Many of our customers often ask, “are health discount plans and health insurance the same thing?“
The short answer is: no, healthcare discount plans and health insurance aren’t the same things. Please allow us to explain how health discount plans work and how they can be helpful for those with or without health insurance.
The Differences Between a Discount Health Plan vs. Health Insurance
What are Discount Health Plans?
A health discount plan, or an alternative health plan, is similar to Sam’s Club or Costco. You pay a fee, and then you are given the opportunity to save money on specific medical products and services.
For example, you may feel that your eyesight is deteriorating and feel the need for an eye exam. After enrolling in a discount health care program, you may be able to save money on the exam and glasses. In fact, your savings may pay for the cost of the plan.
Is a Health Discount Plan Right for You?
It’s important to know that you don’t get discounts at every doctor’s office or dentist. Instead, you choose from a list of specific providers in your area who have agreed to offer cardholders a discounted rate.
It’s also crucial that you understand that your medical costs are not covered with a discount health plan. And in order to receive the discount, you have to pay for the services at the time they are received.
There are a lot of discount health care programs available. Unfortunately, some misrepresent their service by comparing it to insurance coverage. However, an alternative health plan is nothing like an insurance plan. It’s essential to read the details of the health plan vs. health insurance to ensure you understand the benefits you will receive.
What is a Health Insurance Plan?
Unlike a medical discount plan, health insurance plans may cover some of your medical expenses. For example, if you have health insurance, your yearly exam may be paid for by the insurance company.
Many people have a difficult time understanding health insurance coverage. That’s because there are a lot of options in the marketplace.
How Health Insurance Works
Some people receive a health insurance plan as a benefit of working for a company. However, they may have to pay out of pocket for coverage for their children or spouse.
Some plans are labeled “high deductible.” The benefit of this type of plan is that your monthly cost is lower than other insurance plans. However, you need to pay for most of your medical expenses until you meet your deductible – which may be thousands of dollars.
While some insurance companies direct you to choose an in-network physician or hospital, other plans allow you to receive medical assistance from any medical service.
Are you confused? You aren’t alone! Health insurance programs are confusing. In fact, some medical professionals even struggle to understand what your plan may cover.
Medical Discount Plans Can Help Those With (and Without) Insurance
If you are without health insurance, a medical discount plan can be a simple way to save money on needed healthcare costs. Here’s how it works:
Once you are a member, you log into the network to look for providers in your area who have agreed to offer health care services at a discounted rate. Then, you make an appointment for your needed medical services – such as a dental visit or yearly exam. Before you go, you’ll know how much your out-of-pocket costs will be for the services – which you will pay for at the time of your visit. There are no forms to fill out, and you won’t receive any bills for the service.