If you've ever been to one of Virginia's hospitals or clinics to seek medical treatment without health insurance, you know the importance of this vital protection. Despite many recent changes in the health insurance market, many Virginians still do not have coverage. As you search for your medical insurance quotes, it's a good idea to take several things into consideration.
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Health Insurance in Virginia: Statistics
- In the past two years, Virginia’s free clinics and community health centers took on an additional 31,000 uninsured patients – a 21% increase.
- Community health centers reported that a record-breaking 38 percent of all patients were uninsured last year.
- Nearly 15 percent of Virginians between 19 and 65 years of age had no health insurance in 2010 – more than 1 million people.
- 70% of the uninsured are part of working families – 47 percent with at least 1 full time worker and 22 percent with at least 1 part-time worker.
- Individuals in Virginia pay a higher percentage of the premium cost for employer-provided insurance than workers in any other state in the country and are in the top 10 in the percentage paid for family workplace insurance.
- The percentage of Virginians who get health insurance at work has steadily declined over the last decade.
Why Is Health Insurance Important?
One injury or severe illness can set an uninsured individual back significantly in expense. The average emergency room visit for a moderate ailment costs $1,000 in VA. That's with health insurance. Most hospitals and clinics charge the uninsured much more.
The average doctor visit for a person with health insurance costs $199 and far more for an uninsured person.
Now that the Affordable Care Act mandates health insurance coverage, not obtaining a policy will cost the uninsured even more through federally mandated fees.
What Does Health Insurance Cover?
Health insurance can cover a number of things, from your regular checkups and family care to a major medical event such as an emergency room visit or surgery. Doctor visits are one of the most common things that health insurance covers. Other common services include hospital stays, emergency room visits and inpatient substance abuse treatment.
Some insurance policies will cover vision services and surgeries while others will not. Special tests may not be covered, and you should not expect all services to be covered 100 percent. There is normally an out-of-pocket expense through a co-pay, coinsurance or deductible.
Make sure that you know what your policy covers, whether all of your family members have coverage and how the treatment is paid. Some health insurance policies, like HMOs, will only cover procedures performed by certain professionals in a network. A PPO will allow you to choose your provider and then pay based on that provider’s preferred status.
What if Your Employer Offers Expensive Health Insurance?
While Virginia leads the nation in many aspects, it also lays claim to being the number 1 state in terms of the cost of employer-provided health insurance. We pay more for these plans than residents of any other state do.
Fortunately, you can save significantly on your health insurance by contacting an independent insurance agent. Obtaining your health insurance policy this way will also enable you to retain your health insurance even in the event of a job loss.
How Does Health Insurance Work?
Health insurance can help pay for your regular healthcare costs as well as your major medical expenses. Depending on the type of plan you opt for from one of Virginia's insurance providers, you will most likely have co-pays and a deductible:
- Co-payments: A co-pay is the amount you will pay out of pocket for a doctor visit, test or medications. A typical co-payment runs anywhere from $20 to $50, depending on the plan you choose.
- Deductibles: A deductible is the amount of money that you are responsible for paying before your insurance begins to cover services. Deductibles are typically a set amount that you will pay throughout the year for medical expenses. Once you have met your deductible, your Virginia insurance provider will pay for any additional medical treatment you require.
What Will Your Health Insurance Quotes Look Like?
Your medical insurance quotes depend on several factors, including plan type; whether you have insurance through an employer or private insurer; and your deductible.
On average, Virginia residents with individual medical insurance plans pay $5,000 to $8,000 a year. While those with family coverage pay anywhere from $14,000 to $25,000 per year. You can adjust your premium based on your coverage amounts as well as your deductible amount. Make sure you choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford, however. If you opt for a higher deductible, you will get cheaper quotes, but you will also have to pay that deductible if you have a major medical event.
How To Find Health Insurance Quotes
Health insurance is complex and sometimes confusing. As Virginia and the nation still grapple with rapid reforms to healthcare law, it's important to work with an insurance agent who has kept up to date with all the changes. A knowledgeable independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network is always available to answer your health insurance questions and help you find coverage.
Contact an experienced agent in your area to find out how you can start saving on health insurance.