Your Guide to Health Insurance - How to Get and Manage Your Coverage
From Michael Bihari, MD, former About.com Guide
- Understanding Your Health Insurance
- Managed Care - HMOs and PPOs
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Flexible Spending Arrangements
- Saving Money on Insurance
- Prescription Drug Coverage
- Saving Money on Prescription Drugs
- Coverage and Claims Issues
- Travel Insurance and Travel Health
- State Health Insurance
Understanding Your Health Insurance
Health insurance can be very confusing. There are many different health plan options and each state has different rules and regulations. Understanding your insurance will help you avoid unexpected costs and hassles.
- Cost of Health Insurance
- Health Information Technology
- Open Enrollment
- Open Enrollment and Health Reform
- Student Health Insurance
- Mandated Health Insurance Benefits
- Supplemental Health Insurance
- COBRA Continuation Coverage
- Laid Off? How to Find Affordable Health Coverage
- Health Savings Accounts
- Factors to Consider When You Get Health Insurance
- Understanding Insurance Codes
Managed Care - HMOs and PPOs
Most Americans with health insurance receive their health care from a managed care plan such as a PPO or HMO. Learn how these plans work and what you need to do to make sure you get the best possible health care without any hassles.
- Understanding Managed Care - HMOs, PPOs, and POS Plans
- HMOs vs. PPOs – Making a Choice
- How to Choose the Best HMO or PPO
- How to Find a PCP You Like
- Getting Health Care Out-of-Network
Long-Term Care Insurance
If you have enough resources, it is likely that you will have to pay for your long-term care needs on your own. How you pay for these services depends on what services you need and if you have had the foresight to purchase long-term care insurance.
- Long Term Care - An Overview
- Long-Term Care Payment Options
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Health Reform and Long-Term Care
Flexible Spending Arrangements
Flexible spending arrangements allow you to sock away part of your income to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses with pretax dollars. The IRS has strict rules about how these plans work and the rules have changed under health reform.
Saving Money on Insurance
Health care insurance can be very expensive. There are things that you can do to help lower your health insurance costs, and prevent those costs from going up.
- Tips for Saving Money on Health Insurance
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses - Increase Them to Save on Your Premiums
- Private Health Insurance May Save You Money
- Managing Healthcare Costs with a Health Savings Account
- Switching to a Spouse's Plan May Save Money
- Wellness Programs Save Money
Prescription Drug Coverage
Prescription drug coverage can be confusing especially if your health plan has a drug formulary that only covers certain medications or requires that you use generics.
- Understanding Your Health Plan Drug Formulary
- Generic Drugs - Are They Safe and Effective?
- Understanding Your Doctor's Prescription
Saving Money on Prescription Drugs
Drugs can be very expensive and may strain your budget, especially if you have a chronic illness. Whether or not you have health insurance with drug coverage, there are many ways to save money on your medications.
- Ten Ways to Save Money on Drugs
- Eight More Ways to Save Money on Drugs
- Online Information About Low Cost Drugs
- Government Programs Help You Save on Drugs
- Buy Your Drugs Through the Mail
- Buying Drugs Online
- Splitting Pills Saves Money
- Save Money with Generic Drugs
- Buying Drugs from Canada and Mexico
Coverage and Claims Issues
Depending on your health plan, you may not be covered for certain types of procedures or health conditions. Most health plans only pay for what they define as medically necessary. To avoid claims disputes, make sure that you understand your plan’s benefits.
- Pregnancy Coverage
- Health Insurance When You're at High Risk
- How Much of My Surgery Will My Health Insurance Cover?
- What Elective Surgeries are Covered By Health Insurance?
- What Can I Do If My Health Insurance Doesn't Cover a Test or Procedure?
- Balance Billing
- Fighting a Health Insurance Claim Denial
- Understanding Your Explanation of Benefits
- Avoiding Errors on Your Explanation of Benefits
Travel Insurance and Travel Health
Foreign travel can be rigorous for anyone, given the changes in elevation and climate, and the presence of unfamiliar microbes. In some parts of the world, questionable water quality and sanitation compound the hazards. Be prepared!
State Health Insurance
Most health insurance plans are regulated by your state government. Since the states differ considerably in the rules they set for health plans and the types of state health insurance programs offered, it is important that you understand what is unique about your state.