A health plan should not be confused with health insurance. A health plan is general and not specific as a health insurance is. A health plan in most cases is subscription based, offering subscription-based medical care offered at point specific point of service centers or preferred service providers. Health plan Insurance companies take it upon themselves to pay for a fixed agreed number of services, number of days if hospitalized and number of home visits.
Most people have become aware of health issues and worry about health medical costs. This has pushed insurance companies to come up with varied health plans to suit individual's health plan needs. A health plan can be comprehensive or scheduled.
Comprehensive Health Plan: A comprehensive health insurance plan will pay a percentage of hospital and doctor charges after you have paid your share. This is usually a pre-arranged agreement between you and the company. In such arrangement, you may find yourself actually paying very little while the company settles the rest. This kind of arrangement has benefited many individuals who could otherwise not be able to pay the full bill on their own.
Scheduled Health Plan: Scheduled health plans are meant to provide day-to-day health care like visiting a doctor or getting prescription drugs. In most cases, companies offering such plans do not exist mainly for insurance purposes. They are mostly associations that are formed to give their members easy access to medical care. These plans provide limited benefits and are not meant to provide any insurance in major health issues. Such associations require annual membership subscription.
There are several health insurance plans available in the market;
(a) Low Income (Subsidy) Health Plan. This plan is meant to cater for low-income earners in the society. This was developed to at least enable such people afford basic health care such as visits to a doctor or drug prescriptions. In most cases, this is usually a scheduled health plan. Registration is normally required with minimal annual subscription. A health care provider is usually contracted to offer services to members and this means that you have to be a resident of the area where such association operates. This plan can be for an individual or for the whole family.
(b) Employer Group Health Plan. This is suitable for employers who wish to give their employees access to affordable health care. The employer agrees with the Insurance Company on the service provider to contract in advance. When an employee needs to visit a doctor or is in need of prescription, he/she simply visits the service provider and gets the required service. In most cases, the benefits are usually limited as life-threatening conditions are not covered. Such a plan can either be for the employee only or with the family.
(c) Individual and Family Health Plans. This suits those who are self-employed or where the employer does not provide any. The plan has the option for individual or the whole family. Membership and annual subscriptions are requirements to enjoy benefits.
(d) Comprehensive Health Plan. This is usually expensive and can cover an individual or the whole family. Annual subscriptions and membership are a requirement. Apart from visits to the doctor and drug prescriptions, hospital services in the theatre, intensive care and home visits are catered for. A comprehensive health plan can be co-insurance, which is somehow cheaper.
(e) Senior Health Plan. This is mainly designed for the elderly in the society. They are in most cases expensive as long period of hospital services may be required and the number of home visits may be many.
Having a health plan can go a long way in reducing your medical costs. You rest assured that in case of any eventuality, you will find help without your family straining to find money to pay for your hospital expenses.