Family Health Insurance Programs

By: Mike Singh

The importance of family health insurance programs is paramount. If a family has coverage for the children only and one or both parents suffer an illness, it is quite possible that the adult will delay medical treatment due to the rising cost of health care. Due to this decision, they put their health at severe risk potentially leading to a life threatening illness or the inability to work and/or care for the children. For this reason as well as several others, it is important for a family to consider health insurance coverage for all members.

What types of programs are available for family health insurance?

Family health insurance programs have changed from indemnity plans to managed care plans. The difference between them being indemnity insurance would allow you to go to a medical professional of your choice and both the patient and insurer would pay a portion of the bill. With managed care plans you have different options available such as, Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and Point of Service plans (POSs). Each of these plans offer different types of benefits and it is important to research what they offer and match them to the needs of your family.

Family insurance plans differ in both the amount you will be required to pay and the type of services offered. It is essential to know exactly what you need and to be careful not to purchase a plan that offers services that will not be of benefit to your family. As with your growing family, insurance plans change from year to year so it is imperative to review the coverage you selected periodically.

Where can you find family insurance programs?

There are different types of policies available such as group and individual plans. You can learn more about group plans that cover insurance for your family through your place of employment or talking with a friend or family member who already has this type of coverage. With a group plan, you can choose the appropriate policy for your family and if necessary change it once during the open enrollment period (within 12 months of acquiring the policy). It is important when making your decision that you choose exactly what is best for your family because once you do you have to stay with that plan for the next year.

You may work for a company that does not offer group plans or are self-employed. In this situation, you can look into individual policies. These types of policies are normally more expensive than group plans so do your research wisely. In addition, if you are a member of an organization consider contacting them. Often times they offer health plans for their members.

What is the importance of pre-existing conditions?

Whichever plan you choose the insurance provider will inquire as to any pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is an illness or injury that you or a family member have been treated for prior to applying for the current insurance program you are interested in. The rules are changing regarding pre-existing conditions. In the past, there would be a waiting period before receiving insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition. Today insurance companies may choose to cover a pre-existing condition without a waiting period depending on the coverage you had with another plan. If you were not you may be required to go through a waiting period.

Do not settle on the first plan you encounter during your search of family health insurance programs. Take your time, research, and talk to co-workers, friends, and family. When you have made your decision relax in knowing the best insurance for your family is in place.

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