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What Is an HMO?

What Is an HMO?

The health care industry is one that is wrought with acronyms. Sometimes, these labels can be confusing to people who are just looking for the right health care policy for themselves or their families. By educating yourself on the meanings behind some of the more prevalent acronyms, you can greatly reduce the stress involved with selecting the right insurance plan.

HMO Defined

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. Under this type of plan, patients must choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and will only be covered for procedures if the doctor or hospital is part of the HMO network. Under an HMO, most patients will need a referral from their PCP before being able to see a specialist. The purpose of these restrictions is to provide reliable care to patients and a steady stream of businesses to healthcare providers.

Advantages of an HMO

The advantages of an HMO are largely a matter of opinion and personal taste. There are several characteristics of an HMO that can be advantageous for those who prefer a certain type of coverage. While HMOs can be somewhat more restrictive than other options, they can also be exactly what an individual or family is looking for.

The characteristics of an HMO that are typically viewed as advantageous may include, but are not limited to:

  • Having the same primary care doctor with whom all interactions begin
  • Predictable regular fees
  • No need to fill out claims forms
  • Typically lower premiums

Disadvantages of an HMO

While HMOs might be perfect for some people, others may view HMOs as too restrictive. These types of people might wish to have more freedom in regards to their healthcare, rather than being tied down to one specific set of providers.

The characteristics of an HMO that may be viewed as disadvantageous can include:

  • A requirement to remain inside a predetermined network
  • A requirement to see a PCP before any other healthcare procedures
  • A requirement for a referral from a PCP
  • An ability to only visit certain hospitals to be covered

Speak with a Professional

In the end, it is difficult to say if an HMO is the right plan for a given individual or family. It depends upon their resources, general health and healthcare requirements, and type of coverage desired. If you have questions about your specific case, call or visit The Blue Store and speak with any one of the highly qualified agents. He or she will be able to answer any specific questions you might have regarding the efficacy of an HMO plan for healthcare coverage.

Tips for Buying the Best Travel Insurance

Tips for Buying the Best Travel Insurance

Traveling can be a great way to get the most out of life. Colorful cultures, exotic dishes, and awe-inspiring landscapes are all aspects of travel that can enrich life and allow people to experience the beauty of the world. However, travel can sometimes be filled with risk and uncertainty. In order to get the most positive and life-changing experiences out of a trip, it is important to maintain a certain level of security and peace of mind.

Worrying about everything that could go wrong or passing up certain experiences for fear of the worst can severely hamper the most rewarding aspects of travel. By purchasing travel insurance, anyone looking for adventure can easily and cheaply mitigate the risks of their travels. Travel insurance provides the travelers and their loved ones with that essential peace of mind that allows them to fully enjoy and support the experience.

Types of Travel Insurance

There are several types of travel insurance available to travelers of all needs, experience, and budgets. Plans offer from the most basic health coverage to very comprehensive coverage for every aspect of the trip. Consider each type of plan to determine the appropriate coverage for the nature of the trip. The following are the most typically purchased types of travel insurance.

Flight Insurance

This type of insurance coverage is typically purchased by those who are nervous about airplane travel. While it is difficult to put a price on piece of mind and most insurance companies do offer flight insurance, statistically, this type of insurance is very rarely worth the expense.

Baggage Insurance

As a traveler, there is probably nothing more frustrating and debilitating than lost baggage. For many, lost bags can end the trip before it even begins. To a degree, luggage is insured by the airline company if bags are checked. Often times, there are strict limits imposed to the amount of insurance reimbursement available for lost or stolen items. Therefore, it is important to consider whether or not this type of insurance is worth the cost.

Medical Insurance

Possibly the worst thing that can happen to a traveler is to require medical attention while abroad. Not only can this be extremely scary, it can also affect the traveler for the rest of their trip or even longer. While some domestic health insurance plans may cover health care abroad, these plans can be severely limited in their scope of treatment options. For this reason, it may be advantageous to purchase supplementary coverage.

If you are thinking of traveling in the near future, talk to a qualified insurance agent like those at the Blue Store. He or she will provide you with comprehensive information regarding travel insurance policies and coverage.

Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

Why Do I Need Life Insurance?

The topic of life insurance can be a sensitive one. While it is sometimes more comfortable to put off thinking about life insurance, getting caught without it can be potentially devastating. In the event of a tragedy, it is important that loved ones be able to grieve properly without the ominous threat of the unknown. There are several factors that make life insurance a much more positive investment than simply pocketing the money from the monthly premiums.

Replacement of Lost Income

In the event of the death of a policy holder, many life insurance policies will pay out cash in order to compensate for the loss of the income generating capabilities of the deceased. This can provide tremendous relief to those surviving him or her. In some cases, businesses might take an out an insurance policy on certain high-ranking members of the company. In the event of his or her passing, the policy pays out compensation to offset the financial loss.

Payment of Estate Taxes and Final Expenses

Another reason for the importance of maintaining an adequate life insurance plan is that they can cover the costs of the estate tax (also referred to as “the Death Tax”) as well as any final expenses which may include the costs of the funeral and burial, as well as any other outstanding expenses that the recently deceased might have owed. This can be a huge benefit to those who are already suffering and do not want to be forced to choose between saying a proper goodbye or paying the bills. Each insurance policy is different so it is important to understand how much a policy will pay out before purchasing one. However, this type of coverage is critical during painful times of grieving.

Peace of Mind

While it is easy to ignore the idea of life insurance when everything is fine, the moment tragedy strikes, many people feel completely unprepared and panicked. Making small payments every month is typically worth the peace of mind that many people feel when they know that they are protected should something unexpected occur. Losing a loved one is hard enough on family and friends. The last thing people need to be worrying about in such situations is how they will afford to carry on. This is perhaps the most important reason for life insurance since a life free from worry is a quality life.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a life insurance plan, call or stop by Blue Store and talk with a highly qualified agent today.