Health insurance is a very complex matter, to say the least. If you want to know whether it’s possible to get good coverage while still having low health insurance payments, there is no hard and fast rule that can be applied. CNN Money Magazine does a good job of explaining this by essentially outlining the fact that there are too many options and too many different types of coverage to make a blanket statement about quality coverage and monthly premiums.
You can take the first step in searching for health insurance quotes online by entering your zip code below.
Fortunately, there are basic things common to most insurance policies, which should give you a general idea of what you’re looking for. We’ll discuss some of those things in this article, giving you the tools you need to intelligently search for health insurance.
Keep in mind that everything we talk about here can be slightly different from one state to the next depending on individual health insurance regulations. When it comes to insurance of any kind, we seldom use absolute terms like “always” and “never.”
If I don’t have a lot of money, what should I look for?
Many people throughout the United States do not have health insurance of any kind. In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures the 2010 census reveals that number to be about 16%. However, even if you lack financial resources, there are some things you can look for if you still believe it’s important to have health insurance.
The first is to search only for a major medical policy rather than a health maintenance organization. A major medical policy covers only catastrophic events such as car accidents, heart attacks, or cancers. It doesn’t cover routine visits and day-to-day care for things like strep throat, wart removal, etc. This type of coverage only protects from financial loss when excessive medical bills are overwhelming.
You can also look for subsidized policies, which offer reduced premiums through government assistance. These policies can be as comprehensive as any health maintenance organization but still cost significantly less. Along the same lines, you can look for a government-sponsored program administered through a local insurance company. These health insurance policies are typically aimed at families with children as a means of providing healthcare insurance for minors.
Can I lower my premiums with higher deductibles?
If you’re right on the edge of being able to afford health insurance, choosing plans with higher deductibles will certainly help lower your premiums. For example, your health insurance company will pay for certain types of coverage after you make an initial payment of your own, say $500 or so. If you can afford those types of deductibles, your rates will be lower.
Similarly, you can also look for a policy with lower coverage limits. This is essentially the same thing except for the fact that you pay your portion after the fact rather than before. This could be to your advantage if your medical bills never reach your coverage limits. In either case, higher deductibles and lower coverage limits tend to provide lower premiums.
What if I don’t qualify for subsidized programs or government health insurance?
This question highlights the biggest reason that 16% of Americans don’t have health insurance. They don’t make enough to buy their own policies, yet they make too much to qualify for subsidized government programs. In a case like this, individuals are limited in their options.
One option lies in a small handful of national insurance companies who create insurance pools according to the various regions around the country. If the pool in your region is large enough you’ll be able to have health insurance at a reduced rate. Note that this type of health insurance is not available in every state. New York, for example, does not allow this kind of program.
One last option you can try is something called a healthcare cooperative. With a healthcare cooperative, you don’t actually have medical insurance, you join a group of people who have banded together to share the costs of medical care. For example, if you were to need heart surgery you would submit the bill to the group in the hopes that each member will contribute a certain portion and thereby cover your bill. For the most part these cooperatives have proven to be workable but they do require a certain level of trust that many consumers are unwilling to give.
At the end of the day, the more coverage you need, the more you’re probably going to pay for it. Therefore, when you’re shopping for health insurance:
- Be very wise about your coverage
- How often you use it
- What you’re actually paying for
It is possible that you will not get all the coverage you need at the price in which you were hoping.
You can begin searching for low-cost health insurance quotes right now by entering your zip code below.