Friday, January 21, 2011

Health Insurance: Security for Your Financial Health

When trying to decide between an HMO, PPO, or Indemnity plan, take the time to know what each plan provides. Take into consideration what is most important for you. You certainly don’t want to pay for pregnancy benefits if you’re a single man. Or, will you be losing your PCP? Additionally, it’s important to analyze the cost-benefit details in the plan you go with. For example, you may decide that you want a $20 co payment for a doctor visit rather than a $40 one. But how much does this add to your annual premium? If it adds just $200, you would have to go to the doctor more than 10 times in a year (10 x $20 difference) to make that up. Once you decide which type of coverage will benefit you the most, the next step will be to complete an application and answer a few medical questions.

The state of Florida aims to make health insurance a good investment for its residents. By prohibiting "lowball" practices, the state prevents insurers from giving you a low premium and then scheduling rate increases as you get older. Association based insurance policies will not single you out for rate increases. If you see a rate increase, the whole class receives a rate increase. Just know, for an individual policy you are paying a rate based on your health status. State and federal government agencies also guarantee that your individual policy is renewable.

All too often insurance agents hear, “I’m young, only 25 why do I need insurance?” First and foremost, your alive. Your at risk for disease, car accidents, falls, etc. Despite your age and your daily activities, sickness can strike. You'll save yourself a ton of money by circumventing doctor bills as long as you have health insurance in force. The number one reason for personal bankruptcy is caused by astronomical medical bills. It just takes one catastrophic illness or accident to set the ball in motion to personal bankruptcy. Ask yourself, “where am I going to get the money to pay expenses?” Passing YOUR financial burden on family, friends, and the community is just plane irresponsible.

Don’t procrastinate. Secure your place in an affordable, quality health plan today.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN