Health insurance that is offered by your employer provides you with different plan levels to choose from and that can be useful. However, how can you be sure that these options are right for you? You need a way to compare company health insurance plans so you select the coverage that you will actually use to keep you healthy without causing financial strain during these times of economic turmoil.
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Statehealthfacts.org has an excellent chart you can review for tips on the health insurance market. You can locate your state to confirm specifics like what levels of health insurance your employer must provide you with or if they have a probationary period that you need to complete before you are eligible to receive benefits.
How do basic and major medical policies differ?
To understand how most health insurance plans work, you must first realize the two kinds that exist. The basic health insurance plans cover medical procedures like, surgery and hospitalization; they do not require any deductible payments. The majority of basic plans will pay 100% of these services as long as they are approved treatments that will help you maintain a healthy, quality life.
Major medical insurance plans do utilize the deductible method and require that you pay a certain amount out-of-pocket and within a 12-month period before they start reimbursing you for any medical treatments. The out-of-pocket charges are not limited to the deductible costs only; they can also include co-insurance and any additional assistance that may be considered excessive by medical personnel.
These plans also place a heavier financial burden on you and the insurance company because they cover a wider variety of expenses than the basic plans. Major medical plans give you more control by expanding coverage well beyond hospital stays and surgical procedures. They also cover:
- Lab fees
- CT scans
They recognize the importance of preventative care.
What happens if I lose my job?
Typically, when you resign or are separated from your employer, you lose your health benefits. Each company varies their process. Some may terminate your policy immediately; others may wait until the end of the month, while others will give you between 30-60 days to find a new insurance provider.
You will not be covered after your policy has been canceled, so you will need to conduct a search for private insurance right away. If you acquire a new position with another company before your current policy is canceled, you will be spared the chore of having to start over.
Because you received health insurance through your employer, you may be surprised at the current rates for private insurance. Be sure to focus on selecting a plan that makes sense. Don’t make choice based on your previous level of service especially if you never used many of the features. Be sensible and prudent with your choices.
What is COBRA insurance?
COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act helps if you lose your job and want to keep the same level of benefits for a specified time frame. If you are separated from your current employer and request to initiate COBRA coverage, you will be able to continue to receive health insurance for a pre-determined fee.
Be advised, the cost to maintain COBRA insurance is generally much greater than your previous premium costs. Businesses receive large discounts when they enroll over 20 employees. Once you are no longer employed or affiliated with the company, you will not be eligible for any discounts or bargains. You may be responsible for paying the full premium amount.
The major benefit to remember when you are considering COBRA insurance is that you can continue to receive assistance for up to18 months in most cases. If you are diagnosed as being physically challenged, the time frame is extended to 29 months. If the circumstances are surrounding the death of an employee, the surviving spouse can receive medical aid for a maximum of 36 months.
The type of health insurance you receive through your company can vary greatly and you should have all of the information available so you can compare and select the plan that will present the most favorable options. Only you can decide what is most important and what you are looking for in a health care insurance provider.
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