Monday, December 21, 2009

Take Some Time to Study Your Options

Take Some Time to Study Your OptionsDoes most people are in the health plan that best fits their needs? Probably not. There are some tools available at some health insurance related websites, but they still leave gaps. So, what questions do you need to ask to choose the best health plan for you and your family?

Today there are more health plans to choose from than ever before. The value of health plans differs widely. Research shows that Americans say that quality is the most significant thing they think about while selecting a health plan. But only few people understand their options well enough to make an informed choice.

You should remember that your health plan affects many things that includes: Who will care for you and how much choice you will have; What kind of care you will receive; Where you will receive your care; When you will receive your care; The quality of care you receive; How much you will pay. Ask yourself: Does the plan provide the benefits I need? Which health care services are most important to my family and me? Do the plans I am comparing provide these services?

The two major types of health plans are "fee-for-service" and "managed care." Managed care plans can go by many names: Health Maintenance Organization (HMO); Preferred Provider Organization (PPO); Individual Practice Association (IPA); Point of Service (POS) plan, etc… Choosing the type of health plan is only the first step in narrowing down your choices.

Do not be confused by whether the plan is a "fee-for-service" plan, or whether the plan is one of the many kinds of managed care plans. What you need to understand is not the plan's label, but the features of the plan. It is important to realize your options and how they affect your choice of providers and services, costs, and quality of care.