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Special Types of Health Insurance

Special Types of Health Insurance

Disease-Specific Insurance is designed to provide benefits for the costs associated with medical care relative only to the disease named in the policy-for example, cancer. Benefits are usually limited to per-day amounts or to a one-time payment and are intended only to supplement, not replace, other medical insurance.

Long-Term Care Insurance provides daily or monthly benefits for day-to-day care arising from chronic disease, disability or aging. The daily activities are referred to in long-term care plans as Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. Benefits are paid when a certain number of ADLs can no longer be performed without assistance or when there is proof of cognitive impairment (such as in Alzheimer's disease) and when any waiting periods or deductibles have been satisfied. Because some policies do not include certain mental conditions, you will want to ask about coverage for conditions such as Alzheimer's. Coverage may include long-term care in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, a hospice, adult day care center and/or in your home. Plans are available that provide coverage for a set number of years or for as long as you live.

Essential and Standard Coverage-In Virginia, all health insurance companies and plans that market to small groups (50 employees or less) or to individuals must offer state-defined essential and standard health insurance coverage to those groups and/or individuals who apply. You can obtain information on these plans and the Virginia law as it pertains to essential and standard plans by contacting the Bureau of Insurance, State Corporation Commission or, in other states or areas, the insurance bureau or commission (see In Neighboring Areas) for that area.

High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs)-A high deductible health plan, often called consumer driven insurance, is a health plan with lower premiums and a higher deductible for major care, like a hospitalization or surgery. At the same time someone enrolls in a high deductible plan, he or she may also need to enroll in a health savings account (HSA.) Generally, the person may put up to the amount of the deductible from income into this account, and the money is not taxed.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were Federally enacted as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. To establish an HSA, a consumer must enroll in an HDHP that meets certain requirements. Compared to more traditional insurance plans, HDHPs generally require greater out-of-pocket spending, although the premiums may be lower. HSAs offer consumers a way to save for these higher expected health care costs. A key advantage of an HSA is that it belongs to the individual who establishes it and is portable. Funds that are not withdrawn in a year can be rolled over and used in future years. Once the HSA is exhausted however, there are no further tax advantages to help defray additional out-of-pocket expenses.

Tricare is the health care program serving active duty service members, National Guard and Reserve members, retirees, their families, survivors and certain former spouses worldwide. As a major component of the Military Health System, TRICARE brings together the health care resources of the uniformed services and supplements them with networks of civilian health care professionals, institutions, pharmacies and suppliers to provide access to high-quality health care services while maintaining the capability to support military operations. To be eligible for TRICARE benefits, you must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. TRICARE offers several health plan options to meet the needs of its beneficiary population. Additionally, TRICARE offers two dental plans and several additional special programs. For more on TRICARE Click Here