One out of every five American is without some form of health insurance coverage. Some people are lucky and have kept their jobs, but others have lost them and are not sure what to do. The lack of options is forcing many people to choose between keeping their health or losing the coverage they have worked for. This reality is not an easy one to face. Here is what you can do to help.
- Get Educated – There are many affordable ways to obtain health care. The first step is to become educated about the plans that are available to you. Check with local offices and call each one to find out how much it will cost you and if there are any tax benefits you may be eligible for. There are also many organizations that have free or low cost plans you can look into.
- Consider HMO’s – Most people have opted for a managed care plan. These are health carriers that provide coverage to their members. You pay a monthly fee and agree to pay whatever the carrier decides to charge for a certain number of visits. If you visit a doctor that is not covered by the network you will be billed. However, some companies are willing to cover a large portion of the doctor’s office visit if that is what your family needs. Look into both options to see which is best for your financial situation.
- Look at Medicare – If you are over 65 you are automatically on Medicare. This is a popular plan because it offers a wide variety of services and is very low cost. While Medicare is a good health insurance option, many people feel that it is not very helpful because it has so many restrictions. The coverage offered can be a problem. A better option is a supplemental plan that can help bridge the gap if Medicare does not work for you.
- Buy Health Insurance Premiums independently – Many people do not like to pay taxes. Instead they prefer to buy health insurance policies themselves. Doing this allows you to know exactly what you are spending each month. You can also compare plans easily to make an informed decision. You should be aware that premiums are going up in 2021 as well so making a decision now will save money later.
- Compare deductibles – Another important step is to compare deductibles. The deductible is the amount you will pay before the insurance kicks in to cover the rest of your medical costs. Some health insurance policies will let you choose a higher deductible, which will lower your monthly premium but may increase your out of pocket expense. When comparing plans take into account any co-payments you will need to make. Be sure you can afford this amount each month.
- Check the Plans – Research how each health plan will work. Each insurer has different rules, but there should be some basic features that are the same for most plans. These may include a choice of doctor, coverage for preventive care and annual exams. Review all of the benefits provided. You may be covered for mental health and prescription drugs.
A record 5.4 million Americans currently have no health insurance policy. They could save hundreds of thousands of dollars on yearly premiums if they purchased a plan today. Before you buy your next health plan consider these four tips. You can learn more about affordable health insurance for low-income families, or visit the official website of your insurance provider to get even more information.