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Health Insurance and Kids: Options for Georgia Families

One of the many issues at the heart of the Obama administration’s proposals for health care is coverage for families and especially for children who are currently not covered. As anyone with a family knows, children have a tendency to get sick (often on weekends, when the normal pediatrician isn’t available!) Emergency room visits for broken arms, high fevers, you name it can be expensive. State-by-state, options vary. What do Georgia families need to consider?

First, if you have favorite doctors (especially pediatricians), be sure that they are a part of the network you are covered by (this pertains to PPO or HMO plans). If your doctor is not a part of the plan either switch networks or switch doctors. The cost for out-of-network doctors can be exponentially more than in-network doctors.

You have the right, as well, to ask even on an emergency visit if an in-network doctor is available.

Determine what the deductible is, and if needs to be met individually or as a family. For example, if you have a $300 deductible that can be met be a family, you’ll met it quickly and have more of your costs covered. If it is to be met per family member, you may find that you are continuing to pay for costs as each separate family member visits the doctor.

Also determine what the co-pay percentage is after the deductible is reached, and if there is a maximum on out-of-pocket expenses. (Note: reducing the maximum of out-of-pocket expenses is one of the Democrats main points and may be something to keep an eye on). In considering these facts, you’ll also want to ask what the deductible and co-pay applies to: prescription drugs? Specialist visits? Emergency treatment? These are all things to consider and there is not one right answer for every family in every state. Instead, you should weigh the options and answers for your own family’s situation, here, in order to determine the best and most affordable health insurance in Ohio.

Ask if your plan covers things such as well-baby visits, dental care, etc. There may be differing needs as your family grows; when your children are small, having well-baby visits covered is key! However, as they get older, that may be less of a priority and it may be better to focus on dental care (for those braces) or a vision benefit (for those glasses!)

In short, there is a reason the health care debate is raging across our country, and certainly the expense of health care is a large one for many families. But there are a number of plans out there, and a number of resources. You should discuss what is most important to your family, what your needs are now (and how they might change), and make a plan for the question’s you’ll ask a provider. And then search online (try keywords like “affordable health insurance ohio” or “low cost health insurance ohio”) to find a representative who can answer your questions and provide you side-by-side comparisons. A good representative will spend the time to provide you those quotes from different sources, and if you know what you are looking for your time can be efficiently spent. And, you’ll emerge with a plan that works for you and your family.

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