Best Health Plans – What You Need to Know

Choosing the best health plans can be a confusing experience these days. There is a plethora of quality health plans available for just about every set of circumstances and budget. The key to determining which plan is best for you and your family is to know the various parameters of insurance plans and understand how those parameters apply to your set of circumstances.

There are three primary factors to consider when selecting a health insurance plan:

1. What is the total out of pocket cost per year going to be? This includes a combination of the monthly premiums, doctor visit co-pays, hospital visit co-pays, prescription drug costs, and last but not least, the annual deductible.

2. Which doctors and hospitals are accessible through the plan? Some plans require that you see only doctors in that plan’s network (except for emergencies); other plans allow you to visit any doctor you choose, however, the co-pays on this type of plan are generally higher.

3. What is the reputation of the health plan based on user feedback? This includes the quality of care provided at in-network facilities and also the efficiency of the payment system (you don’t want to be getting bills for incurred costs that should be covered by your insurance).

The most efficient way to compare health plans directly is by utilizing an online comparative service.

The topic of health insurance is probably not a topic that comes up very often for the majority of the adult population who are employed by companies that provide benefits. It becomes a very important and urgent topic if you lose your job and have only a few weeks to decide whether to continue your insurance through your employer (COBRA) or to seek less expensive coverage on your own.

With the economy being as bad as it is, there are many people making a go starting their own businesses as well. There are numerous high quality health insurance programs available for self-employed persons and small businesses alike.

One thing is for certain: all health plans are not created equal, and the quality of your health plan can have a huge impact on the quality of your life; so choose wisely.

This article was written by the owner of Best Health Plans, an organization dedicated to helping individuals, families, and small businesses find the best health insurance plan for their needs.

App Fog Genius Lessons From A Successful Entrepreneur

App Fog Business Startup Lessons from a Lucrative Entrepreneur

Lucas Carlson is a successful startup entrepreneur. When he first started however, he made a few bad choices that almost cost him big time.

Don’t Skip Business Setup Planning

At first he was just programming an idea for App Fog. He didn’t have a landing page, any bank account, brain storming ideas, or thinking about the ideal customers. Skipping key steps really put him back for years. He would program for weeks, and then finish the app idea. Then program for weeks and finish the idea. He couldn’t get people interested in the idea that was created.

Creating a Landing Page

Finally, he decided to create a landing page one night when he was too tired to sleep or even tell his wife about the programming idea. The app idea was PHP Fog. He tried putting it up on a site before that called Heroku.com. He registered the PHP Fog website and just simply wrote “it’s like Heroku for PHP”. Heroku’s site only allowed for Rudy on Rails applications so he couldn’t put the applications on that site.

Living the Dream

The next morning he woke up and had eight hundred people on his website! He didn’t market it anywhere else. All he did was put one link on Hacker News network. Also, he described the website in more depth. It turned out that the idea was a “hair on fire” idea without even the creation of the project! This gave him assurance that if the effort is put in, the results will be desired. After programming for two weeks. he just only had a prototype and the traffic went from 800 to 4,000 unique visitors per day!

Hair on Fire Problem Equals Confidence

He had identified a “hair on fire” problem. This gave him confidence to program the solution. This changed his life forever! He realized the difference between having a problem that people know they have versus the problems that people don’t know they have. PHP Fog wound up being AppFog. It raised $10 billion dollars and was later bought out.

No Marketing Expenses

He didn’t spend a dime on marketing! It wasn’t an accident. People already wanted the idea and were looking for it. He learned that he could find what people already wanted and then program an application based on what they wanted. He wasn’t taking a “shot in the dark” anymore.

Don’t be Intimidated

Creating a landing page or micro-website is very scary for most people. They don’t want to know if others like their great idea or not. There is a denial psychological part to this way of thinking. It can be self-defeating to the creation of an idea. They will think “Well I believe in the idea so much, that I don’t care what other people think about it”. This philosophy will kill a great idea. Put your “right foot first” and see what people need.

Best Individual Health Plans For You

If you work for yourself, or if your company does not provide a group medical benefit, you probably need to shop for an individual health plan. This plan may just cover you, or it may also include your spouse and/or children. Insurers have developed many types of medical coverage to suit different types of customers, but it can be difficult to determine which plan will provide your family with satisfactory coverage at an affordable price. Let’s look at the major types of health insurance plans on the individual market today.

PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) – PPO health insurance plans are very popular because they have a network of medical providers to control costs, while allowing consumers to leave the network if they accept a lower level of coverage. In general, you will still get network coverage if you need to seek medical services for an emergency, even if you go outside the network. If your network does not provide a certain medical service which your need, they may also coverage that service at the network rate. However, you will need to get that service pre-authorized to be sure.
HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) – An HMO provides managed care where the health insurance company controls costs by only covering network provided health care. Again, an HMO will generally make an exception for emergencies or for certain services that are not included in their network.
HSA (Health Savings Account) – An HSA plan has two parts. One is a high deductible major medical plan, and the second is a savings account. HSA contributions can be deducted from taxes (within limits), earn interest, and roll over from year to year. The high deductible health plan may include a PPO network to help control costs.
Indemnity Health Insurance – This is a traditional health insurance plan that simply provides health insurance coverage for amounts over the deductible, and under the maximum specified in the policy.
Specified Benefit Plan or Mini Med Plan – The plans outline specific benefit amounts for different medical services. They may have lower deductible amounts than major medical plans, but tend to have much lower maximum limits for medical services.
So, which health plan is best for you? You need to consider your own expectations, needs, and budget. Your health insurance plan will not do you any good if you need to cancel it because the premiums cost too much. You may need to accept a higher deductible or more cost sharing than you desired in order to reduce monthly payments. When you buy health insurance on the individual market, you will certainly look at it differently than when an employer contributed a large portion of the premium.

If you live near a large HMO network provider, you may find that managed care really helps you control costs. However, many people enjoy the flexibility of a PPO because it still controls costs but does not require them to seek every treatment from the medical provider network. HSA plans work well for good savers because they allow the covered people to participate in the cost control process.