A family health insurance is legally binding contract between an insurance company and a family. The contract ensures that the company covers all the medical expenses of every individual of the family. Family health insurance is usually purchased annually. There is no guarantee that the policy can be renewed or that the premium would remain the same year after year.
Family health insurance has the best of both the worlds – it is as cheap as group insurance and it can be personalised according to the medical needs of the individual members. It is often more attractive and affordable as compared to the other plans. The idea is to provide one comprehensive plan for the entire family instead of tedious individual plans. The overall cost of the premium is lessened and this makes family health insurance affordable.
Family health plans sometimes work out to be cheaper than subscribing to group insurance at work. It is 100% tax deductible and hence is a more lucrative insurance option.
Deciding what kind of the medical plan is best suited for the family depends on two things:-
a) Medical needs of every individual member of the family
b) The total income of the family and the budget allotted for purchasing health insurance.
There are basically two types of insurance options available to the residents of USA. These are the indemnity health plans and managed healthcare plans.
An indemnity family insurance provides a wider choice of doctors and hospitals. However the beneficiary has to pay upfront and later get it reimbursed from the company. The deductibles and premiums are usually expensive; Indemnity plans are soon getting outdated.
In contrasts to such family plans, the other option is to go for managed care plans. There is a provided network of healthcare services providers and patients usually have to stick to it. Flexibility is limited. One has to pay more to consult doctors outside the network. However exemptions can be made in the case of exceptions. Managed plans focus on providing preventive, primary healthcare, provide less coverage but are definitely more accessible and affordable than family health insurance plans.
It is possible to get family insurance through the employer of one of the family members. Group insurance at work is usually for the entire family of the employee. And even if it is not, an individual policy in group insurance can be converted into family insurance by paying a little more premium. Accessing family medical insurance through work is perhaps the cheapest way to shop for family health insurance.
Just because family health plans come cheap does not mean one should purchase any family plan coming their way. A thorough research on the companies and the plans is essential. Comparing quotes online will give a fair idea about the various health plans on offer. It is a bad idea to settle for the first insurance plan that one encounters. It is important to find out everything about the plans, consult about it, talk to those who already have a plan like that and then finally zero in on a family medical plan.
The money involved is important, but what is more important is to take into consideration the medical needs of each person in the family before purchasing a health plan that suits them all. With the right research and knowledge it is definitely possible to get the right plan for the entire family.