by James Tuck
It is estimated that over 40 million people in the United States do not have health insurance coverage. While some choose not to purchase coverage, for most the lack of coverage stems from an inability to find affordable coverage for themselves or their family. While not carrying health insurance may seem like a more affordable option, the fact is that medical expenses can mount quickly with an illness or injury. Approximately half of all bankruptcies filed each year are caused by medical debt. Finding cheap health insurance can help you prevent you from being in such a disastrous financial situation and can ensure that you and your family have access to the healthcare you need. So how can you find affordable coverage?
Employer Sponsored Plans
Perhaps the most affordable option for most people are employer sponsored plans. These plans generally receive a discount because they are a group policy. Further, many employers will pay for at least a portion of the premium on the employer, if not for the entire family. Because this is the easiest and often most affordable way to get health coverage, it may be in your best interest to look for a new job if your current employer does not provide health coverage.
Government Sponsored Plans
The state and federal governments do offer cheap health insurance for some individuals. These options provide government sponsored healthcare coverage for a select group of individuals. Medicaid is an option for low-income households. Medicare is an option for senior citizens’ healthcare coverage. If you are unemployed, you can look into coverage offered through worker’s compensation benefits. Further, some states offer coverage for those who have been turned down by health insurance companies due to pre-existing conditions.
If you do not have access to an employer sponsored plan or find it too costly, and if you don’t meet requirements for a government sponsored plan, you can shop around for an individual policy. Unlike what many people believe, you can find cheap health insurance under an individual policy. You will first want to analyze your needs and how you plan to use your coverage. Choosing a policy that has a higher deductible and a higher co-pay will provide you with a lower premium. However, if you visit the doctor frequently, have kids who often visit the doctor for well-checks or illness, or have other healthcare needs that require regular medical attention, it may be less cost-effective to choose a higher co-pay and higher deductible plan. So consider how often you have visited a doctor, emergency room, or other medical facility in the last six months or so, and then consider how a certain policy’s deductibles and premiums would fit in your budget with your own medical history.
If you choose to shop for cheap health insurance, you will find that there are numerous policy options available by just a single insurer. With dozens of insurers each offering multiple plans, it can be quite a chore to find the right policy for your needs. To save time and effort, you may find that it is easier to shop around when you use the services of a health insurance broker or make use of a price comparison website on the internet. It is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the figures and details of a plan, so be sure that you narrow down what you are looking for in a plan before you start shopping. Health insurance brokers typically work free of charge to you, with their services mainly compensated for by health insurance companies. So they are a great resource to utilize.
Health insurance unfortunately is not as cheap as most people would like it to be, but you cannot predict when you or your family will need medical attention for an illness or accident. Having cheap health insurance in place can help you to ensure that you and your family gets the medical attention needed without delay. Consider some of these strategies for finding coverage that you can afford.