HCSC, or “healthcare services group” insurance, is the administrator for Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance in Texas, New Mexico, Illinois and Oklahoma. HCSC is the largest consumer-owned insurance company in the United States, with over 20 million members, and is the 6th largest health insurance company in America. The vast majority of coverage through this company is provided as employer group insurance, with only 10% of policies sold to private individuals. Whether you are searching for independent health insurance, or considering enrolling in your company’s HCSC plan, you should take time to familiarize yourself with the company and its benefits before settling on a plan.
As a large insurer, HCSC provides a wide variety of plans for companies and individuals. Plans vary from HMO, PPO, and POS plans, as well as high-deductible plans with or without an HSA. Additionally, employment plans include vision, dental, prescription drug, and mental health coverage that can be added to the policy. HCSC also offers options for group life and disability insurance through the subsidiaries.
HMO Health Insurance Plans
Under a HMO health insurance plan, the insurance company utilizes a network of doctors who agree to work for pre-set prices in order to keep costs down. When using this type of policy, a patient must use a doctor or hospital inside the network or the claim will not be covered. Additionally, certain types of experimental medications or treatments may not be included; your doctor may be asked to prove that the treatment will be effective before accepting the claim. The only out of pocket expenses for a patient under this type of plan is the predetermined co-payment.
PPO Health Insurance Plans
Similar to a HMO in that a PPO plan requires the use of an in-network doctor, a PPO health insurance plan has greater flexibility. A patient can pursue care at any doctor, but will need to pay the difference in cost between the network doctor and the actual cost of care. Patients will usually have a deductible; you will pay for out-of-network healthcare until you reach the deductible, then will pay a percentage of care over that amount.
A more expensive option than either an HMO or PPO plan, a POS plan provides more flexibility to an insured. Doctors within a network are still given preference; if you go to a doctor within your network, no deductible applies and you will only owe a copayment. You have freedom to go outside of your network and pay more out of pocket until your deductible has been reached, but once you have hit your out-of-pocket maximum for the year your coverage will pay any additional medical expenses.
The wide variety of plans allows for maximum flexibility for consumers in regards to coverage and cost as well. Within any given plan, the insured has an option to change the out-of-pocket maximum of the plan as well as deductible and coinsurance. Employer-offered plans will usually be relatively limited, depending upon the plan options the company decides to provide to employees. If you receive health insurance through an employer-sponsored health plan, your options will likely be limited to two or three different types of plans with the option to add riders for prescription drug coverage, vision, or dental benefits.
HCSC Health Insurance Review
If you are considering purchasing an HCSC policy independently as private insurance, however, your options will be wider. You can select a low cost policy by opting for an HMO plan, which will limit your selection of medical providers to pre-approved doctors, or you can select a PPO or POS plan with a high deductible in order to reduce costs. High deductible plans are eligible for an HSA, or health savings account, which can be used toward medical expenses and will roll over from year to year.
HCSC policies are a very popular choice among employers due to the wide variety of policies available and the competitive pricing. For individuals in states covered by Blue Cross, Blue Shield or other HCSC subsidiaries, independent insurance through the company may be an affordable option. Due to the size of the company, the doctor network is quite wide and it should be easy to select healthcare within your network to keep prices down; additionally, the option to include an HSA on a high-deductible plan can be a smart choice for an individual in good health who is able to put money aside for medical expenses, since the HSA account rolls over from year to year.
Depending upon your location and the other insurance policies available to you, HCSC may not be the best option available for independent health care. It is worthwhile to obtain several quotes and review the coverage before deciding on a policy. In states covered by HCSC, however, you may be able to get an excellent deal on health insurance by utilizing this company.
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