Throughout the world, albeit particularly in the United States of America, health insurance has been a major political and social talking point. From private insurance companies to public organizations offering their own health insurance plans, most of the world’s developed and developing nations use some form of health insurance plan to ensure that their people remain medically safe and secure.
However, not all countries use the same health insurance plans or healthcare structure. Some opt for a public system, whereby all citizens and residents pay a small portion of their income into a health insurance pool. This system allows all citizens and permanent residents, regardless of their financial means, to access healthcare and medical facilities that are clean, safe, and able to provide total care.
Other countries opt for a private system, wherein customers can choose their health insurance plans from a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit health companies. These companies typically use tiny, or occasionally quite large, versions of the public model. Each customer pays a monthly premium to the pool, which is used to cover the collective risk and cost of all the health insurance customers.
Many other countries, particularly those that use a mixed economy, offer a mix of both private and public health insurance plans. Whichever the case, the standard model for healthcare is constant in most countries. Therefore, these seven tips for finding affordable, reliable, and largely dependable health insurance plans can be used by all of the world’s citizens to source high quality medical care.
1. Speak with your employer about sponsored plans and current coverage.
With new healthcare regulations coming into effect in the United States, it’s important for employed people to check with their employer about sponsored or partially sponsored coverage. A selection of employers that only offered minimal care coverage are increasing their plans as regulations change.
If you believe that this may affect your health insurance plan, speak with your company’s HR rep or leader to gain an understanding of how it could help you secure health insurance. Not all companies offer health insurance to employees, although many offer some form of sponsored insurance plans.
2. In some countries, private health insurance plans may not be necessary.
In many countries, particularly those that employ some form of universal public healthcare, private insurance may not be necessary. The world’s healthcare and hospital systems vary in thousands of ways, including how they’re funded, how patients are treated, and how accessible they can be.
If you live in a country where public healthcare and unrestricted hospital access is offered, consider speaking with a public doctor or hospital manager before purchasing a health insurance plan. Many European countries offer a phone-based service that serves this purpose for the would-be insured.
3. Weigh up the cost of your premium with the amount that’s paid as a deductible.
Some health insurance plans use a higher deductible payment – the per-event cost that needs to be paid before someone can claim expenses – in place of a recurring payment. This allows the policy holder to enjoy relative health security without annoying ongoing expenses or costly monthly bills.
However, this system does have its disadvantages. If you need to pay for small medical expenses on a consistent basis, you may find yourself unable to make a financially sensible claim. Compare your health insurance needs with what the plans offer, and pick the best one for your individual situation.
4. Do you want to save money? Consider a catastrophic health insurance plan.
Catastrophic health insurance plans are a rarely used, financially interesting option. Built to offer a mix of relative health and medical security with low recurring expenses, these plans charge little to no monthly premium, all the while applying extremely high deductible payments for policyholders.
The advantage of these plans is that they allow you to operate on an almost entirely cost-free basis, particularly if you’re not subject to any recurring illnesses or medical issues. For individuals with a high level of personal health and few hospital requirements, these plans are a worthwhile choice.
5. Check that you’ll be covered for existing conditions and ongoing medical needs.
Some health insurance plans fail to provide coverage for people with ongoing medical conditions, long-term health problems, and frequent medical needs. While the United Stated medical system is adapting to the needs of those with recurring conditions, many health plans can still exclude them.
This occurs because of increase premium payments for people with a history of illnesses, denied or even rejected coverage for those with recurring conditions, and even clauses that deny care for any individual with ongoing health issues. Avoid these plans, and opt for a health insurance plan that is able to provide coverage for you, regardless of any ongoing medical conditions or recurring issues.
6. If you’re based in the United States, check for healthcare organizations in your state.
While the United States’ healthcare system could never be called a model for organization, a decent selection of states have their own small healthcare and medical assistance groups. California is one of several states to have a Health Help Center, which offers basic health and well being advice to a variety of people within the state.
If you’re confused about or unsure of which health insurance plans could most benefit you, then an objective talk with your local health care organization could help. Most health centers are run using public funding, preserving their objective status and leaving them free of bias for any one insurer.
7. Speak with several health insurance agents before coming to a final decision.
There are few decisions worse that leaping into a health insurance plan – often quite literally ‘head on,’ without consulting other insurance companies. The insurance industry is rarely consistent in its pricing, leaving many insurers with much lower prices than their competitors. This can be either an asset or a curse to consumers, depending on their research and comparison skills.
Always speak with several health insurance agents before you come to a decision. Always check a variety of health insurance websites before you commit to a program. Never go with the first health insurance provider you meet. There are lucrative deals out there, but they will never appear unless you take the time to search for them, and take the effort to objectively compare them.