Raising a family is an expensive responsibility, so it’s important to find affordable family health insurance. With all the options available, it may feel like a never-ending search.
Even if you have health insurance through an employer, it’s important to understand the various plans available to you and to make sure the one you choose fits the needs of your family.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to bring down the costs of health insurance, but you will most likely still need to compare family health insurance quotes to find the most affordable plan.
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How the Affordable Care Act Works for Families
- Children can stay on family health insurance plans until the age of 26.
- Family members cannot be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition.
- Lifetime limits on family health insurance are no longer allowed.
- Insurance companies now fully cover most routine preventive care, including prenatal care and childhood vaccinations.
What to Consider When Choosing Family Health Insurance
When sorting through family medical insurance plans, things can begin to blur together. The insurance language of deductibles, co-pays, exclusions and coverage limits can be frustrating to figure out, but don't choose a plan hastily.
Getting the help of an insurance professional like an agent can help you cut through the clutter as you compare family health insurance quotes so that you can make an informed decision when you choose a policy.
If your employer offers a family medical insurance plan, it may or may not be your most affordable option. Group coverage can provide excellent benefits, but it depends on what your employer chooses to provide, and how much of the coverage the company covers.
With or without employer coverage, you really need to look at your family’s needs to find the best family health plan for your specific needs. Do you have very young children? If so, you may need visit the doctor more often, making the co-pay amount very important to you.
Do you take regular prescription medications? Some plans will cover medications only up to a certain amount. Finding affordable family health services is possible, but just be sure to compare your premiums, co-pays and all other out-of-pocket costs when selecting your healthcare plan.
What Does a Family Medical Insurance Plan Cover?
Depending on the family health insurance policy you choose, different circumstances will be covered. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all compliant insurance policies to cover emergency and routine services, but they may be subject to limitations and deductible amounts.
Vision benefits can be included, and some policies will even include extensive procedures like surgeries. Ultimately, premium costs will depend on the type of family health care plan you choose.
Understanding your options will help you make an informed decision when you start comparing family health insurance quotes.
Family Health Insurance Plan Types
- HMO or health maintenance organization: While this is an affordable option, your provider list is limited. With this plan, you choose a primary physician who is considered in-network. Only certain practitioners work within this network, and if you see anyone out of the insurance network, none of your expenses are covered. If being able to choose your doctor is very important to you, this may not be the right plan for your family.
- PPO or preferred provider organization: This type of plan works similarly to an HMO but has more flexibility. Visiting a doctor within the insurance network means you will pay a smaller percentage of your bill. If you visit a doctor outside of your network, your insurance company will pay less of your bill, but some will still be covered. With this plan, you still have affordable coverage but maintain flexibility at a price.
- POS or point of service plan: A POS takes the best of a PPO and an HMO and combines it into one plan. Similar to an HMO, you still have a primary care physician who provides referrals within the insurance network, but it is possible to see a specialist on your own accord outside of the network. Instead of a co-pay, you may need to pay out of pocket or pay a percentage of your bill for out of network providers.
- HDHP or high deductible health plan: A high deductible health plan is also known as catastrophic insurance. While it’s very affordable because deductibles are high, it may not be ideal for a family. Until your deductible is met, you pay all healthcare and medical costs out of pocket. This plan is normally used in conjunction with a health savings account, but you may end up spending more than you save.
- Indemnity: If you can afford to pay for all doctor bills out of pocket and want to be able to choose your services and providers, this might be the plan for you. This is considered a fee-for-service plan. There are no provider or service limits, but you are required to pay the bill up front. The insurance company will then reimburse you up to 80%, depending on the procedure.
- Healthy families insurance: This is a type of comprehensive family health insurance that caters to limited-income families. California, New York, Oregon and a few other states lead these discounted insurance programs to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care. You must meet certain guidelines to take advantage of this plan. Check to see if your state offers a similar program.
Get Help Reviewing Family Health Insurance Quotes
Finding the best, most affordable family health insurance plan takes time. A growing family needs comprehensive health care, and finding the right policy can be a challenge. Fortunately, you can turn to an independent insurance agent for guidance.
These agents can help you understand your various coverage options and can shop around for policies that are suitable for your family's particular situation.
Find an agent near your to learn more and you can soon be comparing family health insurance quotes for policies that meet your family's needs.