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Frequently Asked Questions 

What is an Indemnity Plan?
An indemnity plan is commonly known as a fee for service or traditional plan. If you are insured by an Indemnity plan, you have the ability to choose any licensed healthcare provider. You do not need referrals or authorizations, but some plans may require you to pre-certify for certain medical services. Most indemnity plans require you to pay a deductible. After you have paid your deductible, indemnity policies typically pay a high percentage of "usual and customary" (UCR) charges for covered services. Most plans have an annual out of pocket maximum and once you've reached this they will pay 100% of all charges for covered services. Most insurance companies no longer offer indemnity plans so you may have few or no indemnity plan choices in your area.

What is a copayment?
A copayment is a flat dollar amount that you pay for a particular service.

What is coinsurance? 
Coinsurance is a percentage of the fees that you have to pay for particular services. Typically the coinsurance that you will have to pay is between 10%-20% for in-network services, and 30%-50% for out-of-network services. The insurance company pays the remainder of the fees.

What is a deductible?
A deductible is the amount of calendar year medical expenses that a health plan member must pay before the plan will begin to cover expenses. Certain services (such as a physician office visit copay) will not be subject to the deductible. Copays may or may not count towards the deductible. Generally speaking, if your plan has a $500 deductible, you will pay the first $500 of your medical expenses before your health plan begins paying the expenses. Only expenses for covered services apply towards the deductible. For example, if you paid $100 for a visit to a chiropractor but the plan does not consider chiropractic care a covered expense, then the $100 will not apply toward your annual deductible.

What is a Primary Care Physician (PCP)?
A physician or other medical professional who serves as a member's gatekeeper or first contact within a managed health care system. The PCP will oversee all services provided to the plan member, and should be contacted first (except in emergency situations) when medical services are needed.

What is a provider?
A provider is a hospital, health care facility, physician or other medical professional that provides health care services.
A physician or other medical professional who serves as a member's gatekeeper or first contact within a managed health care system. The PCP will oversee all services provided to the plan member, and should be contacted first (except in emergency situations) when medical services are needed

What is the difference between an in-network and an out-of-network medical provider?
An in-network medical provider is within the approved network of providers for a particular managed care health plan. Out-of-network providers are not on the list of network providers (however, they may be members of other managed care networks). If you receive services from a doctor within the network, the amount you will be responsible for paying will be less than if you go to an out-of-network doctor. In most cases HMO's provide no out-of-network benefits, and furthermore, all care must first be initiated by a PCP or Primary Care Physician. In general, HMOs tend to have smaller provider networks than PPOs. Indemnity plans typically do not have networks; you go to whatever licensed doctor you want.

What is a POS?
A Point-of-Service (POS) plan type of managed care plan combining features of a HMO and PPO. You can decide whether to go to a network provider and pay a flat dollar or to an out-of-network provider and pay a deductible and/or a coinsurance charge. A Point-of-Service plan is less restrictive than a HMO because at the time medical services are needed (i.e. the Point-of-Service) you may choose between several different plan options such as HMO, PPO or Indemnity. Point-of Service plans have made arrangements for lower fees with a network of health care providers and give their policyholders a financial incentive to stay within their network. Like a HMO, POS plans require a gatekeeper, or Primary Care Physician (PCP), that must be used for the HMO coverage component of the POS options. The PCP must be selected from the plan's provider directory. However, as with the PPO, you can choose to go out of network and still receive benefits. The PPO benefits will not be as good as the HMO benefits because of the added freedom to choose from many PPO providers at the point services are needed. The POS also allows you to opt out of network entirely for even lesser benefits, but at least you will have coverage if you must choose a non-network provider.

What is a PPO? 
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) allows you to choose from the doctors and hospitals within a PPO network or go outside of the network for lesser benefits. A PPO is a network of physicians and hospitals that have agreed, by contract, to discount their rates to their members. The networks are typically very large, and the members are free to seek care from any physician or provider within the network, including specialists without a referral. Members may also choose to see non-PPO providers, but at a higher out-of-pocket cost. Typically PPO plans might offer some front-end co-payments for such services as doctor visits and prescriptions. Most other covered services are typically subject to a calendar year deductible and/or coinsurance.

What is an HMO? 
A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) provides good benefits often including extensive preventive care coverage and low out-of-pocket costs. Unless you have a Point-of-Service (POS) option or except in emergency cases, there is typically no coverage for services from physicians or hospitals outside the HMO network of providers. Plans usually offer comprehensive benefits and affordable premiums with no deductibles and minimal cost-sharing (such as low co-payments for doctor office visits and other services). A Primary Care Physician (PCP) that you select from within the network oversees (will be the Gatekeeper for) all of your healthcare needs. Unless you have direct access or direct referral featured in your plan, your PCP will coordinate all referrals to specialists when necessary. 

What is an HSA? 
An HSA is a Health Savings Account. It is a tax-advantaged personal savings account used in conjunction with a high deductible health policy. Individuals can contribute money to this account on a pre-tax basis to set aside money for qualified medical care and expenses, including annual deductibles and copayments.


Is there a charge for your service? 
There is no charge for our excellent service.

How long does the application process take? 
The Individual Plan application process takes on average 4-6 weeks depending on underwriting time. Please do not cancel any insurance until your new plan has been approved.

Which is the right plan for me? 
With all of the various managed care plans available today, choosing between health plans is not as easy as it used to be. But even though the many choices available may be a bit confusing, there is certain to be an optimal choice to meet your particular needs. Plans differ in how much you have to pay and how easy it is to get the services you need. With any health plan you will pay a monthly premium to pay for the insurance, and in addition, there are other payments you must make. These payments vary by plan, but essentially consist of deductibles and copayments. If you need help choosing a plan, call us, and a licensed agent will discuss your available options with you. 

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