Family Coverage

Many individuals are interested in purchasing a family coverage plan instead of an individual plan, to provide coverage to spouses and children as well. Read on to learn more about family coverage health insurance plans to find out if this kind of coverage is right for you.

Family health insurance provides medical coverage for an individual, as well as his or her spouse, children, and other dependents. As a type of group health insurance, family coverage can be acquired through an employer or privately.

Before determining if a family coverage health insurance plan is right for you, you should have a strong understanding of the different factors involved in determining eligibility, and which options are available to you and your family.

Certain states dictate age limits for dependents able to be considered under family coverage. Other states, however, allow adult dependents on family coverage plans, provided they meet certain requirements. Such requirements often include being a full-time student or being unmarried.

Some family coverage plans incorporate what is known as a “family deductible.” Under this system, if an individual or combination of individuals covered under the plan meets the family deductible, it is met for everyone. When an employer, under employer-based health insurance, offers a family coverage plan, the company often pays from 65-75% of family insurance premiums, and the rest is required to be paid by the enrolled employee.

Some family health insurance plans are extremely affordable, while others may be more expensive than an individual plan. As with all insurance plans, it is important to shop around and compare benefits and rates to find the plan that is right for you and your budget.

There are a wide variety of affordable family coverage plans. One popular option is known as a managed care plan. With this coverage, medical services are offered at discounted rates for a network of doctors, hospitals, clinics, specialists, and other health care professionals. This means lower health plan costs for families, including more affordable premiums, copayments, and coinsurance.

One type of managed care plan is the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan, providing flexible coverage including out-of-network doctors. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans, on the other hand, often have no deductible and extremely low copayments within the HMO network. Finally, Point of Service (POS) plans combine elements of PPOs and HMOs. These managed care plans provide an affordable option to the standard Fee-For-Service (FFS) plans, which provide equal coverage with all doctors and hospitals, but are the most expensive kind of health insurance.

These managed care plans can be tailored to your family’s need for customized coverage or basic protection. For families where each individual member has drastically different health needs, an individual plan for each family member can be the most cost-effective option. A pre-existing condition can drive premiums up for everyone in the family on a family coverage plan, but with individual plans, family members that do not require frequent medical care can maintain low premium rates.

Some insurance companies also allow family members to be added to an individual coverage plan. This insures dependents for both routine and emergency care, and is the most affordable option for families where all members have similar health needs.

Most managed care family health insurance plans also provide coverage for preventative care, such as routine check-ups, physicals, immunizations and vaccinations, and baby care, which is especially important for families with children. It is also important for families to ensure maternity care is included in their coverage options, though this may make the plan more expensive. Still, with many plans, copayments can make preventative care visits as cheap as $10. Other family health insurance plans, such as HMOs, even provide preventative care services at no extra cost.

Having comprehensive family care health insurance, as well as coverage for routine check-ups and physicals, is a good idea for all family members to keep on top of their health. In the long run, this will minimize the medical services you and your family require, and will keep your bills and insurance premiums low.