How to Get Low-Cost Health Insurance in Oklahoma
Health insurance has become more critical as people age. Unfortunately, statistics show that nearly half of all adults have never had health insurance. The lack of primary medical coverage leads to costly medical bills. If you are healthy and do not suffer from chronic conditions, you will most likely not have any problems paying for health insurance. However, even if you are healthy, you should consider what you need to know about health insurance.
If you are self-employed, you will likely be the lowest-premium payer for your health insurance. However, suppose you are not eligible for federal lower rates because your income is too low. In that case, you can still purchase health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace established by your employer. You can also obtain insurance privately through an insurance agent, a private health insurance company, or an independent broker. Your employer will negotiate lower rates with these companies.
Short-term Plans vs. Long-term Plans vs. Permanent Coverage vs. Risk Classifications Short-term plans are generally less expensive than long-term plans. In addition, health insurance premiums for short-term coverage can be paid in one lump sum period, while long-term goals require monthly payments.
Open Enrollment vs. Seasonal Plans Open enrollment is when you sign up for a year-long coverage plan. During this time, you are considered a permanent member of the health insurance program. Therefore, they during likely be required to pay a premium for one year during the open enrollment period.
Risk Classifications The risk category you choose determines how much you will pay for health plans. You will probably pay more for coverage if considered a higher risk. Examples of risk categories include smokers, people with pre-existing medical conditions, older adults, and adults who have had to file for bankruptcy. In addition, some employers will allow you to choose an alternative group healthcare provider during open enrollment if you are considered a higher risk.
Waiver Programs & Credits Waivers are credits that pay a portion of your premiums. Often, waiver programs are considered if you change your health condition significantly. For example, if you quit smoking and get a small electric scale instead of an air cleaner, you would be considered high risk. However, if you keep your current coverage but make other changes, such as getting a treadmill instead of a stationary bike, you may be eligible to receive a waiver. As with risk categories, waivers are usually awarded to people with good health. However, your waiver eligibility will end if you quit smoking and get your weight down to a healthy level.
Individual Health Plans One of the most popular forms of coverage is the individual. Unlike other types of insurance coverage, individual health plans do not usually have monthly premiums, deductibles, or exclusions. For example, if you have a co-payment on doctor visits, the insurance may pay for up to only one-half of the doctor’s bill. If you don’t want to pay anything out-of-pocket, this option is usually the best way to save money. However, if you have a high-deductible health plan, it may not be a good choice because the premiums would be very high.
Premium Tax Credits Health insurance premiums can be expensive. To help reduce your cost, some employers offer cost-sharing options. In addition, there are tax credit programs that help individuals reduce the cost of premiums. These programs come in various forms, including discount health plans, health maintenance organizations, and health maintenance organizations. If you qualify for any of these plans, you may be eligible for cost-sharing or premium tax credits.