In this second article about health insurance in the United States I want to clarify some doubts of some readers and mainly bring a reference about the cost of health insurance in the American country.
If you haven’t read the text on Health Insurance, I recommend you read it, because I explain important terminology that helps you understand the complexity of the topic.
The country’s health system is difficult to understand, there are many companies and insurance options. Each company offers an extensive list of categories and services to choose from, not counting the subsidies that the government provides. So, I intend to shed some light on those who need to decide which plan to choose when moving to the United States. But remember: only requesting a specific quote for your needs will you be able to know the exact amount.
How to choose health plan
Choosing the health plan that best suits you and your family’s interests is a complicated and time-consuming task, so be patient, read and ask your broker everything necessary before closing any plan. To make the process easier, here are some tips for choosing:
understand your needs
Do you need an individual or family plan? Do you need any treatment or follow-up for a pre-existing disease? Do you just need insurance that allows you to practice preventive medicine? Need medication, or high-cost medication? Do you have addictions like smoking or drinking? Do you need a plan that covers the entire pregnancy process?
The answer to each of these questions will affect the value of your premium , so I believe this is the most important step when choosing the best insurance. Be careful when analyzing so that you are not surprised with surprises later.
duration of coverage
The most common health insurances are renewed annually. However, there are options for short-term plans such as three or six months, and can be extended for another six months. not exceeding one year of service.
For extension, master’s and doctoral students, generally the University has already included health insurance in the monthly fee that will last the entire time the student is studying.
Those who arrive as hired will receive part of the health insurance costs paid as a benefit, and following the annual renewal rule.
Know what is PPO and HMO
Study the two concepts and see what best applies to your case. In my opinion, the choice between one and the other is more of preference of each one than of the quality of the service. I tend to prefer HMO to PPO because in theory it is cheaper and easier to use.
On the other hand, the PPO ( Preferred Provider Organization ) is a more practical plan, it allows you to schedule an appointment with the doctor of your choice, being able to go directly to a specialist doctor. However, it’s good to be careful because if you choose a doctor who is outside the plan’s network network , you run the risk of paying very dearly for just one appointment. In addition, this plan is more expensive, precisely because of the ease of accessing a doctor. Perhaps this option offers better options for doctors because of the greater variety, but it is also a risk: the more options, the more difficult it is to know which doctor is really good, and is active.
Best health plans in the country
I’ve had three types of health insurance: BlueShield of California , Anthem BlueCross , and UnitedHealthCare . I liked them all, but the best service I had was from Blue Cross . From the experience I had with PPO and HMO, I prefer the HMO because it is less labor intensive and requires less of my time. The general practitioner is already chosen by the plan, and I can trust that the doctor indicated will be from the network and I will not risk receiving a surprise bill.
The most common ways to purchase health insurance are private, company-funded, or government-subsidized.
Subsidies that the government provides to low-income people
Although the US government does not offer free public health, there are some programs that help low-income people.
Subsidies come from various parts of the government. Citizens can apply directly through Obamacare, but also through the state where they live, as is the case with Covered CA. An important detail is the search for companies that offer services through ObamaCare.
Employer -funded health insurance
If you’re moving to the United States for work, there’s nothing to worry about: Here’s Job-based Health Insurance . The company (when large) is required to pay part of the health insurance costs of its employees, being one of the most desired employment benefits in the country. It is worth mentioning that small companies do not offer this type of benefit, so check what your benefits will be before accepting the proposal.
Health insurance is chosen by the employer, and the employee can customize their preferences within the previously established options. The amount to be paid by the employee is deducted directly from the payroll.
Short term health insurance option
The Short-Term Plan is a low-cost plan and therefore does not offer full coverage. It can be a good alternative for those who will spend time in the country living in different states. This type of insurance, as the name implies, is short-term: six months and can be extended for another six depending on the company’s rules.
It is ideal for those who need some time to decide which company they want to hire health insurance with. After ObamaCare, no citizen can be without health insurance. This explains the need for this type of insurance, to help young people who have just left universities or dismissed employees.
After all, how much does all this cost?
It is not possible to set the cost of health insurance for everyone, as presented above, each person or family will have a different budget. But so you know how much it costs on average to have health insurance, here are some values for reference.