Health Insurance plans for Florida Families (Florida Health Care Book 3)

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Many people receive health care through a managed care plan, such as a health maintenance organization HMO or preferred provider organization PPO. In managed care plans, health insurance companies contract with doctors and hospitals to provide health care to its members. These doctors and hospitals make up the plan's "network.

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It's likely that you will be able to see only the doctors and hospitals that are part of your plan's network. Some plans, like PPOs, do allow the use of doctors and hospitals outside of the plan network, but you usually pay more. In managed care plans, your visits to the doctor are prepaid by the plan. You might be able to buy health insurance through a trade or professional association you belong to. Many professional, community and religious organizations offer their members health insurance coverage at group rates.

If you are a member of any trade or professional association, ask if it offers health insurance coverage. If it does, find out:. Your state insurance department can tell you what your rights are under association-based health insurance plans.

CR's Guide to Health Insurance

As a result of the new health care law , the federal government has established pre-existing condition insurance plans PCIPs in every state. For detailed information, go to HealthCare. If you are having a hard time finding insurance, or can't decide which insurance plan is best for you, you might want to consult with a health insurance broker.

An independent broker sells many different kinds of health insurance.

myBlue. The low-cost health plan from Florida Blue HMO.

Other brokers sell plans from just one company, so it's best to talk to a few such brokers before choosing one. Be sure you understand how the broker is paid — whether you pay or the insurance company pays the broker a commission.

What you need to know about buying medical insurance on your own

The compensation arrangement may influence what plan a broker recommends. If you decide to use a broker, make sure the broker will work in your best interest. Also know that, sometimes, going through a broker costs more than buying insurance in other ways, and that not all insurance products are available through a broker. Numerous kinds of insurance policies are on the market, including many that should not be mistaken as being a type of comprehensive health insurance. For instance, specific disease policies, such as "cancer policies," provide coverage only for a specific disease.

Hospital indemnity policies pay you a set amount of money for each day you are in a hospital. These policies may sound good but don't really help with your overall health care costs. Another option: A few states require insurance companies to sell health coverage to people who have not been able to get health insurance on their own due to existing health problems. Check with your state insurance department to learn the rules in your state. This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings.

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Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone. You are leaving AARP. Please return to AARP. Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive. In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails related to AARP volunteering.

Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free to search for ways to make a difference in your community at www. Share with facebook. Share with twitter. Share with linkedin. Share using email. But if you're 50 and older, but not yet 65 and old enough for Medicare , actually getting an individual insurance plan can be a challenge: You may find it harder to find a company that will sell you a health insurance policy, especially if you have a serious medical condition.

You may have to undergo a medical exam to prove you are healthy and insurable. You may find that individual insurance costs more than group insurance. You may be provided with fewer benefits than you would through a group insurance policy. The answers to the following questions can help you compare both the cost and the benefits of the plans you might consider: How much of my doctor and hospital bills will this health insurance plan pay for?

How much will I have to pay each month in premiums for this plan? How much will I have to pay as a deductible before the plan begins to pay? How much will I have to pay for office visits to the doctor? Does this plan pay for preventive health care such as screenings for cancer or vaccines such as a flu shot to prevent illness or disease? Does the plan have rules for people who already have serious, chronic medical problems?

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Will these rules keep me from getting the care I need? If so, in what way? Other plans charge people with prior health problems a higher price or just deny them outright. There may be other strange rules. A review of some plan documents from Families USA found an Illinois plan that would cover only hospitalizations beginning during the week — inpatient stays that began on the weekend would not be allowed except in rare circumstances.

Some plans had waiting periods for care. Cancer treatment, for example, is not covered in certain plans during the first month a person is enrolled in a plan, and no treatment for illness is covered in the first five days. If you buy insurance from a broker, it may not be obvious whether a given plan will be a short-term plan or a more comprehensive Obamacare-compliant plan, unless you ask. Both insurers and brokers who help connect people with the plans will have an incentive to sell them. Plans that follow the Obamacare rules are required to spend at least 80 percent of all premium dollars on medical care, keeping only 20 percent for overhead and profits.

Florida Individual & Family Health Plans

There are no such rules for short-term plans. According to research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average short-term plan in spent less than 65 percent of premium dollars on medical care.

Brokers also tend to make higher commissions on the short-term plans, since the companies share a cut of their larger profits to get referrals. According to eHealth, a national online brokerage, a typical Obamacare-compliant plan pays a commission of around 5 percent, while short-term plans pay out commissions closer to 20 percent. Because short-term plans are currently limited to 90 days, brokers now make more money selling comprehensive plans that cover more benefits.

However, that math may shift as short-term plans expand their duration under the new rule, giving brokers a stronger financial incentive to sell short-term plans instead. In some markets, insurance that complies with all the Obamacare rules has gotten very expensive. For some individuals and families earning too much to qualify for subsidies to help them buy a plan, affording a comprehensive policy can be a struggle. Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, described the short-term plans as a solution to rising premiums in the Obamacare markets.

The Kaiser study looked at the prices of plans in a handful of American cities and found plans that cost only a fraction of the cost of Obamacare insurance. In a recent customer survey, eHealth found that more than half its current short-term plan customers said they would have been uninsured had the option not existed. Margot Sanger-Katz is a domestic correspondent and writes about health care for The Upshot. Some also skip sports injuries and other common medical problems There are also smaller categories of care that may be left off these plans.