Health Plans

Written by Sarah Provost
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There are several different kinds of health plans available in America. If you are a full-time employee at a large corporation, you may be one of the lucky ones whose employer provides comprehensive health care insurance. Every year, however, there are a million more people in this country who do not have any health insurance.

Many employers are cutting back on the benefits they offer. Self-employed and unemployed people must provide for their own health care. The government offers aid to senior citizens in the form of Medicaid and other programs, but they too are often lacking the benefits they need.

Self-paid medical insurance is very expensive. The insurance company is exposing itself to significant risk, since they are committed to paying a large percentage of whatever care you might need. Discount health plans, while not perfect, offer a lower-cost alternative.

How Discount Health Plans Work

With a discount plan, you pay a much lower annual fee, and in return you can get medical care at a discount ranging from 10 to 50 percent off the provider's fee. This discount has been negotiated by the administrator in return for referring all their clients to that provider. In this case, the consumer is the one taking the gamble. Discount programs may be extremely helpful in reducing ordinary medical expenses, but if you require extensive care, you are responsible for paying the discounted fee. It's a good idea to have a discount plan for your day to day medical care, and a stringently limited insurance that will kick in if you have a catastrophic illness or major accident.


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