The year ahead comes with a few changes to Health Options’ health insurance plans – and it’s all good news. One change we are excited to announce is a new tiered provider network option available in select individual/family Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. While tiered plans may be new to Health Options, they are not new to health insurance. In fact, they are a proven way to save money on medical expenses. Read on to learn what tiering means to insurance plans and what it means to you as a health insurance consumer.
Tiered provider networks are a way to better manage the costs of healthcare services. They also provide health insurance consumers a better way to consider the cost of care when choosing their care options. Plans featuring tiered provider networks generally combine quality and cost in developing a preferred tier. Providers with high-quality outcomes and lower contracted prices are typically placed in the most preferred tier rankings.
As a consumer, you may wonder how Health Options decides which providers are considered part of our preferred tier. It is important to note, that all providers meet our quality standards, which is why they are part of the Health Options network. For tiered providers, we review claims history to analyze the quality of provider outcomes combined with their contracted cost and efficiency. Providers and facilities that meet or exceed our standards for quality, cost, and efficiency are “preferred,” and others are “standard.”
To take advantage of tiered providers, you will need to select an individual/family plan with a tiered network option, which is available in both bronze and silver metal level plans for 2022. It’s important to note, that on a tiered plan, you always have the option to visit standard providers with a standard co-pay.
As we enter the Open Enrollment season for 2022, we are proud to offer the highest quality healthcare at the best possible value with all our plans, and our new tiered network offers additional savings. If you have questions about tiered network plans and want help finding the health insurance plan that best suits your needs, contact our Member Services team at (855) 624-6463.
Buying health insurance probably isn’t among the more exciting purchases you’ll ever make. But like it or not, it’s one of the most important each year. So, we want to help you get it right.
When you start shopping for health insurance, likely the first thing you’ll check is the price, or monthly premium. This makes sense, but just like buying a car or a house, price doesn’t tell the whole story.
You might think of the premium—the monthly charge for coverage—as a “sticker price.” But that’s only the beginning of what you’ll pay because most plans include co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles, which all add up to how much you pay out-of-pocket annually. You can learn more about those costs here.
It’s important to understand the benefits you’ll use because they directly impact how much you might pay to reach an annual maximum out-of-pocket limit, when insurance takes over and pays all your costs. Generally, the less you pay for insurance, the higher your deductible—and the more you’ll pay out-of-pocket as you use more services. So, knowing what you might need will help you limit out-of-pocket costs and maximize your benefits.
You’ll also want to understand types of coverage and be sure your carrier offers a comprehensive network. For example, an “HMO” which stands for health maintenance organization; gives you access to preferred providers; but you’ll need to stay in-network to get coverage. A second popular option, a “PPO,” or preferred provider organization, costs more but affords the freedom to use out-of-network providers at a slightly higher price.
Within each type of plan, deductible costs are designated by Bronze levels, which cost the least, and Silver, Gold and Platinum levels which cost more, but have lower deductibles. You can learn more about those levels here.
As you compare plans, you’ll get information about costs and coverages, but you’ll also see which plans offer services like wellness programs, dental or eye exams, or chronic care programs to support you along the way. Unique to Health Options, for example, is a care management program that partners with community services to support wellbeing, such as providing transportation to appointments or even meals for someone who is recovering at home.
You might consider a Silver, Gold or Platinum plan if:
You might consider a Bronze plan if:
While costs can weigh heavily when selecting a plan, it’s most important to choose coverage that fits your needs. And you might find help paying for insurance thanks to the recent passage of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which extended Affordable Care Act premium tax credits. To find out if you’re eligible, visit CoverME.gov, Maine’s online Health Insurance Marketplace. For information or to get help choosing a plan, you can also call Member Services at (855) 624-6463.