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Florida Health Insurance

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Florida Insurance > Florida Health Insurance

Florida Health Insurance Overview

Florida health insurance is an important coverage that helps protect you and your family from the devastating financial effects of unexpected health problems or catastrophic illness.

Florida health insurance coverage can be issued to individuals, to employees of an employer offering Florida health coverage, or to individuals that are members of association groups. Some Florida health insurance coverage is provided by self insured funds, not regulated by the State of Florida. Although there are other forms of health insurance, the three main categories of Florida health insurance are:

  • Insurance policies that offer comprehensive or ďmajor medicalĒ coverage;
  • Insurance policies that provide managed care services;
  • Insurance policies that provide limited benefits.

Insurance Policies that provide Comprehensive or Major Medical Coverage

Most group health policies fall under the category of major medical policies. Major medical policies are more expensive because they provide more benefits than basic policies. A major medical policy normally pays a percentage of covered expenses (normally 80%), after you pay the deductible. Insurance companies use fee schedules to determine the average cost of a procedure; however, this cost may differ from the actual charge you receive. Maximum out-of-pocket limits restrict the amount of coinsurance you pay. Not all policies include such limits, but those that do pay 100 percent of remaining covered expenses after you pay a stated amount of coinsurance.

Insurance Policies that provide Managed Care Services

The managed care system combines the delivery and financing of health care services. This limits your choice of doctors and hospitals. In return for this limited choice, you usually pay less for medical care (i.e., doctor visits, prescriptions, surgery and other covered benefits) than you would with traditional health insurance. The managed care network controls health care services.

The types of Managed Care are:

  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) - PPOs offer a provider network to meet the health care needs of their insuredís. A traditional insurance carrier provides the health benefits. An insurer contracts with a group of health care providers to control the cost of providing benefits to their insuredís. These providers charge lower-than-usual fees because they require prompt payment and serve a greater number of patients. Insuredís usually choose who will provide their health care, but pay less in coinsurance with a preferred provider than with a non-preferred provider.

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) - HMO members pay a monthly fixed dollar amount (similar to an insurance premium), which gives them access to a wide range of health care services. In many cases, members also pay a predetermined amount, or copayment, for each doctor or emergency room visit and for prescription drugs, rather than paying the provider in full and obtaining a portion of the reimbursement later. Members must use the HMOís network of providers, which may include the doctors, pharmacies and hospitals under contract with that particular HMO.

  • Point of Service plans (POS) - In a POS plan, insured members may choose, at the point of service, whether to receive care from a physician within the planís network or to go out of the network for services. The POS plan provides less coverage for health care expenses provided outside the network than for expenses incurred within the network. Also, the POS plan will usually require you to pay deductibles and coinsurance costs for medical care received out of network.

  • Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs) - In an EPO arrangement, an insurance company contracts with hospitals or specific providers. Insured members must use the contracted hospitals or providers to receive benefits from these plans.

Insurance Policies that Provide Limited Benefits

Although there are others, the most popular Florida insurance policies that provide limited benefits are:
  • Basic Hospital Expense
  • Basic Surgical Expense
  • Specified Diseases (such as cancer)
  • Hospital Indemnity plans

Discount Plans

Medical Discount Plans, Prescription Discount Plans, Dental Discount Plans, and Vision Discount Plans are programs where a consumer pays a fee to join a plan in return for discounts on products and services from participating vendors and providers. Often, members who join these plans are issued a card similar to an insurance card identifying them as a member. However, these plans are NOT insurance.

Health Insurance Tips

  • Verify before you buy!
    Verify the license of the agent and the insurance company before you sign the application for a policy.

  • Cover Florida provides access to affordable quality health care. Florida health insurance plans are available to all applicants age 19 to 64 who have been without health insurance for at least six months, and are not eligible for a public health insurance program.

  • Review your policy carefully!
    Understand your deductible and coinsurance provisions. Understand your responsibility if you need a referral to see a specialist. Also, understand your rights to file an appeal or grievance if a claim is denied that you feel should be paid.

  • Individual plans have a 10-day free-look provision. This allows you to return the policy and receive a full refund if you are not happy with the policy.

  • An individual insurance policy must include a grace period provision. The grace period is from 7 to 31 days, depending on how the premium is paid. Individual HMOís must provide a 10 day grace period.

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