Health Insurance Plans: Individual vs. Family
For most of us, a primary consideration when choosing a health care plan is the cost. Coverage is important, but with the rapidly increasing cost of healthcare, finding the right health insurance plan for your budget is job 1. Knowing what you need in a health insurance plan, and just who and what needs to be covered by it, will help you to decide what type of policy you need.
Health Care Plans For The Individual
An individual health insurance plan covers only you. No surprise there. If you have no dependents, this will be the best choice from a cost standpoint. Individual plans still vary a great deal in price, depending on the type of coverage you choose.
The Indemnity Plan.
A traditional health insurance plan that covers visits to any doctor you wish to see, and will cover any procedure the doctor prescribes for you. You'll notice variations between plans as to the size of the deductible and the limit on out-of-pocket expenses. Overall, this is the more expensive type of individual health insurance plan, but it offers the most freedom of choice.
The Managed Plan.
Individual managed plans, like HMO's, are more cost-effective, but you give up some of the freedom of the indemnity plan. You will be able to see only the doctors on your approved list, and any specialists you see must be by referral. If your health care amounts primarily to yearly check-ups and the occasional prescription for antibiotics, this is a plan that could work for you. It will cover health emergencies, there are just more hoops you have to jump through.
Both of these health insurance plans sometimes include prescription and dental coverage at an additional cost.
Family Health Insurance Plans
Since family health insurance plans cover more than 1 person, the cost will naturally be higher. The bigger the family, the bigger the price tag. Also, the age, gender, and health choices (like smoking) of each family member will play a big part in how much this type of policy will cost. There are indemnity plans for families and they offer the same freedoms as the individual plans. This can be a real bonus when dealing with multiple people on 1 policy.
Family health insurance plans also come in the managed health care package and work pretty much the same way as the individual ones. The cost will be higher than the individual managed plan, but not as high as the family indemnity plan.
Group Insurance Plans
Many companies now offer their employees group insurance coverage, footing the bill for most or some of the premium. Since many of these companies offer both types of health insurance coverage, how much you end up paying out-of-pocket will depend on which type of policy you choose.