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Health Insurance

Health care worker measuring a women's blood sugar.

Health insurance is one of the most valued benefits offered by employers or purchased by an individual. This type of insurance comes in three types: HMO (health maintenance organization), PPO (preferred provider organization, EPO (exclusive provider organization), and POS (point of service organization).

Each of these health insurance options offers a specific set of benefits, varying in cost. Choosing the right plan for you or a family requires understanding what a plan provides in benefits. A local insurance agent can explain your options and help you decide the plan that will best match your needs and budget.

If you have a medical provider, clinic, or hospital you trust, the provider must be contracted in the health insurance plan’s health network. Health insurance policies have a list of the in-network medical professionals you can review before settling on a plan.

Dental Insurance

Some health insurance plans offer the option to include dental insurance, which discounts a range of dental services. Review the benefits of a health insurance plan if you are interested in a plan that offers dental insurance coverage. You can also purchase a stand-alone dental insurance plan.

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance pays a monthly benefit should you become incapacitated and unable to earn a living. The benefits paid are a certain percentage of the income you would have earned had you continued to work. The duration of the benefits, the amount paid, and whether you are required to seek other employment before becoming eligible for benefits varies from policy to policy.

If you or a loved one has specialized health care needs, some health insurances, specifically Medicare, SSDI, Medicaid, and SSI Disability, are available. In addition, under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies cannot deny people who apply for health insurance who have preexisting health conditions.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance covers the cost of services an individual needs when they cannot care for themselves. These policies can provide benefits to pay for in-home care, the cost of a nursing home, assisted living facility, or an adult daycare center. Standard health insurance policies do not cover long-term care, and Medicare pays for only short-term stays at nursing facilities.

It is advised that you purchase long-term care insurance in your younger years, as the cost is less. As the years pass, the rates increase. Most insurance companies will not issue long-term care policies to people aged 75 and older. Rather than depleting your estate to pay for the cost of a nursing home, long-term care insurance is an intelligent way to protect your assets.

Vision Insurance

If you wear glasses or contacts, vision insurance can deliver significant savings. A vision insurance plan reduces the cost of regular eye exams, glasses, and contacts. Some health insurance plans include vision insurance and others don’t. You can purchase a stand-alone vision insurance plan for lower out-of-pocket costs of vision correction services, including eye exams, eyeglasses, frames, and contact lenses.