Where can I see my health insurance number?
A person’s health insurance policy number can be found on their insurance card and their insurance paperwork. The insurance policy number is also located on the policyholder’s monthly premium bill. This is likely different from the plan and group numbers which will also appear on the insurance card. The article that follows will tell you how to use that number to determine what is and is not covered by your plan.
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The health insurance market is very competitive. Plans are available to cover almost anything, but this has also made premium prices increase significantly. Once you know that a desired option is not covered by a specific plan, you can look elsewhere as there are many alternatives out there.
What types of things are not covered by most health insurance plans?
Some common things that most basic health insurance plans do not cover include care for:
- Hospital extras
- Certain types of care after a stay in the hospital
If the policyholder or a member of their family that is covered under the health plan develops some type of addiction and needs to go to a special treatment facility their insurance might not cover the cost. If there is a history of addiction in the family, it might be a good idea for the policyholder to ask their health insurance agent about a type of coverage that would help with these types of costs.
A good resource for information regarding addiction and mental health issues is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The majority of health insurance plans will pay for necessary hospital costs, but most people do not think about the little extras that make a hospital stay more bearable. One of these is having a private room. Even though many people heal quicker in a private room and are able to leave the hospital earlier than if they had to share a room with a stranger, most health plans will not cover the added expense.
Even if someone is lucky enough to be released from the hospital early, they might still need special care at home. Most policies will cover after care like a home nurse for a short amount of time if this type of care is needed for an extended period their insurance might not be willing to pay the expense. A long-term care plan might be something that could help if the policyholder finds themselves in this type of situation.
What are the common types of health insurance plans?
The most common types of health insurance plans are a:
- High deductible plan
- Health savings account
- Copay plan
- Short-term plan
A high deductible plan offers the policyholder low monthly premium payments in exchange for a high deductible.
So monthly, the policyholder would pay less than most people for health insurance, but they would have to pay their yearly deductible before their health insurance would start paying their medical costs. Many people that like this type of plan do not need regular medical care, but like the security of knowing that if there is a major medical situation that once they pay their deductible all of their other costs will be covered.
A health savings account works just like a high deductible plan except it also includes a tax-free savings account. The savings account acts as a tool to help the policyholder save money to pay for routine healthcare costs until their deductible is paid for the year. A great thing about this savings account is that the money a person saves in a year is rolled over into the next year and still collects interest.
A copay plan requires the policyholder to pay a small fee for routine care like doctors visits, but then the insurance will cover the rest of the costs. This type of health insurance plan tends to have higher monthly premiums, but a much lower deductible.
This type of plan also usually includes some type of prescription card that helps the policyholder pay for their medication. This is especially helpful if the policyholder has to take medication regularly, which can get very expensive over time.
A short-term plan is meant for someone that is in a transition period in their lives. The most reasons people have this type of plan are because they are either in between jobs that offer health benefits or they are retired and waiting for their Medicare coverage to take effect.
Is health insurance worth the extra cost?
When someone is in perfect health, they might think they can put off getting health insurance as a way to save money, but this decision often becomes a costly mistake. All it takes is one trip to the hospital to put many people in a bad financial situation. So even though those monthly premium payments might seem like a burden when you feel great just imagine how grateful you will be when something does happen to your health and you have enough coverage to pay for it.
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