Staying healthy is a common goal for many residents -- not just those living in California. While the Golden State may have a longer life expectancy than the U.S. average, there are still many health concerns to watch out for. One critical way to stay healthy is to get regular check-ups and other preventive care. The older you get, the more expensive these care protocols become. Health insurance is the main way to keep these costs from impacting your financial picture.
Whether you've never had medical insurance before, or you're already covered, it's important to take charge of your health and know the details of your insurance plan before a medical crisis occurs.
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Health in California: The Facts
- 7% of Californians don't have health insurance
- The average life expectancy in California is 81.3 years.
- The top killers in California are heart disease and stroke.
- Even if your employer offers health coverage, it may be more affordable to go through an insurance agent.
What Health Insurance Options are Available in California?
There are many types of health insurance available in California, and it's important to review your options before purchasing:
- HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations): HMO plans allow you to choose from a network of listed providers. Your primary care provider must provide referrals for specialists and treatment. If your preferred providers are not within the network, you will have to pay for the care of out of pocket. HMOs are typically more affordable than PPO plans.
- PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations): PPO plans allow you to choose your physician from within the network. They do not require a referral to see a specialist. However, in order to take full advantage of the plan, it's best to choose in-network physicians whenever possible.
- Point of Service Plans (POS): These plans combine features of both HMOs and PPOs. You're able to choose your providers from the both inside and outside the network, but you will pay a higher portion of the cost for non-network providers.
- Catastrophic: Catastrophic coverage offers low premiums, but you bear a high share of the cost and a high deductible to pay before coverage starts.
- Indemnity: Indemnity coverage allows you to see any provider you choose, but you must pay for the services out of pocket. Following care, you submit a form for reimbursement.
Which Health Insurance Plan is Right for Me?
When deciding which healthcare plan to choose, it's important to figure out what types of healthcare are necessary for you.
- Do you require prescription medication on a daily basis?
- Does your healthcare require a special team of specialists or physicians?
- Do you have small children or an occupation which may require emergency room visits?
- Do you have enough savings to pay for care out of pocket before getting reimbursement?
- Will you or your partner be attempting to conceive or have a child?
- Can you afford a high deductible before coverage kicks in?
You should get a clear picture of the health plan that's perfect for you, and then compare the available healthcare plans with your needs to figure out which policy best suits you and your family.
What Will My Health Insurance Quote Look Like in CA?
The cost of health insurance varies depending on a number of factors. When shopping for healthcare coverage, make sure to be familiar with the following:
- Your age
- Ages of family member
- Preexisting conditions
- Previous medical operations/previous medical care
- Known upcoming medical needs
- Prescription needs
- Preferred deductible
- Preferred co-pays.
All of these factors, plus many more, will be used to create a quote for the health insurance plan that best suits your individual situation.
Health Insurance Help Is Here
Health insurance can be a confusing. With so many plans and options available, it's no surprise that many people feel overwhelmed when shopping for health insurance. A Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you find the health insurance plan that's right for you and your family.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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Kaiser Family Foundation
Blue Cross Of California