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Californian Health & Medical Insurance

Cheaper in a Group Often the cost of health insurance is able to be reduced if a person is able to obtain coverage from within a group such as those employed in the same industry.

Some people however, find this challenging particularly if their employer doesn’t offer health insurance, or if they are unable to align themselves with a group in order to bargain collectively with insurers for a reduced unit cost.

There was a time when employers routinely paid the insurance costs of their employees as part of a remuneration package, but in later years, the commercial strain of this burden on corporations has increasingly seen employees being forced to pay the costs of insurance even when receiving insurance through employment based group bargaining.

In the alternative people in California are able to subscribe to individual health care insurance which may be either an indemnity plan or a managed care plan. In an indemnity plan, the patient is free to choose their service provider, and the insurer will pay a substantial portion of the fee.

The balance that is paid by the patient is known as coinsurance. If medical bills reach a certain amount then the insurer takes the burden of the entire amount. A managed care plan focuses on preventative health care, but offers wide coverage within a network of hospitals and professional health care providers who are under contract to the plan. The freedom to choose one’s own provider may be amiss but the savings and quality of health care appear to outweigh the loss of choice to the consumer.

 Public Health Care

The Federal Government has instituted two public health plans, which are known as Medicare and Medicaid. A poverty level of minimum income is determined by the federal government and federal funding is distributed to the States, to administer their own localized public health plans.

Due to limited funding for these projects, the determinants of eligibility often fluctuate. While Medicare and Medicaid are generally treated to assist elderly, disabled and low income individuals, particularly children, in California these plans are known as the MediCal and Healthy Families programs.

Various health insurance plans will have different terms and conditions attached, and scrutiny and comparison of these issues is needed prior to subscribing to an insurance policy. The ‘deductible’ is a preset amount that the insured needs to pay each year for medical services before receiving cover from the policy.

Generally the higher the deductible the lower the premium cost of the policy, but when viewed in conjunction with the choices available between indemnity plans and managed care plans, and also in the instance of supplementing other health cover, the cost of an insurance plan may be ambiguous.

Recently, the Californian government has issued a free prescription drug card as part of their public health care program. All Californians are eligible for the card and are able to receive up to 75% discount on purchase of prescription medicines.


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