Individual vs. Family Health Insurance Plans – What’s The Difference?
Healthcare certainly isn’t getting any cheaper in the USA, which mean finding the right health insurance plan to suit your budget isn’t an easy thing to do. However if you work out what you need from a health insurance plan, and who and what you need covered, that will be a big help in making the decision about what type of plan will work best for you and your family.
Health Insurance Plans For Individuals
This is pretty straightforward – this is a health insurance plan that’s designed to just cover one person, probably you. If you only have yourself to cover, there’s no doubt that choosing an individual health insurance plan is the right decision to make. However there can still be a wide variation in the cost of an individual insurance plan, based on what type and level of coverage you choose.
An indemnity plan, which is the more traditional type of health insurance plan that most of us are familiar with, covers you no matter which doctor you choose to see and whatever procedures you need to have done. You can choose different levels of deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, so costs can vary. This is generally the more expensive option in health insurance, but that may be worthwhile if freedom of choice is important to you.
You can also get a managed plan, which is similar to an HMO, and these are certainly more cost effective. But in return, you give up most of your freedom of choice. Usually you will have to choose a doctor from an approved list, and specialists can only be seen by referral. However if you’re generally in good health and only see your doctor once a year for a check-up or the occasional minor illness, it may be worth trading off choice for cost. You are still covered for health emergencies; it’s just a little more complicated.
If you want to add dental and prescription coverage, it can usually be added to either type of health insurance plan for an additional cost.
Health Insurance Plans For Families
Again, this is self-explanatory – these are health insurance plans that cover all the members of your family. Naturally, as more than one person is covered, the cost is higher than for an individual plan. Generally speaking, the bigger your family, the more you will pay. The cost can vary enormously based on the gender, ages, whether or not one family member smokes and so on. You can take out an indemnity plan for your family and will have the same freedom of choice as you find in individual plans. If you have multiple people covered, this can be a bonus.
If you’re not so concerned about choice, then financially you’ll be better off choosing a managed health care package for your family. This works the same way as it does for individuals, but will cost more. However it’s still cheaper than an indemnity plan.
Health Insurance Plans For Groups
If you’re an employee, it’s possible that your employer may offer some form of group insurance coverage, and pay some or most of the premium. You can usually still choose between the two main types of health insurance, so the policy you choose will determine the final cost to you.