Florida Health Insurance
At some point many in state residents will find themselves in the market for Florida health insurance, either because it’s not an offered benefit by an employer, they are self employed, or due to the loss of a job. Health insurance in FL is not Federally regulated so it’s important to know individual state requirements. Read on to find out some things to help you learn all about health insurance in Florida.
10 Facts About Florida Health Insurance
- Any group health plan offered by an employer can not be denied or limited and can not charge higher premiums because of your health status and must limit exclusions of pre-existing conditions.
- Individual health insurance in Florida is approximately half the cost of a similar group health insurance plan in Florida.
- Health insurance can not be canceled if you get sick.
- If you leave your job for any reason you may still be eligible for your same insurance policy under COBRA. However, the rates will usually be higher.
- If you have low income you may be eligible for state Medicaid insurance.
- Children under the age of 18 who are not covered on any private policy may be eligible for the Florida KidCare program.
- If you lost your health insurance and are receiving coverage under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program or you are a retiree between the ages of 55 and 65 and receiving pension benefits from Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation you may be eligible for the federal Health Coverage Tax Credit.
- If you change jobs usually you can not take your health coverage with you and your new employer may not offer health benefits.
- If you have a lapse in coverage of 63 days or more you may have to wait out a pre-existing exclusion time period before your new coverage begins.
- If you are not HIPPA eligible your access to Florida health insurance may depend on your health status. HIPPA eligibility is no guarantee that you will not be turned down for some health care plans – you must speak with a qualified Florida health insurance agent that can show you which FL HIPAA health insurance plans you may qualify for.
Finding a Top Notch Health Insurance Company In Florida
Good Reputation. Beware of small companies that no one has ever heard of.
Customer Service. Do they offer many different ways to contact the company (phone, online, fax, in person, etc)?
Comprehensive Policies. The real value of health insurance is in it's protection against the very large medical bills. Watch out for plans with limited benefits.
Competitive Pricing. The larger insurance companies have strong competition going for offering the best insurance at the best prices and smaller companies may not be able to compete with this.
Financial Strength. Are they able to pay your claims or do they go out of their way to try and get out of them?
How To Find Affordable Health Insurance In Florida
Compare Quotes between companies. Make sure you pick trusted and well established insurance companies when doing this and not one of the smaller companies. Also, make sure that they offer coverage in your zip code. Cross the companies off of your list that have calendar year or procedure limits in their policies.
Increase Your Deductible – increasing your deductible lowers your monthly premium. If you are in really good health and don’t need to visit the doctor more than once or twice a year, it may be to your benefit to go with a higher deductible. By the same token make sure your prescription plan has deductibles for name brand prescriptions. Generics are much cheaper and if you can use them you will save money on your policy.
Consider A Florida HSA – Health savings accounts are a great way to find affordable health insurance in Florida while also saving yourself some money on your income taxes.
Health Insurance Companies Offering Coverage In Florida
- Humana One
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of FL
- Golden Rule United Healthcare
- United American
- Mega Life
Choose An Independent Florida Health Insurance Agent
Some think it doesn't really matter where they buy their health insurance. But this misconception could be costing them money, service and protection. Buying insurance isn't like buying bread or milk. Insurance is an important safety net for your family or your business.
A licensed Florida health insurance independent agent works with multiple insurance carriers. The agent can pull several quotes, as this is called a "shop". An independent agent can offer most policies available in the state.
Don't treat the purchase lightly! You should only review quotes from an independent agent.
Learn What A Captive Florida Health Insurance Agent Is
Florida health insurance captive agents work exclusively for one insurance company. They are obligated to give their business to only that one company. Is this a service to the consumer? Absolutely not.
These products are typically obscure, however the agent will present it as "the best" plan available. These plans are typically "Basic Hospital" plans with low annual maximums. They may cover $50,000 or $100,000 per calendar year. So what if your claim is $250,000? You guessed it; you would pay the difference.
These are the companies you see on cable television at 3am. Not all Florida health insurance agents are the same. Only work with an agent representing a minimum of 5 companies. A licensed independent agent will earn your business, not take it for granted.
How To Choose The Best Florida Health Insurance Plan
Your independent agent will research your FL health insurance plan options based on your health, age, zip code, and other integral information. Some carriers are openly accepted in areas where others are not. The monthly cost should not dictate or be the only factor in finding right plan.
The strength of the network is very important. The network of a carrier determines what is "in" network and what is "out" of network. A plan with a low price point but weak network is no good for the consumer. A competitive price point with an outstanding network should never be compromised.
Your agent will work diligently to find the plan that best suits your needs. Use our free quote tool at the top of the page to do your homework ahead of time and compare quotes from the top health insurance companies offering coverage in your zip code.
Florida PPO And Florida HMO Facts
Consumers sometimes have difficulty understanding the difference between HMO's and PPO's.
An HMO is a "Health Maintenance Organization". HMO's are seen primarily with group insurance plans, typically offered by an employer. A form of health insurance combining a range of coverage in a group basis. A group of doctors and other medical professionals offer care through the HMO for a flat monthly rate with no deductibles. However, only visits to professionals within the HMO network are covered by the policy. All visits, prescriptions and other care must be cleared by the HMO in order to be covered. A primary physician within the HMO handles referrals.
A PPO, or "preferred provider organization". A health care organization composed of physicians, hospitals, or other providers which provides health care services at a reduced fee. A PPO is similar to an HMO, but care is paid for as it is received instead of in advance in the form of a scheduled fee. PPO’s may also offer more flexibility by allowing for visits to out-of-network professionals at a greater expense to the policyholder. Visits within the network require only the payment of a small fee. There is often a deductible for out-of-network expenses and a higher co-payment. A policy holder will have a primary physician within the network who will handle referrals to specialists that will be covered by the PPO. After any visit, the policy holder must submit a claim, and will be reimbursed for the visit minus his/her co-payment.
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