Health insurance is an important topic for U.S. residents right now. Everyone is required to have health insurance, and many families and individuals are faced with high payments or high deductibles.
While many employers offer their employees health insurance, sometimes these policies end up being much more expensive than a private insurance policy -- and sometimes they also have major restrictions.
Most states now have a health insurance exchange. If your state doesn't, the Federal Government also has an exchange. These exchanges are programs designed to help individuals and families find the healthcare plans that are right for them. Each healthcare exchange is a site dedicated to outlining each plan's benefits, costs, and coverage.
Finding a health insurance policy that fits you and your family is crucial. These policies need to be in place before a medical emergency happens.
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Health Insurance Facts for Washington, DC
- Heart disease is the #1 killer in Washington, DC
- The average life expectancy for residents in DC is 75.61, less than the national average.
- 22 percent of adults are obese in DC
- 94 percent of Washington, DC residents have health insurance.
- An average emergency room bill runs as high as $1,300.
Health insurance is like a life preserver; it's there when you need it. It's a good thing to take care of yourself, by eating right and getting exercise, but health issues can still arise. It's also important to get regular checkups and health screening to ensure your continued health. These procedures can be cost-prohibitive without health insurance, not to mention the costs associated with a major medical emergency.
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What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is a set of policies designed to help you get the healthcare you need. Typically, medical insurance covers the following:
- Doctor visits
- Routine exams and other care
- Emergency room care
- A prescription drug plan
You can also purchase dental insurance and vision insurance to help cover costs associated with those services.
There are many different types of plans and coverages available, and narrowing your choices down can be confusing.
What Types of Health Insurance Plans are Available?
Here's a quick rundown of what the most typical types of health insurance policies:
- HMO, or health maintenance organization: An HMO plan allows you to choose doctors and specialists within your network. However, in order to see a specialist, you must get a referral. You can see providers outside of the network, however, you will be paying more to see them than an in-network provider.
- PPO, or preferred provider organization: A PPO plan allows you to choose a provider or specialist from a larger network than HMO plans. Additionally, you do not need a referral in order to see a specialist. These plans are usually more expensive than HMOs.
- POS, or Point of Service Plan: A POS plan lets you choose an in-network doctor to make referrals, but also allows you to see specialists on your own, if necessary. Additionally, the costs covered may vary when it comes to covering out of network providers.
- Catastrophic: This insurance is typically very affordable; however, it doesn't cover regular care -- only emergency services.
- Indemnity: Indemnity coverage is best for those who don't mind paying for their medical care up front. You have a wide array of providers to choose from, and after recieving your care, you submit your bills to the insurance company, which will reimburse you up to 80% of your cost.
What Type of Health Insurance Is Best for My Family?
When trying to decide which health insurance plan is best for your family, it's a wise idea to make a list of your health priorities. Begin by listing coverage you must have. This may include preventive care, prescription coverage, or a certain doctor. Once you have that list, add things that you'd like to have, but can live without. This may include a low emergency room co-pay, or low deductible.
Once you have a list of your "must-haves" and "would-likes," take a look at the plans you're considering. Try to narrow the list down to two or three plans, and then go over your budget. Healthcare premiums can be expensive. Adjusting a deductible or a co-pay may help make the plan more affordable.
In order to satisfy the new requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act, you must have a plan in place that covers 60% of covered services. Additionally, the plan must also pass the minimum affordability test, which is aggregated by the IRS.
What Will My Health Insurance Quote Look Like?
A family making $100,000 a year, with one child, will end up paying around $500 a month for health insurance. Your policy may be more, or less, depending on the following factors:
- Age of family members
- Health of family members
- Previous surgeries
- Previous medications
- Previous hospital stays
- Known medical issues
- Family history of health issues
- Preferred coverages
- Preferred deductibles
All of these factors will be considered by DC insurance companies when giving you a quote for medical insurance. It's important to be honest, in order to get the best coverage for your particular situation.
Are Discounts Available on Health Insurance?
There are many ways to save money on your health insurance, including insurance discounts. You could get the following discounts:
- Multi-policy discount
- Smoking abatement discount
- Fitness center/health program discount
- Weight loss discount
Many health insurance companies will reward you for adopting a healthy lifestyle, which translates to more money in your pocket.
How Do I Get Health Insurance in Washington, DC?
Making the decision to purchase health insurance is a big responsibility.Typically, the first step is to go to the Washington, DC health insurance exchange at https://dchealthlink.com/ in order to see the available plans. Once you find a plan that fits your family's needs and budget, a Trusted Choice® agent is always available to help you narrow down your health insurance policy choices, suggest coverages, or even help you file the necessary paperwork to enroll.
The health insurance world can be confusing, but with a Trusted Choice agent by your side, you'll get the right coverage for you and your family, at the right price. Find an agent in your area to get started.