For most of us, health care and prescriptions represent a big financial burden. When families and individuals experience financial strain, many cut back on health care services. But in the event of a serious illness or catastrophe, not being adequately covered can lead to financial disaster. Luckily, there are ways to ensure you find the best medical coverage for yourself and your family, as well as access to low-cost prescriptions and other services. Resources are available; you just need to seek them out.
Choosing a Health Plan
With the countless options available and the complex terminology and paperwork, selecting a health care plan can be overwhelming. There are two basic types of plans: group plans (plans supported by an employer) and individual plans (plans not supported by an employer). Whether you have access to a plan supported by an employer or you need an individual plan, these tips for selecting a plan can help.
Before choosing a plan, ask yourself:
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you understand your health care needs and financial considerations. If you or a family member has a pre-existing health condition, it can be more difficult to get the health coverage you need. As part of the Affordable Care Plan passed in 2010, there is a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) available. You can find out more about it here.
Managed Care Health Plans
Here is a brief explanation of some of the most common Managed Care health plans:
After choosing your plan and services, make sure to use them wisely. Most health insurers supply educational materials on preventive care such as quitting smoking, weight loss and chronic disease management. Many even provide financial incentives for completing treatment programs, getting immunizations and using generic drugs.
In addition to making life more enjoyable, living a healthy lifestyle is key to keeping healthcare costs down. People who live a healthy lifestyle tend to be more productive and better at handling stress, making them more valuable employees. Being fit can even save you on health insurance - many companies factor in height and weight when determining rates for consumers. Making healthy choices, like quitting smoking, can also help to keep your health care and medical insurance costs done.