Managed-care plans were initially developed to help control medical costs by providing hospitals with a financial incentive to keep their patients in the hospital and reduce admissions. Although initially created for acute care, managed care plans have since become an integral part of healthcare delivery. Managed-care plans are designed to reduce healthcare costs through various means, such as increased access to quality health care; better use of existing resources; financial incentives for patients and doctors to choose more efficient forms of medical care; coordinated care plans; improved patient care; and reduced patient claims. Although managed care plans have had a tremendous amount of success in reducing overhead costs and improving the level of health care provided to patients, many patients are still skeptical about managed care plans and the advantages they offer. Whether or not you’re currently covered by a health care plan or are considering joining one, here are some common questions that new customers commonly ask about health care plans.

Q. What are the different types of medical care plans? Do all health care plans to provide the same services? Can I take advantage of any tax credits or rebates offered through my health care plan?

A. Managed care plans will typically offer two or more broad types of coverage options. The basic plan may cover your doctor visits, hospital stays, and other out-of-clinic services. Simultaneously, a more general option may include extended hospital stays, critical care services, prescription coverage, comprehensive ambulatory services, and even comprehensive medical technologies such as defibrillators. Depending on the specific health care plan you’re interested in, the scope of covered services may vary significantly.

Q. How do I compare health insurance plans? There are several easy ways to compare health insurance plans. Start by comparing cost. You can use a free online tool to determine which health care plans offer the best price and most overall value.

Q. Are there any catches to my preferred medical cost providers? Health insurance policies may offer some perks to preferred medical cost providers, such as lower copays or coinsurance. Addiction Most providers have standard fees, but some will offer discounts for participating in managed healthcare plans’ provider network.

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Q. What if I don’t pay the entire premium due each month? Health insurance policies typically feature a grace period during which you won’t be billed if you’re late with your premium payment. Health care plans also offer options such as paying your premiums on an installment basis or via direct deposit. Contact a managed health care benefits specialist to determine how you can pay your premiums more efficiently to avoid missed or late payments of your medical expenses.

Q. Will my premiums be raised once I become overweight or obese? Health insurance plans often have weight restrictions. If you become overweight or obese, your premium might increase as a result. Before signing up for any policy, be sure to ask what your anticipated future needs are and make sure your current health status meets them.

Q. How much can I reduce my out-of-pocket expenses for health benefits? You can save money by choosing less comprehensive health benefits coverage. Individual managed care plans allow you to select a broader range of services and providers that meet your current health care needs and avoid additional premiums. Your plan pays the most for preventive services and visits to your doctor, so be sure to keep yourself in top shape.