Finding Affordable Health Insurance
Health insurance is a product that covers all your health-related expenses. As with car insurance, health insurance protects you in case you get injured or sick. Health insurance also covers preventive health care such as annual check-ups and doctor’s visits before you become ill. Private health insurance has many benefits.
The health insurance debate continues to rage. Some people believe that the individual mandate is good for the economy. According to this argument, it will drive health insurance providers to offer more affordable policies to retain their customers. In addition, it keeps insurance companies in business since unhealthy individuals may continue buying coverage. Other supporters of the individual mandate believe that without it, people will not purchase coverage, and the market will dry up because no one will pay.
If you are among those who believe that you should get health insurance because it is an investment, you may want to reconsider. Health insurance covers when you become ill and need to see a doctor. The coverage does not cover the cost of preventative care. Your out-of-pocket limit does not change because you paid the premium.
What most employers offer is group coverage. Group health insurance does not provide out-of-pocket limits. In other words, you will pay the entire cost of your treatment out of your pocket. Unlike individual plans, the co-pays and deductibles are typically lower with group health insurance. You may also save money by buying your policy through an employer since some employers offer better coverage at a discount.
If you are offered public health insurance but can’t afford the total cost, you may want to consider purchasing a supplemental policy. The best policies come from either an employer-provided health insurance plan or a private health insurance plan. The public option will only pay the federal government’s portion of the costs. Private plans will either cover 100% of the price or reimburse you for your portion.
If you are between jobs, don’t have health insurance through your employer, or are unemployed, you may want to look into a short-term medical policy. You can buy health insurance for a day, a week, or even up to a year. You can purchase these policies directly through your regular health care insurance company, or you can use an ACASignature. These “short-term” policies usually don’t have very high out-of-pocket costs, but they give you peace of mind knowing that you will have access to health care if something happens while you are out of work.
You may be eligible for catastrophic coverage if you qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, or a prescription drug plan. This type of coverage pays all or part of your hospitalization costs in case of a significant accident or illness. Some examples of devastating programs include Medigap, Medicare Part B, and Medigap Delta. Although the rates for this coverage are high, it does give you peace of mind knowing that in the event you need coverage, you’ll be covered.
If you don’t qualify for any of these above health coverage plans, there is still another source of affordable insurance – the individual health plan or exchange. Health insurance companies are struggling to stay afloat in this economy, so many have gone out of business or are temporarily unavailable. Because these insurance companies are not operating at a profit, many offer their services for free or with substantial subsidies. In states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, they have expanded their exchanges and programs to include some of the most uninsured individuals.