Virginia Health InsuranceIndividuals and Families
Virginia Health Insurance
How to find an affordable plan.
In 2010, the United Health Foundation rated Virginia the 20th healthiest US state. This may not sound too disturbing, but if you look through the history of the study you'll find that in 1997 Virginia was rated the 11th healthiest state. From 11 to 20 in just over a decade? Following this trend, where does that put the state of Virginia in the next decade? The United Health Foundation's study noted some very major, very preventable reasons for this downward spiral. Two of the most substantial reasons were the overall decrease in immunizations that Virginian children are receiving and an almost 300% increase in obesity. These statistics, while startling, are completely reversible with the affordable preventative and routine care offered by a simple health insurance policy. The purchase of health insurance helps to make imperative treatments like immunizations and diet plans affordable. By paying a premium to the insurance company, you receive a policy that has a predetermined copayment and/ or deductible. By providing you with a printed policy outlining these costs, the insurance company gives you a road map to better health. The premiums you pay to the insurance company are combined with the premium payments of other policyholders. By pooling these funds, the insurance company has a reserve of funds to access to pay for the medical expenses incurred by its policyholders. Any funds left in the pool at year end are carried over for the next year. Utilize the resources on this page to find affordable health insurance for individuals and families.
Leading Virginia Health Insurance Companies
Factors That Affect the Cost of Health Insurance
It's no wonder that the state of Virginian's health is declining. The cost of preventative and routine healthcare increases at a much faster pace than the income of the average Virginia resident. Health care is not inflation resistant, but health insurance creates a price locking bubble that prevents your copayments and deductibles from rising within a policy year. This can be especially helpful if your family is on a tight budget or has suffered a job loss. You may have to pay more for milk or gas as inflation attacks your budget, but your healthcare costs will be unaffected.
Another variable in the cost of healthcare is location. You might expect that buying an ice cream cone on Virginia Beach may be more expensive that buying one in Richmond, but what about medical treatment? Unfortunately, there are differences in physician and hospital fees from town to town within the state. Health insurance locks in your portion of the payment so that the health insurance company must absorb those additional fees. So, whether the cost of your procedure is $700 or $7,000, as long as you stay in your network and you've avoided a policy lapse by consistently paying your monthly premium, you will only be responsible for your copayment. If you add up the average cost per year of your insurance premiums and compare that to the cost of one routine medical procedure, you'll find that the savings more than justify the monthly premium payment.
Evaluating Your Options for Coverage
When deciding what type of health insurance policy to purchase for you and your family, there are many factors to consider. The following questions will help you narrow down your search for the perfect coverage:
1. Do you want a policy that covers only catastrophic events and illnesses? If so, then a major medical policy might be right for you. Virginia residents who are not concerned with coverage for routine or preventative care turn to major medical policies to offer them some coverage in emergency situations. Major medical policies offer very attractive premium rates also. Since insurance companies do not need to pay claims on them very often, major medical policies offer inexpensive premiums to policyholders. Whether a catastrophe happens while you're in Arlington, Hampton or anywhere nationwide, you can rest easy knowing you're covered.
2. Do you have access to a group insurance policy? Group insurance policies are often offered by employers, unions and fraternal organizations. Organizations and employers statewide- from Chesapeake to Roanoke and Norfolk to Alexandria are stepping up to offer group coverage. Group insurance policies can be especially attractive to Virginia residents with preexisting conditions. Since group insurance is underwritten by using the experience of similar groups instead of each member's individual health experience, they can be issued inexpensively to even those generally considered uninsurable. Should you decide to leave the group at any point, you can qualify for up to 18 months of COBRA coverage while you look for a new insurance plan.
3. Do you want an insurance policy that covers routine and preventative care, but you don't have access to group coverage? If you answered this question yes, you should look into individual insurance coverage. Individual coverage is flexible- you can choose from different deductibles (or none at all) to help make the premium lower, you can choose different copayment options and you can choose between PPO's and HMO's. HMO's (Health Maintenance Organizations) are insurance plans that have a set group (or network) of physicians for policyholders to visit. Under an HMO, only visits to this network of physicians are covered. Any visits to physicians outside the network will be purely out of pocket. PPO's (Preferred Provider Organizations are insurance plans in which the insurance company has a preferred group of physicians they would like you to see, but you are not required to restrict your visits only to physicians in that group. With a PPO policy, your insurance company will pay some benefit to you, even if you go outside their network. You can expect your out of pocket expenses to increases should you decide to work outside the network.
4. Do you have dependents to cover? Dependents can be covered as part of a group plan, part of a family plan or within their own individual health insurance plans. When covering dependents it's important to compare the cost of group coverage including your dependents as well as individual policies for them and family plans. It is sometimes less expensive to give your spouse and children individual policies than to cover them under your group plan.
5. Are you a Virginia senior citizen? If you are a Virginia resident over the age of 65, you are able to sign up for Medicare coverage. If you are low income you may also qualify for many state sponsored discount medication programs. Whether you're in Newport News, Richmond or Portsmouth, you'll find a pharmacy that accepts the program state subsidized discount prescription plan. In these cases, you may wish to add a small Medigap policy to your arsenal to help cover any copayments, alternative healing treatments or medically related travel expenses not covered by Medicare.
While the list may seem overwhelming, careful consideration will show you that the above options are specifically tailored to individual needs. It's simply a matter of focusing on your specific needs and finding the right option for you.
Health Insurance Exchanges in Virginia
To learn more about the benefits of the Health Insurance Exchange in your state, click here
Resources and Information
Virginia Medicare Plans
Seniors age 65 and older are eligible for a variety of Medicare plans in Ohio. Medicare plan options include Medigap and Medicare Advantage policies:
Virginia Doctor Directory
Doctors practicing medicine in the State of Virginia are licensed by the state. Doctors accept different forms of health insurance which you can verify before setting an appointment.