The media has been abuzz this year over healthcare. In fact, it's been one of the most reported-on subjects of 2013. While many have not considered health insurance before, either due to cost or lack of need, it's now a requirement. Acquiring health insurance is an important decision for Oklahoma residents, so if you're in the market for coverage, you should get medical insurance quotes from an insurance professional before you find yourself in need of immediate attention.
Do OK Residents Need Health Insurance?
- Heart disease was Oklahoma’s number one killer for both men and women in 2007 with over 9,500 deaths, making Oklahoma the number two state in heart disease prevalence.
- 8,479 Oklahoma hospital discharges had stroke as the principle diagnosis in 2009.
- 20% of the state's residents do not have health insurance.
- Medical costs are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy.
While an apple a day may be a healthy habit, it definitely won't keep the doctor away. No matter how healthy your lifestyle, illnesses and injuries do happen. And when they do, having health insurance will help cover the related costs. While some people believe that a monthly payment won't really offset the costs of an emergency room visit, the facts don't lie: an emergency room visit can cost thousands of dollars per hour, which uninsured individuals would have to pay out of pocket.
What Types of Coverage Are Available?
There are many types of health insurance coverage available, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Short and Long term disability insurance: Short term disability covers instances like a lengthened illness, a disabling injury and the birth of a child, while long term disability covers items like poisoning, mental illness, cancer and heart attack.
- Hospital-Only insurance: This covers things like hospital deductibles and co-pays, private nurses, transportation, housing, meals and even home care.
- Long term care: This coverage helps with nursing home costs, at-home care, assisted living and rehabilitation.
- Catastrophic and major medical: This coverage helps pay for major medical expenses that regular health insurance coverage doesn't cover.
What You Need To Know
When searching for a health insurance policy in Oklahoma, it's important to know what matters to your family and what doesn't. Consider the following:
- Determine what's important to you: This can be anything from vision care to maternity coverage. Prescription coverage may also be important to your family, whereas a low emergency room co-pay may not be. List the services that are most important to you, along with those that are not.
- Review the available plans: With your priority list close by, review the plans available. Do they offer enough coverage for your needs? Are the doctors and specialists you prefer in the available plans?
- Figure out what you can afford: The monthly premium isn't where the cost for health care ends. Consider co-pays for doctor visits, prescriptions and therapies. Decide which level of deductible is right for you and your family.
- Consider an HSA or FSA: An HSA allows you to set aside tax-deductible funds to use for healthcare that your insurance does not cover. A flexible spending account allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for health insurance related items, however, if you don't use the funds in the account, you lose them.
- Research Your Options: There are large differences between HMO plans and PPO plans. For example, HMO plans select a physician for you to see, whereas PPO plans let you choose the physician you'd like to oversee your healthcare. HMOs usually do not cover any providers outside of their network, whereas PPOs have adjusted rates for providers out of network.
How Much Does Health Insurance Cost in Oklahoma?
While there is no strict average for healthcare rates, the following factors determine rates:
- Age of insured
- Deductibles and co-pays preferred
- Work environment
- History of illness
- Pre-existing conditions
- History of family illness
All of these factors determine your health insurance rates, however, there are things you can do to reduce the cost, such as the following:
- Choosing higher deductibles or co-pays
- Taking health courses
- Quitting smoking
- Enrolling in a hospital-sponsored exercise program
How To Choose the Right Plan
Navigating the healthcare waters can be difficult; however, there are many ways to get help. A Trusted Choice® agent can get you medical insurance quotes, help you decide which plan is right for you and your family, and help you secure the right coverage, giving you peace of mind that your family's well-being is covered.
Contact a local Trusted Choice agent for help securing your coverage.