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illions of working Americans are still without health insurance, and many more worry about whether they’ll be able to afford their existing coverage due to rising health costs. “With the rising cost of care, individuals want more affordable options when it comes to health insurance,” says Scott Krienke, senior vice president, marketing and product lines at Assurant Health. “Consumers want coverage tailored to their budget and how they manage their health. Before choosing a health insurance plan, it’s important to understand all the options to find the best fit for your needs

What You Need to Know Whether you’re looking for additional coverage to supplement your employer’s plan, or want an individual plan because you’re self-employed or uninsured, here are a few tips to get you started.

Major Medical Under the Affordable Care Act, major medical plans now cover 100 percent of many preventive services. Many people are familiar with major medical insurance, which can be offered by employers and which is usually most comprehensive in covering serious illness or injuries. Major medical plans generally offer the broadest protection and protect against large, unexpected medical expenses.

Fixed-Benefit Plans In general, fixed-benefit plans pay a set amount of money when you have a covered medical service, regardless of the actual cost.

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For example, if the plan pays $50 when you have an X-ray, but it costs $125, after applying the plan payment of $50, you would owe $75. Unlike a traditional plan that has deductibles, coinsurance and copays, fixed-benefit plans pay a benefit for covered services immediately. Some provide access to network discounts that can significantly decrease the total cost of care. These plans can cover a range of services from everyday office visits, preventive care and prescriptions, to hospitalization and surgery. Check to see if there are pre-existing condition limitations for the first 12 months of coverage. Fixed-benefit plans can offer significant coverage. For example, hospitaliza­tion reimbursement can be as much as $6,000 per day depending on the plan. Some even offer tools to help manage costs, like guaranteed cost estimates for common services and treatments.

Comparing Health and Supplementary Insurance Coverage To do a comparison of costs and cover­age with any plans you’re considering, it’s wise to look at: n Premiums, which are the amount paid each month for your plan. n Coverage/benefits. n Access to doctors, hospitals and other providers. n After-hours access and emergency care. n Out-of-pocket costs. n Exclusions and limitations.

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Satori LifeStyle Magazine  

New beginnings for the new year and living healthy is at the top of the list. The year of 2013 is all about a healthy lifestyle for the ent...

Satori LifeStyle Magazine  

New beginnings for the new year and living healthy is at the top of the list. The year of 2013 is all about a healthy lifestyle for the ent...

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