Health Insurance In Houston, Texas - 3 Key Steps
If you are searching for health insurance in Houston, you have probably discovered that finding the exact right plan is not
as simple as it might have initially seemed. It is not easy finding the time to do the research and follow up necessary to lock down an insurance plan that matches your current needs and circumstance.
If you're wondering how to begin, we can help. Below are three key steps for finding a great health insurance plan in Houston, Texas.
Facts About Houston
Key Step Number 1: Compare different types of health care plans
Houston was founded by two New York real estate promoters, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen, who purchased the land in 1836 and founded a town named after Sam Houston. The city was incorporated in 1837 and was the capital of the Republic of Texas until early 1839, when the capital was moved to Austin.
Incorporated in 1837, Houston,TX is the fourth largest city in the United States with a population of around 2 million people. The surrounding area boasts a population of about 5 million people.
Houston is located in eastern Texas, on Galveston Bay, near the Texas Gulf Coast, about 120 miles from the Texas/Louisiana border. It is nicknamed the "Bayou City" because of four bayous that run through the city. Houston's has another nickname:
The "Space City", since it is home to the NASA Space Center.
The port of Houston is one of the ten busiest ports in the world and one of the busiest ports in the United States. Houston is well known for its energy (oil) and famous for its aeronautics industries and is home to the world-renowned Texas Medical Center.
There are several types of health plan options that you may choose from in Houston TX. Even some that you may not be aware of - like faith-based health
plans. Faith-based health plans, or health care sharing plans, (as they are sometimes referred to), function very much like traditional health insurance plans. However, they are not
insurance plans at all - at least not in a legal sense. There are also the new short-term plans. They are so different from what was offered previously, they should be considered a brand new option.
We will touch on all the options available in the Houston Texas region, below.
Health plan options In Houston Texas Include:
- Traditional health insurance plans.
Traditional health insurance refers to health insurance plans that are offered via the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Companies offering these plans include: BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna.
- Short-term health insurance.
Short-term health insurance plans are not so "short" any more. Do to recent changes in health insurance guidelines, you can now, in some cases, keep the same low-cost short-term health insurance plan for a year or more - making
such plans a serious long-term health insurance option. Companies offering these plans include: United Healthcare, National General.
- Faith-based healthcare coverage (Healthcare sharing plans).
Faith-based, or healthcare sharing plans is the exponentially exploding new market. Their unique plan structure makes such plans an intriguing and affordable alternative to traditional health insurance plans. Companies offering these plans include: OneShare Health.
When reviewing your health plan options, be sure to take a close look at the summary of benefits of each plan you are considering. Most health plans summaries can be found online somewhere within the description of benefits on most any major health insurance plan website. If you don't see it, request it before applying for any plan. A provider directory, which displays the facilities and doctors
that are part of the plan's physician network, should also be readily available.
Also, when comparing various plans, make certain to pay serious attention to your family's current medical needs. Consider the cost and manner of treatment you have gotten in the past. Though it is not possible to foretell
every future medical circumstance, being aware of your family's medical history can assist you in making the right decision.
|St. Joseph Medical Center
1401 St Joseph Pkwy
Houston, TX 77002
Telephone: (713) 757-1000
Plus Code: PJXM+4J Downtown, Houston, TX
|Good to know:
Key Step Number 2: Review physician / hospital Networks
Be up front about finances. Are you short on cash? Do you have a high insurance deductible? Don't be embarrassed to tell your doctor or dentist. He may be able to suggest less costly treatment options or even agree to lower fees. "Try to negotiate the fee you pay before or at the time you make your appointment and/or offer to pay cash," suggests Ruth Linden of Tree of Life Health Advocates. "Some physicians will agree to accept a reduced rate, if you inform them you are experiencing difficult financial circumstances." In fact, a Wall Street Journal/Harris Interactive poll found that three out of five people who negotiated with their doctors received discounts.
courtesy of Parents.com
Be sure to check the hospital/physician network of any plan that you are considering. Make certain the specific hospitals or doctors you desire, are participating in the network. The expense of utilizing a physician or hospital that is out-of-network, can be staggering. Insurance firms negotiate
with physicians and hospitals to obtain more reasonable rates. When you opt out of the network, those negotiated rates are not available to you. If you have personal doctors and you want to keep visiting them, make certain they are part of the provider network associated with your plan.
Key Step Number 3: Compare out-of-pocket costs
Perhaps the most important part of any health plan is the amount you will be responsible to pay should a medical need arise. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what your plan will pay toward a medical bill, and what you will be required to pay. You need to be clear
on this issue for most every possible medical circumstance. This includes office visits, x-rays and laboratory tests, emergency room visits, hospital procedures and stays, etc. Also, make sure you know the maximum amount your plan will pay toward every medical circumstance. Many plans have lifetime limits. Some plans have procedure limits. These
are things you do not want to learn of after you gone through a medical circumstance. You need to have pertinent knowlege concerning these issues before you purchase your health insurance plan. When it comes to finding a good health insurance plan in Houston, there is a lot you need to know. Talk to the experts. We are happy to help. Give us a call today.
Good to know: Make an effort to understand insurance terms and lingo. Understanding what various health insurance, or alternative health plan terms mean, is truly invaluable when it comes to choosing a quality health care plan. Don't even attempt to shop for coverage until you have a good understanding of terms like copay, coinsurance, deductibles, and lifetime maximums.
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