Health insurance companies providing coverage for low income people do exist, although there aren’t many of them and they’re difficult to find. More often than not, low income individuals will apply for government-subsidized health insurance programs rather than search for insurance from a private carrier. We will address both of the scenarios in the following paragraphs to give you some idea of how this works.
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Individual health insurance has certainly been on the minds of Americans over the course of the last several years. In fact, one of the biggest arguments for promoting the government’s health care overhaul in 2009 was the belief that uninsured individuals are taxing the health care system. Yet, according to the Cato Institute, the total amount of health care that goes unpaid due to of a lack of insurance is less than 3% of the total cost of health care annually. If you’re uninsured because of low income, rest assured you could still get medical care one way or the other.
How do I find companies offering coverage to low income individuals?
Health insurance varies from state to state due to individual regulations. However, it’s safe to say there are companies offering limited health insurance benefits to low income individuals in just about every state. The types of coverage may vary, but it is available. A good place to start is using an online search engine similar to the one found on this website. By entering just a little bit of information about yourself, you’ll be able to see quotes from various companies offering insurance in your area.
Be advised that your low income will probably prevent you from getting the coverage provided by a typical Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. Instead, you might only be able to afford a major medical policy with certain limitations. Nevertheless, those types of policies are better than nothing at all. On average, a major medical policy with reasonable annual limits can be had for a few hundred dollars per month. If you can’t even afford that much, you might check with your local HMO about government subsidized programs they administer.
What types of government-subsidized programs are there?
Again, these things vary according to the regulations and each state, but there are typically several different kinds of programs available. One of the most popular is a health insurance program for children of low income parents in order to make sure these children get the health care they need. These types of policies generally don’t cover the adults in the family. If adults do need coverage, some states offer plans that will cover the entire family at a reduced cost.
You will still have to pay a monthly premium for most of the government-subsidized plans, in case you’re wondering. The rates are significantly less than what you would pay for non-subsidized coverage.
If you absolutely cannot afford to pay a single dime to your own health insurance, you do have the option of applying for Medicaid coverage. This is coverage provided by the federal government and specifically designed for people in your situation. However, you won’t be able to simply apply in the same way you would for an HMO or PPO policy. You’ll probably need to have some specific medical conditions that require attention or outstanding medical bills that need to be paid.
Are there any states that offer universal coverage?
As of 2011, Massachusetts is the only state that provides universal health care coverage. The state of Hawaii used to provide such coverage but they discontinued their program some years ago because it was too taxing financially. The Massachusetts plan offers several of different levels of coverage depending on individual need. All the information about their plans can be found at their Massresources.org website.
Massachusetts currently has six different plans that cover all but the wealthiest of individuals. Each plan has a certain income eligibility requirements as well as other conditions applicants must meet. However, at the end of the day the Massachusetts system is designed to cover all residents of the state who have a legitimate need. In fact, is nearly impossible to be turned down for health care coverage if you live there.
As an interesting side note, the Massachusetts system was the model upon which the new federal system is based.
Regardless of what state you live in, you can search for online health insurance quotes by entering your zip code below.