Friday, February 8, 2013

Choosing a Health Plan

Health insurance is something we don't want to have to use, but something we need to have. According to Kathleen A. Dobie, of, a "large percentage of bankruptcies in the US are at least due partially to medical bills."
Having health insurance doesn't mean unlimited coverage though. A report by the Labor Department reported by Catherine Rampell of the NY Times, of business sponsored health plans in 2009, found coverage limited for treatments such as kidney dialysis and diabetes management, as well as pregnancy and mental health.
Fortunately, under ObamaCare, starting in 2013, some of that will change. Some ten categories of essential health benefits that insurers must provide include maternity, prescription, mental health and rehabilitation--- but according to each state's specifics in every category. Starting in 2014, insurer's will be restricted from placing caps on annual or lifetime limits. has the full list of benefits. Out of pocket expenses will also have a maximum deductible.
Each state will iron out its own details based on other models such as the largest insurance provider's small group policy for that state. What one state may consider essential, another state may not--- such as certain treatments or prescription drugs.

Choosing a health insurance plan can be confusing. As reported by Consumer Reports in 2009, Politz, of the Kaiser Foundation, says there are really no good other options, other than a comprehensive health plan.
ObmaCare now requires insurers to disclose through a Summary of Benefits and Coverage what's covered and a comparisons of plans offered. This can make a great difference when choosing a plan. According to Consumer Reports, if a policy makes no mention of it--count on it not being covered.
ObamaCare hopes to strengthen healthcare through a comprehensive healthcare policy. But coverage has its limitations.. Under the new health reform, there will be four levels of health insurance offered: bronze, silver gold and platinum.
A good health insurance policy can be costly. Taking advantage of employer health incentives can reduce your premium significantly. Shopping around and taking time to make a decision is important. Rates can vary and a bare bones policy may cost more than you think, says Consumer Reports. Always ask questions when in doubt and call the provider. They're more likely to be honest and informative than someone pressuring you to enroll. Since we don't know what the future holds, a comprehensive policy can offer the best coverage, less debt and better health in the long run.
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