Confusing Health Insurance Terms Explained (For Busy Small Business Owners)

Running a small business in Hawaii is no small feat. You wear many hats, taking care of customers, employees, and all the moving parts that keep your business thriving. But when it comes to health insurance, all the jargon can feel like a tidal wave. This blog is here to help you navigate those confusing terms, section by section, so you can make informed decisions about health insurance for yourself and your employees.

Coverage-Related Terms:

Covered Services: These are the healthcare services your insurance agrees to pay for. This can include doctor visits, hospital stays, medications, preventive care like checkups, and more. Why It Matters: Make sure the plan covers the specific services YOU and your employees are most likely to need.

Exclusions: The flip side of the coin – these are things your insurance specifically WON’T cover. Common exclusions include cosmetic procedures, experimental treatments, or care received outside of the U.S. Why It Matters: Read this section carefully to avoid any surprises down the road.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Health issues you had BEFORE getting the plan. Some plans may have limitations on coverage for these conditions for a certain period, or charge you higher premiums. Why It Matters: This is crucial if you or your employees have ongoing health needs. Understanding the plan’s stance on pre-existing conditions can help you avoid coverage gaps.

Waiting Periods: Some plans have delays before coverage for certain services kicks in. For example, there might be a waiting period for maternity care. Knowing this helps you plan for potential gaps in coverage.

Cost-Related Terms:

Deductible: Think of this as your “skin in the game.” It’s the amount you gotta pay out-of-pocket before your insurance really starts kicking in for medical expenses. Why It Matters: Higher deductibles often mean lower monthly premiums (and vice-versa). Choose a deductible that fits your budget and risk tolerance.

Copay: This is like a small flat fee you pay every time you visit the doctor or use certain services, like a $30 copay for a doctor’s visit. Why It Matters: Copays are typically lower than deductibles and can help you manage healthcare costs more predictably.

Coinsurance: After you’ve met your deductible, this is the percentage YOU pay vs. what your insurance pays. Example: 80/20 coinsurance means the insurance covers 80%, you pay 20%. Why It Matters: Understanding coinsurance helps you estimate your total out-of-pocket costs for covered services.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum: The good news! This is the MOST you’ll spend on covered healthcare in a year. After you hit this limit, your plan covers 100%. Why It Matters: This protects you from huge bills for serious health events.

Premium: This is your monthly payment to keep the insurance plan active. Why It Matters: Premiums can vary depending on factors like the plan type, deductible level, and your company’s size and health history.

Navigating the Maze of Health Insurance: Proinsurance Hawaii Can Help

Let’s be honest, choosing the right health insurance plan for your business can be a stressful maze of terms, costs, and fine print. Let Proinsurance Hawaii simplify health insurance for you!

Expertise You Can Trust: Our insurance experts understand the complexities of health insurance and the unique needs of Hawaii businesses. We’ll break everything down in plain language, so you make confident decisions.

Personalized Guidance: We’ll help you understand the different coverage levels, plan types, and cost structures, finding plans that align with your business budget and the health needs of your employees.

The Best Rates: We work with a wide range of insurance carriers, giving you access to the most competitive rates and benefits packages for your business.

Network & Provider Terms:

In-Network: Doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that have negotiated deals with your insurance company. Using these providers usually means lower costs for you. Why It Matters: In-network providers can save you money on co-pays and out-of-pocket costs.

Out-of-Network: Providers who DON’T have those deals with your insurance company. You may pay much more or even the full cost yourself. Why It Matters: Be mindful of out-of-network providers to avoid unexpected bills.

PPO (Preferred Provider Organization): This plan type gives you more flexibility to choose any provider, in-network or out-of-network. However, out-of-network care typically comes with

higher costs.

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization): These plans often require you to use a primary care doctor for referrals to specialists. They typically have lower costs, but may limit your provider choices.

Additional Important Terms:

Enrollment Period: The specific times you can sign up or change plans (usually annually, or if you experience a major life event like getting married). Why It Matters: Don’t miss the window to enroll or make changes to your plan.

Effective Date: When your coverage actually starts. Why It Matters: This ensures there are no gaps in your insurance protection.

Termination: How and when you or the insurance company can end the coverage. Why It Matters: Knowing the termination terms helps you plan for the future.

You Have Options

Shopping for group health insurance can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. The insurance experts at Proinsurance Hawaii can help you determine which level of coverage is best for your company, then help you find a plan that suits your specific needs. Get started with a free QUOTE.