What is Health Insurance?
Some countries have free health insurance, but the United States does not. It can be difficult to learn and understand, but alas, that’s why I’m here! In most cases, you stay on your parent’s health plan until you’ve reached 26 years old. It also comes in handy when your employer includes health insurance in their benefits & packages. If you’re like me, and you went through life on your parent’s plan but need to switch off, here’s what you’ll need to know.
Health insurance is a type of insurance coverage that covers the expense of an individual’s medical bills. You’ll either be paying out-of-pocket costs and be reimbursed, or you make payments directly to your provider.
Being on your parent’s insurance plan is simple because you don’t need to know everything about it. But when the time comes to get off and get your own insurance, it’s normal to draw a blank… How do I get insurance? What insurance is best for me? Can I afford it?
Types of Health Insurance
HMO’s are one of the most popular health insurances you can purchase. You basically just select a primary care provider (PCP), and they will coordinate all your health services for you. They cover most types of preventive care, but your appointments are only covered if your PCP makes the referral. You’ll most likely have to pay copayment fees for non-preventive medical visits and you could have an annual deductible. HMO plans are best for individuals or families who see their primary doctor on regular basis.
PPO plans are nice because you don’t need a referral to use your insurance. You’re able to see any healthcare provider that is on your insurance network. You usually don’t need to choose a primary care physician or need referrals to see a specialist. You’re able to make appointments with whoever works in your network. You could have copayments for any non-preventive medical care or you could have an annual deductible. If you’re one to see a specialist regularly, this type of health insurance could be a good choice.
Looking for something in the middle? EPO plans are a combination of PPO and HMO. They have the flexibility of PPO but the cost-savings of an HMO plan. You don’t have to choose a primary care physician or need referrals to see a specialist. The only downside? It’s not as popular. You’ll have a limited network of doctors and hospitals who accept EPO plans and they don’t cover care outside your network unless a dire emergency. If you end up seeing a doctor who doesn’t accept your plan, you’d be expected to pay the full cost.
What If I’m On My Parent’s Plan?
If you’re under the age of 26 and your parents have health insurance, you’re likely on their plan. Your parents might have given you your insurance card, or they could be holding on to it, but regardless, your insurance card will have all the information you need. It usually says on the card if it’s a PPO, HMO or EPO plan, and it will have a phone number on the back for customer service. You can also go to your health insurance website to see the doctors and specialists who accept your insurance.
If you’re looking for mental health or substance abuse treatment, you can usually find on their website or by calling facilities if they accept your insurance or not. At New Start, we have a form you can fill out with the details from your insurance card and we can run your benefits right away. You can also take a picture of the front and back of your card and text us.
Behavioral Health and Mental Health are different when it comes to getting referrals from your doctor. In this case, you don’t need a referral for mental health (anxiety, depression, substance abuse, etc.). You can just call the number on the back of your card or look online for treatment facilities that accept in-network HMO plans.
Choosing the Right Health Plan
If you’re shopping around for health insurance, here are some tips.
Health insurance is so important. You never know when you’ll need it. Life is unpredictable and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re on your employer’s health plan, you have an easier decision to make. Employers usually pick a few different plans and you have the final choice in which one to take. But, if you aren’t on your parents and your employer doesn’t have health care in their benefits, this article will help you narrow down the options.
Find an insurance plan that best suits YOU. You’re the focus of it all and if there’s a specific treatment you need or want, go with the plan that suits that the best.
If You’re in Need of Addiction Treatment…
If you’re struggling with substance abuse and are willing to seek treatment, call us at 855-737-7363. We want to help you every step of the way. We accept clients all over the place and would love to admit you into our program.
Insurances we accept: Most PPO plans & Blue Cross Blue Sheild, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna