There were a lot of options for health insurance coverage before the implementation of Obamacare. While the transition inherent to healthcare reform definitely took some time, the addition of new options has helped a lot of people that were previously unable to obtain health insurance due to cost or preexisting conditions. However, you may still find yourself trying to sift through the many options for coverage now available to you through your employer, state exchanges, and private health insurance providers. Before your make your decision, it’s best to try to understand as much as you can about available policies. If you don’t know what indemnity health insurance is, here are a few basics.
Most people are familiar with HMOs and PPOs, whereby certain doctors and facilities are considered to be in the “network” of approved providers. In order to get the most benefit from your health insurance policy and ensure that your claims are covered, you will have to select from the approved list of healthcare service providers. Indemnity plans are a totally different beast, and there are both benefits and drawbacks to choosing such a policy.
The major upside of indemnity health insurance, often referred to as ”fee for service”, is that it allows you to visit any doctor or hospital you want when you are in need of healthcare services. So if you have a long-time family doctor that doesn’t seem to be included in the HMOs or PPOs available to you (say, through employer-sponsored plans), you may be drawn to this type of insurance. Indemnity health insurance could also be a great option for anyone who travels frequently and wants to make sure that any emergency medical care (or other healthcare services) required during domestic travel are covered.
The downside, with this type of policy is that you may end up paying for services out-of-pocket and then filing a claim for reimbursement after the fact. Depending on the rules of your policy and the services you receive, there may be fees associated with your claims that could potentially reduce the payout.
Further, this type of policy behaves like many insurance plans in that you will be required to pay premiums and possibly deductibles before coverage kicks in. For some people, this could mean a lot of out-of-pocket expense before any payoff is realized. In addition, your insurance will still only cover a percentage of the total cost for any healthcare services you receive, again depending on the policy you select. Some consumers will certainly be attracted to the privilege of choosing any healthcare service provider while others might be content to find suitable doctors within a network. You simply need to understand available options so you can choose the health insurance policy that’s right for you.
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