To many of us, the health of our family is of paramount importance. However, if our employers do not already provide us with family health insurance then we need to start to think about how we can provide for the health of our family. In any such consideration the issue of basic family health insurance should be discussed.
Fee-for-services health insurance
As its name indicates, fee-for-services health insurance is a basic indemnity policy. In short, with fee-for-services health insurance you make a claim when you need to, and your health insurance provider then deducts this sum from your pre-agreed health insurance sum. The upside of fee-for-services health insurance is that you can visit any healthcare provider you want and then you make a claim — although you should read the health insurance policy carefully as some types of treatment are not covered.
The major downside of fee-for-services health insurance is the cost, which traditionally is very high. Unlike other types of health insurance which have come on the market since the conception of fee-for-services health insurance, premiums can be high and the only way to reduce this high premium charges is to increase your deductibles. However, careful consideration does need to be given to increasing your deductibles as this can lead to you being left with a hefty bill if you need hospital treatment.
Health Maintenance Organization health insurance (HMOs)
HMOs are a more recent addition to family health care insurance and are popular because they’re the cheapest – in premiums – type of health care insurance you can purchase for your family. Obviously, whenever you buy cheap insurance you usually find that you have certain restrictions as to exactly what you can do — and HMOs are no different in this respect, so you have to be careful. In particular, HMOs usually designate certain healthcare providers who you are allowed to visit and if, even in the case of an emergency, you visit a healthcare provider who is not approved by the HMO, you’ll be left to pick-up the entire tab yourself.
Other types of health care insurance
In response to the high costs associated with fee-for-services health care insurance and the restrictions of HMOs have come other types of health care insurance. Notable in this are schemes such as Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), which, again, involves a network of particular doctors you are required to visit. However, where PPOs differ from HMOs is that you may be able to claim for some reimbursement if you visit a healthcare provider outside of the network of PPO healthcare providers – depending on the health care policy your family have.
So if you are looking for family health care, please make sure you give special thought to this and make sure that you are not one of the 40 million Americans today walking around with no health care insurance in the eternal hope that nothing unexpected happens.
What is Temporary Health Insurance?
Temporary health insurance coverage is available to those looking for health insurance for a short period of time, and this could be for a variety of reasons. This type of coverage is available for any person, both young and old, and policyholders can get treatment from licensed health providers should they become sick during the term of the policy.
This type of health insurance is not designed for long term use, and usually covers policy holders for between one and six months. It is not designed as a substitute for permanent health coverage, but more as a temporary measure to bridge the gap when you may be without health insurance coverage for one reason or another.
This temporary coverage enables policyholders to get treatment in the event that they are in an accident or are taken sick whilst covered by the insurance. The coverage is not designed to provide check-ups or other preventative measures, nor is it designed for other forms of treatment such as dental care or immunizations.
A number of people can benefit from the protection that temporary health coverage provides. Those between jobs, for example, may find themselves without any form of coverage for a short while. Temporary health coverage can provide peace of mind on a short term basis until new employment is found. Students can also benefit from this type of coverage, enabling them to enjoy the peace of mind provided by this protection during times of the year when they are not covered by their college insurance plan.
At the end of your policy term, you may be able to renew your temporary health insurance coverage for another period of time. This is largely up to the insurer, and will depend upon your circumstances. You may have trouble getting a renewal in the event that you have already made a claim on your temporary coverage, and even if you are permitted to renew, your cost of coverage is likely to increase. However, most insurers will allow you to renew your policy providing that they are satisfied that you will be getting permanent coverage in the foreseeable future or there is a valid reason for you to still require temporary coverage.
Before being granted temporary health insurance coverage, there is a chance that you may have to provide a medical certificate confirming that you are in good health – this can vary from one insurer to another. If you apply for temporary health coverage and you have a pre-existing medical condition, you may still be able to get coverage, but the policy may exclude treatment relating to your condition.
Temporary health coverage is only valid for the period specified, and should you get permanent coverage during the term of the temporary health insurance, your temporary policy will immediately become void. You should never try and claim on temporary health insurance once you have a permanent policy in place, as this could constitute fraud. Permanent coverage will always supersede any temporary coverage you have, and therefore any medical issues should be addressed through your permanent insurance once you have it.