be your best option from a cost standpoint. Keep in mind however that individual health insurance plans may vary widely in affordability depending on the type of coverage you choose for yourself.
The more traditional individual health care plan is called an indemnity plan. The indemnity plan normally covers your visits to the doctor of your choosing and will cover the procedures that this doctor may prescribe for you. The cost for this indemnity plan will vary depending upon a deductible you choose for herself as well as your out-of-pocket limit. Keep in mind though that overall this type of health insurance plan is the more expensive of the individual health insurance plans but does offer you the most freedom of choice.
Individual managed care plans such as HMOs are less expensive than the indemnity plans but you need to be aware that you do give up some of the freedoms that are offered by the indemnity plan. Your freedom to choose your doctor is limited to the doctors on the HMO’s approved list and any specialists that you may need to see will have to be referred by this primary doctor. If primary yearly checkups and the occasional antibiotics describes your current health care needs, this plan may be the one for you. This plan will cover health emergencies but there may be just a few more hoops you have to jump through than with the Indemnity health care plan. Both of these health insurance plans, the indemnity plan as well as the individual managed care plan, may include dental coverage and prescription coverage at an additional cost.
What Are Family Health Insurance Plans?
As the name implies, family health insurance plans are designed for families. However since these family health insurance plans are covering more than one person, the cost of these plans will be higher. As you may already have guessed, the larger the family the larger the price tag. In addition, factors such as the ages, gender, and habits such as smoking or tobacco use in general etc. will largely determine how much this policy will cost you. As with individual health insurance plans, there are indemnity plans that are available for families. And since these indemnity plans offer the same freedoms as they do for the individual plans, these plans can be a real help when having to deal with the health care needs of multiple people.
Family health insurance can also come in the managed care variety as well and pretty much work the same way as do the individual managed care health insurance plans. The cost of the family managed care plans will be higher than that of the individual managed care plan, but will cost less than a family indemnity plan.
What Are Group Insurance Plans?
Many companies are now offering their employees group health insurance coverage. These employers may pay the bill for some of the premium. Since many of these employers now offer both types of health insurance coverage, the type of policy you choose will determine your out-of-pocket costs. Generally these group health insurance plans will cost you less than a plan you were to purchase on your own. If this type of group insurance plan is available to you at your workplace, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of it. If it is not offered at your workplace, perhaps you could suggest that your employer consider offering a group health insurance plan.
If your plan at work does not include a health insurance benefit or you are self employed or simply looking to provide health insurance coverage for yourself and your family outside the workplace environment, a great place to start your research is Blue Cross Blue Shield (www dot BCBS dot com) or Aetna (www dot aetna dot com). This is not necessarily an endorsement but is a good place to start in understanding the types of health insurance plans available out there today. These two large providers operate in most of our 50 states so your likelihood of learning about the types of health insurance plans available in your state from different insurers is high.
As always, seek the advice of a professional financial planner before deciding on a course of action that you do not fully understand.