Health Insurance

Compare a wide range of health insurance policies from insurers you can trust right here today with zaving

Last updated by Zaving Editorial Team, on April 4th, 2024

As a leading comparison website for health insurance in the USA. We understand the importance of finding the right health insurance coverage that suits your needs and budget. With the ever-increasing costs of medical care, having comprehensive health insurance is crucial for your financial well-being and peace of mind. That's why we offer a one-stop-shop comparison service to quickly help you find the best deal. 

We are committed to simplifying the health insurance shopping process by providing you with an extensive range of options from top insurance providers. Whether you're looking for individual, family, or group health insurance, we've got you covered. Our user-friendly comparison service allows you to compare different plans, benefits, premiums, and coverage options, empowering you to make an informed decision about your health insurance.

We understand that everyone's healthcare needs are unique, which is why we offer a personalized approach to finding the right health insurance plan for you. Our goal is to save you time, money, and the hassle of navigating through countless insurance websites. With zaving, you can confidently find and compare the best health insurance plans that meet your specific requirements and safeguards your well-being. Get your health insurance needs sorted out today – there's real savings to be found with zaving today!

What is health insurance and why do I need it?

Health insurance is a type of coverage that helps individuals and families pay for medical expenses and healthcare services. It provides financial protection and access to necessary medical care. Having health insurance is essential for several reasons:

Financial Protection: Health insurance protects you from high medical costs, including hospitalization, surgeries, medications, and preventive care. It helps you avoid large out-of-pocket expenses and reduces the financial burden of unexpected healthcare needs.

Access to Medical Services: With health insurance, you can access a network of healthcare providers, including doctors, hospitals, and specialists. This ensures that you can receive necessary medical care and treatment when you need it.

Preventive Care: Health insurance often covers preventive services, such as vaccinations, screenings, and check-ups. These preventive measures help detect and address health issues early on, improving overall well-being and preventing more serious conditions in the future.

Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have health insurance gives you peace of mind, knowing that you have coverage in case of illness, injury, or medical emergencies. It provides a safety net and relieves the stress associated with potential healthcare expenses.

Health insurance is crucial because it offers financial protection, access to medical services, preventive care and peace of mind. It helps individuals and families manage healthcare costs and ensures that necessary medical care is accessible when needed.

How does health insurance work? 

Health insurance operates through a system of premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and coverage limits. Understanding how health insurance works can help you make informed decisions about your coverage. Here's how it typically works:

  1. Premiums: To have health insurance, you pay a monthly or annual premium to the insurance company. This premium amount can vary depending on the plan and coverage you choose.
  2. Deductibles: A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you must pay the first $1,000 of eligible medical expenses before your insurance begins to cover the costs.
  3. Co-payments and Co-insurance: After reaching your deductible, you may be responsible for co-payments or co-insurance. A co-payment is a fixed amount you pay for specific services, such as doctor visits or prescriptions. Co-insurance is a percentage of the cost you share with the insurance company.
  4. Coverage Limits: Health insurance plans often have coverage limits, such as annual maximums. These limits define the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for certain services or treatments within a specific period.
  5. Network of Providers: Health insurance plans may have a network of preferred healthcare providers. It's important to choose providers within this network to maximize your coverage. However, some plans offer out-of-network coverage, though it may come with higher costs.
  6. Preventive Care: Many health insurance plans cover preventive services, such as vaccinations, screenings, and annual check-ups, at no additional cost to the policyholder.
  7. Claims Process: When you receive medical services, your healthcare provider submits a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement. The insurance company reviews the claim and pays the eligible portion directly to the provider.

Understanding these aspects of health insurance can help you navigate the system and make informed decisions about your healthcare. It's essential to carefully review the details of your specific plan, including coverage, limitations, and costs, to ensure it meets your needs.

What are the different types of health insurance plans?    

Health insurance plans come in various types, each with its own structure and coverage options. Understanding these different types can help you choose the right plan that meets your specific healthcare needs. Here are some common types of health insurance plans:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): With an HMO plan, you select a primary care physician (PCP) who manages your healthcare. You must receive referrals from your PCP to see specialists, and coverage is generally limited to in-network providers.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): PPO plans offer more flexibility by allowing you to see both in-network and out-of-network providers. You don't need referrals to see specialists, but using in-network providers results in lower out-of-pocket costs.
  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO): EPO plans combine elements of HMO and PPO plans. Like an HMO, you must stay within the network for coverage, but you don't need referrals to see specialists.
  • Point of Service (POS): POS plans also require you to choose a primary care physician, but you have the option to see out-of-network providers at a higher cost. Referrals are typically needed for specialist visits.
  • High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP): HDHPs have lower monthly premiums but higher deductibles. They are often paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help you save for medical expenses.
  • Catastrophic Health Insurance: Catastrophic plans provide coverage for major medical expenses and emergencies. They have low monthly premiums but high deductibles and are typically available to younger individuals.

Remember, the availability and specifics of these plans may vary depending on your location and the insurance providers in your area. Consider your healthcare needs, budget, and preferred level of flexibility when choosing the right health insurance plan for you through zaving.

How much does health insurance cost in the USA? 

The cost of health insurance in the USA can vary significantly based on several factors. These include your age, location, the type of plan you choose, and whether you're enrolling as an individual or a family. It's important to note that health insurance premiums can change annually due to factors such as inflation, medical cost trends, and regulatory changes. Here's a breakdown of the cost considerations for health insurance in the USA:

  1. Premiums: The premium is the amount you pay each month to maintain your health insurance coverage. On average, individual health insurance premiums in the USA can range from around $200 to $600 per month, depending on factors such as age, location, and plan type. Family health insurance premiums can be higher, often exceeding $1,000 per month.
  2. Deductibles: The deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Higher deductible plans usually have lower monthly premiums, while lower deductible plans tend to have higher premiums. Deductibles can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per year.
  3. Copayments and Coinsurance: Copayments are fixed amounts you pay for certain healthcare services, such as doctor visits or prescription medications. Coinsurance is a percentage of the cost that you're responsible for after meeting your deductible. These out-of-pocket costs can add up depending on the specific plan and the services you require.
  4. Out-of-Pocket Maximum: This is the maximum amount you'll have to pay for covered services in a given year. Once you reach this threshold, your insurance will cover 100% of the remaining costs. Out-of-pocket maximums can vary but are typically several thousand dollars.
  5. Subsidies and Tax Credits: Depending on your income and eligibility, you may qualify for subsidies or tax credits to help offset the cost of health insurance. These financial assistance programs are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

It's essential to compare different health insurance plans and carefully consider your healthcare needs and budget when estimating the cost. Utilizing an online comparison site, such as zaving, can assist you in finding and comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers, allowing you to make an informed decision based on both cost and coverage.

Remember that health insurance costs can fluctuate, so it's wise to review your plan annually during the open enrollment period to ensure it still meets your needs and budget.

How do I find the right health insurance plan for me?

Finding the right health insurance plan for your needs can be a crucial decision to ensure you have appropriate coverage and access to the healthcare services you require. Here are some steps to help you navigate the process and find the right health insurance plan:

  • Assess your healthcare needs: Start by evaluating your current healthcare needs and those of your family members. Consider factors such as any pre-existing conditions, prescription medications, anticipated medical procedures, and preferred healthcare providers. This will help you determine the level of coverage and specific benefits you need from a health insurance plan.
  • Understand plan types: Familiarize yourself with the different types of health insurance plans available. Common options include Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plans, and Point of Service (POS) plans. Each plan type has its own network of providers and specific rules regarding referrals and out-of-network coverage.
  • Compare plan features: Once you have identified your healthcare needs and preferences, compare the features of different health insurance plans through zavings. Consider factors such as premiums, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximums, and coverage limits. Pay attention to the coverage of essential services like preventive care, prescription drugs, and specialist visits.
  • Check network coverage: Review the provider networks of different health insurance plans to ensure they include your preferred doctors, hospitals, and specialists. If you have existing healthcare providers you want to continue seeing, confirm that they are in-network for the plans you are considering.
  • Consider financial assistance: Determine if you qualify for any financial assistance programs, such as subsidies or tax credits, which can help lower your health insurance costs. These programs are typically based on income and are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • Read plan documents: Carefully review the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and other plan documents before making a final decision. Pay attention to details such as coverage limitations, exclusions, and any additional benefits offered by the plan.

Remember to regularly review your health insurance plan to ensure it continues to meet your needs. Open enrollment periods, typically held annually, provide an opportunity to make changes or switch to a different plan if necessary. By taking the time to research, compare, and understand your options through zaving, you can find the right health insurance plan that provides the coverage you need for peace of mind and financial protection.

 

Can I get health insurance if I have a pre-existing condition?

If you have a pre-existing condition, you may be concerned about whether you can obtain health insurance coverage. The good news is that under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance providers cannot deny coverage or charge higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Protection under the ACA: The ACA prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage or discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions. This means that insurance companies must offer health insurance plans to everyone, regardless of their health status.
  2. Guaranteed Issue: Health insurance providers are required to offer coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions through a process known as guaranteed issue. This means that you have the right to purchase a health insurance policy even if you have a pre-existing condition.
  3. No Exclusions: Health insurance plans cannot exclude coverage for your pre-existing condition. This includes coverage for necessary treatments, medications, and services related to your condition.
  4. Affordable Coverage: The ACA also ensures that health insurance coverage remains affordable for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies cannot charge higher premiums based on your health status or medical history.
  5. Medicaid Expansion: Medicaid, a government program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals, was expanded in many states under the ACA. Medicaid expansion has increased access to health insurance for individuals with pre-existing conditions who may not qualify for other coverage options.

It's important to note that while health insurance companies cannot deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, there may still be waiting periods for certain treatments or services related to your condition. However, these waiting periods are typically limited in duration.

In conclusion, having a pre-existing condition should not prevent you from obtaining health insurance coverage. The ACA provides important protections that ensure access to affordable health insurance for individuals with pre-existing conditions. 

What is the open enrolment period for health insurance? 

The open enrollment period for health insurance is a designated timeframe during which individuals can enroll in a health insurance plan or make changes to their existing coverage. Here's what you need to know about the open enrollment period:

  • Timing: The open enrollment period typically occurs once a year. The specific dates can vary, but it often runs for a few months. In the United States, the open enrollment period for health insurance plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace usually begins in the fall, with coverage effective from the following year.
  • Access to Marketplace Plans: The open enrollment period is the primary opportunity for individuals to sign up for health insurance plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the exchange. During this time, you can explore different insurance options, compare plans, and choose the one that best meets your needs.
  • Changes to Existing Coverage: If you already have health insurance coverage, the open enrollment period allows you to make changes to your existing plan. You can switch to a different plan offered through the Marketplace or make adjustments to your coverage, such as adding or removing dependents.
  • Special Enrollment Period: Outside of the open enrollment period, you may still be eligible for a special enrollment period if you experience a qualifying life event. Qualifying events include getting married, having a baby, losing other health coverage, or moving to a new state. During a special enrollment period, you have a limited window of time to enroll in or change your health insurance plan.
  • Limited Exceptions: It's important to note that outside of the open enrollment period and special enrollment periods, there are limited opportunities to enroll in health insurance. Therefore, it is advisable to take advantage of the open enrollment period to ensure you have access to the coverage you need.
  • Employer-Sponsored Plans: If you receive health insurance through your employer, they may have their own open enrollment period. It's important to be aware of your employer's specific enrollment timeframe and follow any instructions provided by your employer's benefits department.
  • Medicaid and CHIP: Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have year-round enrollment. If you qualify for these programs based on your income and other factors, you can apply at any time during the year.

Remember, missing the open enrollment period without a qualifying life event may result in having to wait until the next enrollment period to obtain health insurance coverage. Therefore, it's essential to mark your calendar and take advantage of the open enrollment period to ensure you have the health insurance protection you need for yourself and your family.

Can I get health insurance if I'm self-employed?

Yes, you can get health insurance if you're self-employed. Being self-employed doesn't disqualify you from obtaining health insurance coverage. Here's what you need to know:

Marketplace Coverage: As a self-employed individual, you can explore health insurance options through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace offers a variety of plans from different insurance providers, allowing you to choose the coverage that suits your needs and budget. You may qualify for subsidies or tax credits based on your income, which can help make the coverage more affordable.

Qualifying for Coverage: To be eligible for health insurance through the Marketplace, you need to meet certain criteria. You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident and not be eligible for other government health insurance programs like Medicaid or Medicare. As a self-employed individual, you may need to provide proof of income when applying for coverage.

Self-Employed Health Deduction: If you're self-employed and pay for your health insurance premiums, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. The self-employed health insurance deduction allows you to deduct the cost of health insurance premiums, including coverage for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents, from your taxable income.

Group Health Plans: If you have employees, you may also have the option to offer group health insurance plans to your employees. Group health plans can provide coverage not only for your employees but also for yourself as the business owner. 

Considerations: When selecting health insurance as a self-employed individual, consider factors such as your budget, coverage needs, and preferred network of doctors and hospitals. Compare different plans, including their premiums, deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket limits. It's also important to review the plan's benefits and ensure they align with your specific healthcare needs.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): If you opt for a high-deductible health plan, you may be eligible to open a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses. It can provide tax advantages and help you save for future healthcare costs.

Remember, having health insurance as a self-employed individual can provide financial protection and access to necessary healthcare services. Take the time to research and compare your options through zavings to find the best health insurance coverage that meets your needs as a self-employed individual.

  

More of your frequently asked questions about pet insurance

Does health insurance cover prescription medications?

Yes, most health insurance plans include coverage for prescription medications. The coverage can vary depending on the plan, and it may require you to pay a copayment, coinsurance, or meet a deductible before the coverage kicks in. It's important to review your plan's formulary, which is a list of covered medications, and understand any restrictions or requirements for obtaining prescription drugs.

Are preventive services covered by health insurance?

Yes, under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans are required to cover preventive services without cost-sharing. This means that services like vaccinations, screenings, and certain wellness visits are covered at no additional cost to you. However, coverage may vary depending on your specific plan, so it's important to review your policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the preventive services covered.

What is a deductible in health insurance?

A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your health insurance coverage starts to pay for certain medical expenses. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you'll need to pay $1,000 for covered services before your insurance begins to cover costs. Deductibles can vary based on your insurance plan and may reset annually.

 
Can I keep my current doctor with new health insurance?

It depends on the health insurance plan you choose. Some plans have a network of preferred providers, and if your doctor is in-network, you can continue seeing them. If your doctor is out-of-network, you may have higher out-of-pocket costs or need to switch to an in-network provider. Before selecting a health insurance plan, it's important to check if your current doctor is included in the plan's network.

What is an out-of-pocket maximum in health insurance?

The out-of-pocket maximum is the maximum amount you'll have to pay for covered healthcare expenses in a given year. It includes deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Once you reach the out-of-pocket maximum, your insurance plan will cover 100% of the costs for covered services. It's important to note that premiums and services not covered by your plan may not count towards the out-of-pocket maximum.

Is high blood pressure a pre-existing condition for insurance?

Yes, high blood pressure is generally considered a pre-existing condition by health insurance providers. However, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage or charged higher premiums. Insurance plans must provide coverage for essential health benefits, which include treatment for pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure.

Does health insurance cover mental health services?

Yes, mental health services are typically covered by health insurance plans. The coverage may include therapy sessions, counseling, and in some cases, medication management. Mental health coverage is an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act, but specific coverage details may vary among plans, including the number of visits allowed and the providers covered.

Are there penalties for not having health insurance?

Under the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate penalty, which required individuals to have health insurance or pay a penalty, was eliminated starting in 2019. As of now, there are no federal penalties for not having health insurance. However, some states may have their own individual mandates or requirements, so it's important to check the regulations specific to your state.

What is a health savings account (HSA) and how does it work?

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows individuals to set aside money for qualified medical expenses. HSAs are available to individuals who have a high-deductible health insurance plan. The contributions made to an HSA are tax-deductible, and the funds can be used to pay for eligible medical expenses, such as doctor visits, prescriptions, and medical supplies. One of the benefits of an HSA is that the funds roll over from year to year and can earn interest or investment returns. It's a valuable tool for individuals to save for healthcare expenses while enjoying tax advantages.

 
Does health insurance cover alternative therapies?

Health insurance coverage for alternative therapies such as acupuncture or chiropractic care varies among insurance plans. While some plans may offer coverage for these services, others may not. It's important to review the specific details of your health insurance plan to understand what alternative therapies are covered, if any. Additionally, some plans may require pre-authorization or have limitations on the number of visits covered. If alternative therapies are important to you, it's recommended to choose a health insurance plan that includes coverage for these treatments or consider additional coverage options.

Are dental and vision care covered by health insurance?

While health insurance plans generally focus on medical care, they may not always include comprehensive coverage for dental and vision care. In some cases, dental and vision coverage may be offered as separate plans or as optional add-ons to your health insurance policy. It's important to review the details of your health insurance plan or consider standalone dental and vision insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage for these specific healthcare needs.

Can I get health insurance if I'm a college student?

As a college student, you have several options for obtaining health insurance coverage. If you're under 26 years old, you may be able to stay on your parent's health insurance plan, as the Affordable Care Act allows young adults to remain on their parents' plan until this age. Additionally, colleges and universities often provide health insurance options for students, either through their own health center or by partnering with insurance providers. You can also explore individual health insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace or other private insurance companies. It's important to consider your specific needs and compare the costs and coverage of different options.