When a child is undergoing numerous tests, multiple operations and expensive treatments, figuring out the best way to pay for it all can be a struggle. Understanding how health insurance works and being aware of the providers available in Maryland can help to make sure that every penny spent counts. These links are provided as a resource to families; Casey Care Foundation does not endorse and of these sites or vouch for their credibility.
Largest Health Insurance Companies By Plan Members (Maryland Health Care Commission, 2008)
Highest Rated HMO's Based on MHCC Rankings (Maryland Health Care Commission, 2008)
This report also provides rankings for other categories such as PPO's, quality of insurance for specific illnesses, and by patient type. Click here to view the complete report.
Maryland Health Care Commission. (2008). 2008 Comprehensive performance report: Commercial HMO, POS, and PPO plans in Maryland. Retrieved January 7, 2009, from http://mhcc.maryland.gov/hmo/compreport.pdf
How To Buy Health Insurance
Understanding health insurance can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Today, however, health insurance and confusion often seem to be two sides of the same coin. You may find yourself asking, "What is the difference between an HMO and a PPO?" or "How can I maximize the use of my deductible?" The links below should help you to answer those questions.
Go Health Insurance - Have questions about how a health plan works? Want to see what types of plans are available? Learn the ins and outs of health coverage at the Health Insurance Information Center and find the answers you're looking for (description from site).
HealthInsurance.info - HealthInsurance.info is designed to help employers get the best health insurance for their employees and to help individuals get the best health insurance for themselves and their dependents (description from site). Ask experts for advice, evaluate your current plan, research providers and much more!
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - Produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this guide describes different kinds of health insurance plans and answers common questions. There is a glossary of health insurance terms as well as resources for more information (description from site).
Ten Tips for Health Care - Provided by the Employee Benefits Security Administration, this list gives helpful advice about how to keep an eye out for good insurance and how to make sure you are getting the most out of the plan you already have.
Alternative Insurance Providers
Maryland Children's Health Program - The Maryland Children's Health Program (MCHP) gives full health benefits for children up to age 19, and pregnant women of any age who meet the income guidelines. MCHP enrollees obtain care from a variety of Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) through the Maryland HealthChoice Program (description from site). Requirements: Uninsured, Not qualified for Medicare, younger than 19 years old.
Maryland Health Insurance Program - MHIP is a state-managed health insurance program for Maryland residents who have been unable to obtain health insurance from other sources. MHIP offers its participants access to both CareFirst BlueChoice HMO and CareFirst Blue Preferred PPO networks (description from site).
Medicaid - Medicaid is available only to certain low-income individuals and families who fit into an eligibility group that is recognized by federal and state law. Medicaid does not pay money to you; instead, it sends payments directly to your health care providers. Depending on your state's rules, you may also be asked to pay a small part of the cost (co-payment) for some medical services (description from site).