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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

6 things to know about health insurance deductibles

Deductibles, premiums, copayments, and coinsurance, are important for you to consider when choosing a health insurance plan. You can compare health plans and see if you qualify for lower costs before you apply. Most people who apply will be eligible for help paying for health coverage.

Here are 6 important things to know about deductibles:
  1. Having health insurance can lower your costs even when you have to pay out of pocket to meet your deductible. Insurance companies negotiate their rates with providers and you’ll pay that discounted rate. People without insurance pay, on average, twice as much for care.
  2. A health insurance deductible is different from other types of deductibles. Unlike auto, renters, or homeowners insurance, where you don’t get services until you pay your deductible, many health insurance plans provide some benefits before you meet the deductible.
  3. All Marketplace plans cover preventive care. Screenings, immunizations, and other preventive services are covered without requiring you to pay your deductible. Many health insurance plans also cover other benefits like doctor visits and prescription drugs even if you haven’t met your deductible.
  4. In 2014, there’s a $6,350 maximum for individual out-of-pocket costs for in-network services.The maximum for families is $12,700. Even if you choose a high deductible catastrophic plan, your out-of-pocket costs should not exceed this limit.
  5. Over 70% of Marketplace plans have deductibles under $3,000. When you choose a health insurance plan, it’s important to understand what your insurance company covers without requiring you to pay your deductible. Then you can decide whether you want a plan with lower monthly premiums and a higher deductible, or one with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible.
  6. Silver plans can save you more. If you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs and choose a Silver plan, you can save more with a lower copay and a lower deductible. If you qualify, you'll get the out-of-pocket savings benefits of a Gold or Platinum plan for a Silver plan price. You can choose any category of plan, but these out-of-pocket savings apply only if you enroll in a Silver plan.

How do co-insurance, copays and deductibles work?

How do co-insurance, copays and deductibles work - This information will help you if you're shopping for health insurance and have questions about how it works. When both you and your health insurance company pay part of your medical expense, it’s called cost sharing. Deductibles, coinsurance and copays are all examples. Understanding how they work will help you know when and how much you have to pay for care.


How does a deductible work?
  • A deductible is the amount you pay for health care services before your health insurance begins to pay.
Let's say your plan's deductible is $1,500. That means for most services, you'll pay 100 percent of your medical and pharmacy bills until the amount you pay reaches $1,500. After that, you share the cost with your plan by paying coinsurance and copays.


  • Coinsurance is your share of the costs of a health care service. It's usually figured as a percentage of the total charge for the service. You start paying coinsurance after you've paid your plan's deductible.
Here's how it works. Lisa has allergies, so she sees a doctor regularly. She just paid her $1,500 deductible. Now her plan will cover 70 percent of the cost of her allergy shots. Lisa pays the other 30 percent; that's her coinsurance.


  • A copay is a fixed amount you pay for a health care service, usually when you receive the service. The amount can vary by the type of service. You may also have a copay when you get a prescription filled.
For example, a doctor’s office visit might have a copay of $30. The copay for an emergency room visit will usually cost more, such as $250. For some services, you may have both a copay and coinsurance.

What does this mean for me?

When choosing a plan, think about how much you use your insurance and how much protection you want against unpredictable expenses. Then look at the plan's deductible, coinsurance and copays and find what works best for you. Here are a few things to consider.
  • Deductible: A plan with a high deductible will have cheaper monthly payments. But you'll pay a lot upfront when you need care. You can also look for plans that cover some services before you pay your deductible.
  • Coinsurance: Typically, the lower a plan's monthly payments, the more you'll pay in coinsurance. 
  • Copays: If you visit your doctor or pharmacy often, you might want to choose a plan that has a low copay for office visits and prescriptions.

Insurance Deductibles and Co pays Insurance

Insurance Deductibles and Co pays Insurance - Health care costs have gone up for the sixth year in a row, increasing at rate higher than inflation. Those who can still afford health care are often finding that their benefits are being trimmed while their co-pays and deductibles are increasing. With these growing costs is the growing importance of getting the most out of your health care coverage. Unfortunately, health care policies are often complicated and confusing, filled with jargon that can confuse anyone without a law degree.

So let's start with a few basic terms: a co-payment and a deductible. Once we decipher what they mean, we will attempt to explain how they are used in different types of health insurance plans. Perhaps a little bit of knowledge will save you some health care cash.
A co-payment, or co-pay, is the flat amount you pay at the time of a medical service or to receive a medication. Each health insurance plan establishes these fees up front -- they are often printed on your health insurance card. Insurance companies use these co-pays in part to share expenses with you. In addition to cutting a small portion of the costs, the co-pay is also used to prevent people from seeking care for every trivial medical condition they might encounter.


Many health benefits are being trimmed while
co-pays and deductibles are increasing.

In this way, co-pays can save an insurance company a substantial amount of money. However, while the co-pay has been found to lower costs by making people think twice before running to the doctor over a case of the sniffles, they might also prevent people from seeking necessary medical attention. For example, a person with a chronic condition may need to see four doctors over the course of a month, all of which require a $25 co-pay. 

However, if that patient cannot afford $100 each month, he or she will most likely skip one, if not all, of those appointments. Co-pays can often total hundreds of dollars each month if you have several health ailments. In these cases, many patients begin to pick and choose which medications they deem necessary, making for a potentially dangerous situation. But most would say that the alternative -- no health insurance -- would be worse.

Don't Confuse Co-Payment and Coinsurance
Coinsurance and co-payments are not the same thing. A co-payment is a specific amount that you pay at the doctor's office before you meet your deductible. Coinsurance is a percentage of a provider's charge that you may be required to pay after you've met the deductible.
When you've met your deductible, you'll have to pay coinsurance (usually 20 percent of the provider's charge) until you reach your out-of-pocket maximum. After that, the insurance company will pay for all covered services to the policy maximum for the remainder of the year

Now that we've defined co-pay, let's move on to the deductible. ­

Friday, January 9, 2015

Five Things to Look For the Best Health Insurance Policy

There are forty six million Americans who do not have health insurance coverage and this number is growing.  One primary reason is the high cost of getting a health insurance policy.  Though many Americans are in the working class, still they cannot afford to get a good if not the best health insurance policy for themselves. This fact is very alarming since health insurance is a necessity on every living individual.

We will never know when the health insurance can be used and it is always safe to have one ready.  Accidents are just everywhere and so inevitable happenings which may require the use of health coverage.  So, if you are now thinking to get your own health insurance coverage, let me give you some tips which might help in finding the best health insurance policy for yourself.        

1.      Find a reliable health insurance company – This means that your provider should always be there for you when you need them.  The customer care does not just end upon signing the contract, rather, after sales should also be given. For emergency cases, you should be able to contact them for easy solutions.  This gives you the peace of mind that you are in good hands.        

2.      Financially stable – Before you choose the best health insurance company, you should also do your assignment.  Do your part by researching about the company and looking into its financial background since it started.  There are several health insurance companies who already declared bankruptcy and we do not want to be one of the victims who suffer the most.        

3.      Do some research – Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AM Best are just two of the organizations who are dedicated in assessing the strengths and credit worthiness of insurance companies to ensure the security of the policy holders. Also, they provide reliable information regarding businesses and reports filed against certain companies if there is any. You may also want to check on the website of your potential health insurance company for additional company details.      

4.      According to your needs – Before purchasing a health insurance policy, take a look on your own or family’s health needs. You should first determine what insurance coverage you need.  Do not just go for what you think is cheap and affordable instead; go for the one which will cater your needs.

5.      Good and practical coverage – Do not just go to an insurance policy with low premiums but can’t really meet your needs. Check for the available hospitals and doctors accessible to your location for your convenience as well as the number of visits you can make.  Also, ask for the details of the coverage since there may be some restrictions in some aspects like the type of disease.  Other insurance companies do not cover patients with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and tuberculosis.  We can really say that it is the best health insurance policy if your pre-existing condition will also be covered.        

Having the best health insurance policy puts your mind at ease and your family in good hands. Your health may be at risk so you should be meticulous and practical in choosing the best one for you. Asking for a professional help is always a safe decision so it wouldn’t hurt if you ask for one.

Cheap Health Insurance To Find Insurance Quotes

Being a business owner or an individual who is self-employed it is a good chance that you may need to purchase your own health insurance coverage. If you are alike most of the health insurance seekers it is a fact that you are interested in saving as much money as possible. On that basis it is imperative to look for cheap health insurance and with the help of a number of important factors that you will need to take into consideration. By so doing you will be able to find a range of insurance quotes that are ideal for you and your needs.

When looking for cheap health insurance it is important to find a health insurance policy that is easily affordable. Generally it can be one that is being offered at a cheap yet affordable price. The best way to find a health insurance cover is to examine the various different insurance providers and plans. To do this you will want to apply for many health insurance quotes or estimates of how much you could expect to pay for coverage. When looking for the cheapest health insurance around you can compare all of them to find the lowest option which is ideal and formed just for you.

A number of people who indulge in treacherous sports have found it less likely to be able to come across affordable health insurance with no trouble. These sports include extreme motor sports or death defying snow sports and a variety of splashing water sports. Again, it is of critical essence to state your participation in any of these sports. This will guarantee to ensure that your low-priced health insurance is valid. On the other hand you can narrow down the option that is required to help find a family discounted health insurance policy. People have noted that by not being particular about the healthcare professional they were able to obtain treatment and benefit from a far greater choice of inexpensive health insurance policies. If you try to be positively flexible it is possible to find a greater choice in the range of online insurance companies.

An area where people fail to recognize as important for coverage is pregnancy and childbirth. If you feel that your family needs this included in your policy you will find that some of the insurance companies will offer you cheap health insurance with or without this prerequisite. This is only one such instance, however it highlights the need for you to analyze the would-be inexpensive health insurance providers to determine whether you can have a better low-priced coverage.

The best place to find cheap health insurance providers is unquestionably the internet. However, do not be tempted to simply perform a search for cheap or economical health insurance as there is a high probability that almost all health insurance providers have this statement somewhere on their website. Try using some of the insurance agencies websites who offer free services to find you a list of cheap and reliable health insurance providers for you to compare those who genuinely have a lowered priced.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What is an Insurance Deductible?

What is an Insurance Deductible - In an insurance policy, the insurance deductible is the amount of expenses that must be paid out of pocket before an insurer will pay any expenses. In general usage, the term deductible may be used to describe one of several types of clauses (see below) that are used by insurance companies as a threshold for policy payments.

How Does a Deductible WorkDeductibles are typically used to deter the large number of trivial claims that a consumer can be reasonably expected to bear the cost of. By restricting its coverage to events that are significant enough to incur large costs, the insurance firm expects to pay out slightly smaller amounts much less frequently, incurring much higher savings. As a result, insurance premiums are typically cheaper when they involve higher deductibles. For example, phone companies offer replacement plans, with the deductible set at the level of the wholesale price of the phone. As added benefit to them, the customer does not switch to different company as they often do with a new phone purchase.

Deductibles are normally provided as clauses in an insurance policy that dictate how much of an insurance-covered expense is borne by the policyholder. They are normally quoted as a fixed quantity and are a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder. The insurer then becomes liable for claimable expenses that exceed this amount (subject to the maximum sum claimable indicated in the contract). Depending on the policy, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where incidences are not easy to delimit (health insurance, for example), the insurance deductible is typically applied per year.

Several deductibles can be set by the insurer based on the cause of the claim. For example, a single housing insurance policy may contain multiple deductible amounts for loss or damage arising from theft, fire, natural calamities, evacuation etc. There are also insurance deductible reimbursement programs that reimburse a deductible in the event of an automobile, home, boat/yacht or health insurance claim.