What kinds of individual and family insurance plans are available?

Individual and family health insurance plans are usually described as either “indemnity” or “managed-care” plans.  Put broadly, the major differences concern choice of healthcare provider, out of pocket costs and how bills are paid.  Typically, indemnity plans offer a broader selection of healthcare providers than managed care plans.  Indemnity plans pay their share of the costs for covered services only after they receive a bill (which means that you may have to pay up front and then obtain reimbursement from your health insurance company),

There are several different types of managed-care health insurance plans.  These include HMO, PPO and POS plans.  Managed-care plans typically make use of healthcare provider networks.  Health care providers within a network agree to perform services for managed-care plan patients at pre-negotiated rates and will usually submit the claim to the insurance company for you.  In general, you will have less paperwork and lower out-of-pocket costs with a managed care health insurance plan and a broader choice of healthcare providers with an indemnity plan.