If you are in the process of picking up your own health care plan for the first time, it can be easy to be confused by all the different numbers and terms. Here is a quick overview of the different terms you need to know and the real overall cost of your health plan.
The biggest number that you need to be aware of is your premium. Your premium is the amount that you have to pay every month in order to maintain your health insurance. If you miss a payment, you'll have to pay a late fee. If you miss multiple payments, you will most likely lose your health care coverage.
Your premium for your healthcare works like how your premium works with your vehicle insurance; you can pay it every month, or you can pay off the entire coverage period all at once. Do whatever works best for your budget.
A co-pay is the amount of money that you have to pay every time you go and get healthcare. Generally, a co-pay applies for things like when you visit your general internal medicine doctor, specialist or the emergency room. For example, you may be required to make a co-payment of $150 every time you go to the emergency room, regardless of if you have met your deductible or not. That is the minimum fee you have to pay every time you need that particular type of medical care.
Your deductible is the amount of medical bills that you have to pay, full cost, before your insurance company policy will kick in and start covering some of the bill. For example, if you have a stay in the hospital and your deductible is $10,000 and your total bill ends up being $25,000, you will be responsible for paying the first $10,000 of the bill and your insurance will cover the remaining $25,000. You need to make sure that your deducible is an amount that you can actually afford to pay. If your deductible is too high, you could find yourself in a bind if you incur some serious medical bills.
Some plans have co-insurance in place. With co-insurance, you have to pay a certain percentage of all of your medical bills even after you reach your deductible.
For example, you may be required to pay 20% of your medical bills after you reach your deductible and your insurance will cover the other 80%. Using the example above, where you have a hospital bill of $25,000 and a deductible of $10,000, you would need to pay your $10,000 deductible and you would have to also pay $3,000 of the remaining $15,000 of the bill and your insurance company would cover $12,000 dollars. You would pay 20% of the remaining bill and the insurance company 80% of the bill after you met your deductible.
Make sure that you are able to afford your premium, co-payments, deductible and co-insurance when you sign up for a health care plan.Share
29 March 2017
After we had our first baby, we realized how important medical insurance was. We were strapped for cash as it was, and we were left dealing with thousands of dollars worth of medical bills because of our lack of proper insurance. After paying everything off, we started shopping around for a better medical insurance plan. It took a lot of work, but after we found a plan with a lower deductible and better coverage, we knew that we would be able to save some serious money. This blog is dedicated to helping people find a better medical insurance plan, so that you can save money and stress less.