While you may not plan to get sick or injured, there will come a time when you need medical attention. However, the cost of medical care can quickly get expensive—a single trip to the doctor’s office can cost hundreds of dollars. With a health insurance plan, some of the expenses of medical care are covered, which can potentially save you thousands.
So how does health insurance work? How do you apply for health insurance? What are the benefits to having insurance? Before we answer these questions, let’s quickly review what health insurance is and how it works.
What Is Health insurance?
Health insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company in which you pay a monthly fee in exchange for coverage for part or all of your medical costs. This coverage will usually pay for expenses like doctor visits, prescription drugs, surgeries, and sometimes dental visits; the specifics depend on the individual plan.
How Does Health Insurance Work?
Understanding how health insurance works can be complicated. To help explain the process, here are some key terms:
- Premium: This is the amount you pay each month in order to keep your policy active. The cost will depend on the plan and insurance company you choose.
- Deductible: Before your insurance company will start paying for your medical expenses, you have to pay a certain amount yourself. Your deductible amount will depend on your plan; some plans don’t have a deductible.
- Coinsurance: This is the percentage of your medical expenses that your insurance company agrees to pay once you’ve reached your deductible. Most plans have you pay a certain amount unless you select a plan that provides 100% coverage. For example, if you visit the doctor and receive a $100 medical bill, your insurance company may cover 80% of that cost, leaving you to pay the remaining 20%, which comes to $20.
- Copay: Each time you visit a doctor or fill a prescription, you’ll probably have to pay a flat fee. Most copays are a small amount, but don’t count toward your deductible.
Once you’ve selected a health care plan and started paying your premiums, your coverage will begin and you can start receiving medical treatment.
How to Apply for Health Insurance
The first step in obtaining health insurance is to research both local and national insurance companies in order to find the right coverage for you and your family. You may want to consider consulting with an insurance broker, which is someone who is familiar with most Utah insurance companies and can help you find a plan more quickly.
After you’ve found an insurance company, you’ll want to look into any discounts you may qualify for. Low-income families or college students may qualify for a lower premium rate. Next, you’ll need to complete an application. Utah applications ask for information about each member of your household, your estimated yearly household income, employer information, and your social security numbers.
Once you’ve completed your application and it’s processed by the insurance company, your coverage will start.
Benefits of Health Insurance
In Utah, all residents are technically required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act—although there’s no consequence for not complying. Having health insurance not only helps you follow the law, it also protects you financially from expensive medical bills. Other benefits include:
- Free, preventative care for vaccines, screenings, or check-ups.
- Peace of mind, knowing you’re protected should a medical emergency happen.
- Coverage for medical care like ER services, treatment for pre-existing conditions, pregnancy, doctor visits, and more.
- Saving money on health care costs.
Contact Miller Insurance Advisors for Help
To help you navigate the complicated process of applying for health insurance in Utah, California, or Texas, contact Miller Insurance Advisors. Each of our advisors is very familiar with Utah, Texas, and California insurance and can help you find a plan that fits your needs and budget. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.