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This guide will help readers develop a better understanding of health insurance and how it works. This guide will also equip readers with the information that will empower them to make the best personal lifestyle decisions to address potential costly health concerns. It will explore the various health challenges that individuals within certain demographics and age groups face as well as explore the importance of preventive care and a healthy lifestyle. Putting this information to use provided in this guide will give readers the knowledge and information needed to navigate the details and features of the various health care plans available.

The guide will help readers in understanding the difference between the various types of health insurance plans is important for all consumers. Familiarity with the different types of plans and features they offer will empower the consumer with the information needed to identify the best coverage for the family and personal health needs.The guide will explore the many types of insurance plans available.

Most traditional form of health insurance is designed to provide the person with care for a fee. The insurer and the patient share the costs of services provided. Known as a “fee for service” plan, patients enjoy great flexibility. In this type of plan, a person can seek care from any physician of their choosing without having to seek approval for the provider. Patients can even elect to work directly with a specialist without consulting their primary care physician in this type of plan. There are deductible requirements that must be satisfied and co-insurance obligations that must be met.

The health maintenance organization (HMO) establishes a network of providers the patient must work with in order to have full coverage for care provided. Each member of the network must agree to perform certain procedures at a predetermined amount. Most HMO plans require that a person choose a primary care physician. Referrals are issued through the primary care physician for patients who require a specialist. Patient may be responsible for a co-pay.

In the case of a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan, a list of providers is available to patients. When patients seek care within the network, more coverage for the procedure is provided. Unlike the HMO plan, patients can self-refer. Care sought outside of the network will result in higher out-of-pocket fees for the patient. In this type of plan, patients are not required to work with a primary care physician.

In point of service plan (POS), providers have more flexibility. They can seek care from within or outside of their network of listed providers. Co-insurance is lowest among those who receive care from physicians included within the network. Once the deductible amount is met, the person is only responsible for a portion of the fees assessed for a service if care is provided by an out-of-network provider. Referrals are required to receive care from an in-network specialist, but patients can self-refer outside of the network without requesting a referral.

In addition to exploring the many features of the various health insurance plans, the guide also explores other health topics. Consumers can expect learn more about the preventive care treatment options available to them in each plan and how they are covered under the new health care law changes. Illnesses, family risks and health concerns are also addressed in the guide. Patients will learn which changes will result in an improved quality of life throughout aging and what changes can be made to lower the cost of health care in their lifetime. Consumers will also learn what minor changes can be made that can lower certain risk factors.

Information is power. When the consumer understands the ins and out of the health insurance plans and the risk factors, they are in a better position to take ownership of their health and make better decisions. Consumers will learn what it takes to lead a healthier life and what changes they can make today to lower health care costs in the future with this guide.