Employer-sponsored health insurance plans
Open enrollment is a time of year when you can sign up for health insurance. The dates depend on your employer but are generally offered in the fall. Additionally, you may qualify to enroll if you have a qualifying life event, like losing coverage through your employer.
A primary care doctor helps you to manage your health. Common services include regular physical exams, prescribing medications, treating minor illness and injuries, managing chronic conditions, and screenings for common health problems.
Should you need specialized care, your primary care doctor can expertly guide your next steps, and connect you to the right specialist. There are five main types of primary care doctors: Family medicine doctors for the whole family; internal medicine-pediatric doctors for preventing and treating diseases, pediatricians who specialize in children, internal medicine doctors who care for adults, and OB-GYNs for adult women.
Choosing and building a relationship with one of these doctors can help you live a healthy lifestyle based on your individual needs.
One type of health insurance is not better than the other, but there are differences. With an HMO plan you will choose a Primary Care Provider (PCP), who will coordinate the care you need for any specialists. Services are all provided through physicians and facilities in the health plan's HMO network. With a PPO you may also choose a PCP, but you will not need a referral to see another physician. It will usually cost less to see in-network physicians than an out-of-network physician. Whether you are considering an HMO or a PPO, you can check which doctors, medical groups, hospitals, etc. are in the network before you enroll.
A health insurance broker or agent is a person who can help you apply for help to pay for your health insurance and enroll in a health plan. They can make specific recommendations about which plan to enroll in based on your health care needs. They are licensed and regulated by states and typically get payments, or commissions, from health insurers and therefore, consumers do not pay for their services.