Monday, May 22, 2017

Choosing the Right Fit

Medical insurance and health care is one of the lingering debates by many presidents and Congresses. The right of taxpayers, especially of the poor in quality and affordable medical care is one of the central policies of the United States’ government.

However, the political parties and various experts argue over which plan to take to make this universal health care coverage for everyone – rich or poor – become a reality. Should the government take over medical insurance? Should government just use the money instead to pay private medical insurers? Should there be a combination of the two systems? Should there be a totally new universal system?

Most working-class Americans already have medical insurance in some form. Employers usually offer medical benefits through health maintenance organizations (HMO) or preferred provider organizations (PPO). In many states, their government runs medical programs like Medicaid or Medicare have shown to be efficient and responsive to the needs of the population and is seen as a preferred and better choice.

Basically, medical insurance should cover medical expenses should its members need care in exchange for a premium. However, that is where the similarities stop. Various companies offer varying premium scales, but also offer very different coverage schemes. This is where terms like pre-existing condition (a sickness or symptom already existing before signing up to insurance) comes in and complicates matters, especially for a member that is already being rushed into a hospital and requiring medical care fast.

Insurance companies are able to pay for these bills since not all the people paying premiums get sick, if at all. In fact, they make an effort to enlist gym buffs and health-conscious individuals exactly for this end. They also contract with specific doctors, institutions and health care providers with their large number of members, ensuring a reduction in cost. They also try to eliminate unnecessary procedures that patient ask for and focus instead on annual medical check up to discover ailments at an early age and prevent it from worsening and costing too much.

There is no universal formula in choosing the best health care plan. This is what Washington has been trying to do for decades and failed. Each service and provider is unique and only the client and patient know their needs and choose the best plan for them.

In order to choose the best plan, one must consider the medical coverage offered by the insurer. Does it include regular checkups? Or only those that require trips to the emergency room? Furthermore, inquire on the health providers and doctors that are in the network of the provider. Check their names and their records. If they are the best in their field, then it should be an easy choice. If the doctors are from some small inner city clinics no one has heard of, then you should start to be cautious.

One consideration is your lifestyle. If you are a health buff, then you can perhaps go to medical insurers that focus on prevention. If you keep a rather dangerous job, then choose one that will not give you headaches in case the worst happens.

The final consideration is of course, the premiums. Many employers shoulder these expenses, but you should also consider if your family is covered. For those who had to pay out of their own pockets, this is a big consideration. No one will pay a high premium for a service no one wants to avail. Who wants to get si