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Health Insurance for Women

Over 17 million women in America, between the ages 18 and 64, are uninsured. As insurance premiums soar, employers cut benefits and jobs disappear, women are left without any coverage. Women are more likely to be deemed dependents on health insurance policies than men, so if they become divorced, widowed, or their spouse is laid off, they’re often left without health insurance.

A national survey showed one out of every six privately insured women postponed or went without care because of high costs. Typical insurance premiums are around $4,024 for individuals and $10,800 for families.

Private Health Insurance Options for Women

Two options are available with this type of plan: 1. Managed care, and 2. Fee-for-service.

  • The fee-for-service option is when the healthcare provider is paid for each covered service. So every time you visit the doctor, a claim will be submitted to your insurance company for payment. Most of these plans have a deductible amount that must be paid each year before the insurer will make any payments.

  • With the managed care option, you will have access to certain doctors, hospitals and other providers for medical services. There are three types to choose from, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Point of Service (POS).

HMOs provide health services for a fixed monthly fee called a premium. This is a fee that must be paid whether you use the plan’s services or not. Sometimes it will be necessary to make co-payments for visits or prescriptions.

The PPO option offers more choices than HMOs, but the premiums are known to be much higher. By using “in-network” providers, you can keep out-of-pocket costs low. No Primary Care Provider (PCP) is necessary.

POS plans aren’t too different from PPO. With this option a PCP manages your care. A PCP would have to recommend you before you can see a specialist.

Medicaid

This is offered by the state and is available to low-income families and individuals. Pregnant women are usually automatically qualified for prenatal Medicaid services. This is a great option because you pay nothing for services provided. Likely it will not cover non-emergency surgeries. Payments are sent directly to the health care provider and not to you.

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