One of the larger medical insurance providers in the United States, Humana recently announced a merge with Aetna that, according to Business Wire, will bring the number of covered individuals to 33 million.
With a wide range of services ranging from Medicare to individual medical, dental, pharmacy, and vision plans to group healthcare coverage provided through employers, Humana is a large and technologically advanced company with many health insurance options to choose from.
Humana has a comprehensive prescription drug program that includes the Humana Pharmacy (previous called RightSource) that can mail prescriptions directly to patients, and a partnership with Walmart for pharmacy services as well. With a website full of resources and even an app to provide access to healthcare information on a mobile device, Humana is a client-centered provider.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that in 2013, only about 10 percent of the almost 23 million Americans over the age of 12 who needed treatment for an alcohol or drug abuse problem or dependency received the care they required. Many who desired treatment cited lack of healthcare coverage or finances as a barrier to their potential treatment. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) sought to change that by improving coverage for more Americans and enhancing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 by making substance abuse and mental health treatment akin to other medical services, like surgical procedures, and opening up this coverage to more people.
An innovative and diverse company providing health insurance to families, self-employed individuals, military members, and senior citizens, Humana offers several insurance plans that at least partially cover mental health or substance abuse treatment services.
There are several types of individual medical insurance plans on the market; the most common are likely preferred provider organizations (PPOs) and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). A Humana PPO may be more flexible than an HMO, allowing individuals to seek care without a referral both in-network and out-of-network. An HMO requires that you designate a specific primary care physician (PCP) and see only in-network providers. HMOs typically have lower monthly premiums than PPOs, and using an out-of-network provider with a PPO is likely to incur higher out-of-pocket expenses. Coverage and plans may differ depending on where a person lives and can be different in different states.
Group and Individual Medical Plans
Group insurance is generally purchased through an employer and offered to employees during specific enrollment periods. Some employers may pay part of the monthly premiums while others may deduct them directly from an employee’s paycheck.
Group medical plans offered from Humana through employers include:
- PPOs: These have higher monthly costs with lower deductibles, meaning fewer out-of-pocket fees and more flexibility to see in-network and out-of-network providers, although using out-of-network providers usually means higher fees across the board.
- HMOs: There are two main types: Open Access and Traditional, with the Open Access allowing individuals to seek treatment from any HMO network provider for slightly higher monthly premiums. Traditional HMOs are typically cheaper, and individuals have all care coordinated through one PCP.
- Humana Classic: Individuals may pay more for coverage but are entitled to see any provider without extra costs. Copays and monthly deductibles are a factor, and individuals may pay coinsurance fees as well. Coinsurance is a percentage of allowable costs, and individuals pay the uncovered percentage. Once out-of-pocket-maximums are reached any additional expenses, beyond copays, will be covered 100 percent.
- Point of Service (POS): These plans allow flexibility for individuals to make the decision to use in-network providers for lower costs, or pay more for out-of-network providers while still being covered. Out-of-network services do not require a referral. Most services will likely charge a copay.
- High Deductible Health Plan: Generally speaking, higher deductibles mean lower monthly premiums, and this type of plan includes pharmacy cost in the deductible amounts, meaning that they may be reached sooner. Once annual maximum out-of-pocket caps are reached, coinsurance kicks in, and individuals pay a percentage of any additional expenses. Preventative services may be covered 100 percent without first reaching the deductible and individuals may set up a health savings account (HCA) that they or their employers, or both, may contribute tax-free money to that can be used to pay copays and medical costs toward the deductible or coinsurance fees.
- Coverage First: Most medical services and preventative care is 100 percent covered under this plan up to a $500 allowance, meaning that, with the exception of copays, an individual can receive in-network medical care for no additional costs up to $500. Once the allowance is met, individuals will pay out-of-pocket costs up to a set deductible and then coinsurance coverage starts.
Individual medical plans differ from state to state. More can be learned about the details of these plans by going to the Humana website and entering a specific zip code.