For those whose family is not otherwise covered by medical insurance policies from an employer or other source, another option is to purchase an insurance plan specifically geared toward providing family coverage. There are many options available, including private company policies and government programs. Read on to learn more:
Insurance Options for Families
Most private insurance coverage plans purchased from an insurance company offer Managed Care Policies. These policy types can include Preferred Provider Organizations, or PPO’s (a list of doctors and clinics that the policy permits a customer to visit for a reduced price); Health Maintenance Organizations, or HMO’s (pre-paid medical care that requires visits to only HMO approved doctors); and Point of Service Plans, or POS’s (a type of coverage where the customer can visit any doctor or clinic they choose, but must pay a deductible or a part of the cost of the care for each separate visit).
Each of these plans has advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the correct plan for yourself and your family depends upon the kind of care you believe you will require. One major problem to be aware of when purchasing family insurance coverage is that oftentimes preventative health care (such as immunizations) is not covered. This would obviously be a problem for anyone with young children who will require vaccinations, so this is something to ask about before committing to a policy purchase.
Government Family Health Programs
Perhaps the best known of the government programs designed to help families obtain insurance coverage is Medicaid. Different from Medicare, Medicaid is a program set-up specifically to help provide medical care to children and other dependants. Those eligible for Medicaid benefits include: children (under 21 years of age); children in foster care, or who are in subsidized adoption; pregnant women; relatives caring for a child under 18 years of age; and parents living with a child under 18 years of age. Medicaid can also be extended to cover the disabled, and to people of retirement age (age 65 and up). Those who wish to learn more about Medicaid, or to apply for help, should visit or contact their local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.
In addition to Medicaid, some states have a program called the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which essentially slightly extends Medicaid. In states where the state government has provided funds to expand Medicaid to cover uninsured children, the CHIP program offers additional money to help provide insurance coverage to the uninsured parents of these children, as well.