If you want to know how to find out where you can get health insurance at a cost you can afford, the starting point may be your present employment circumstance. If you work for someone else you should take your questions to the human resources department or, in the case of a small company, your manager or the business owner. If you’re self-employed you should check with local trade groups or the chamber of commerce.
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If you can’t get the answers you’re looking for using resources listed above you can always spend a few hours one evening searching the websites of some of the better health insurance companies. This is certainly a longer process, but if it is your only avenue it may be just what you’ll have to do. Ultimately, finding the most affordable plan that meets your needs is your responsibility.
Ask Your Human Resources Department
Why would I ask the human resources department? If you’re working for someone else you’ll most likely find that any group health insurance plan they offer will be less expensive than trying to purchase a plan on your own. According to the National Association of Health Underwriters, the lower cost is attributed to two factors: a lower price offered by the health insurance provider across the entire employee group, and the fact that the employer picks up a portion of the cost on behalf of the worker.
By taking your questions to the human resources department you will be getting information directly from the source.
The human resources department will have all the details regarding the options of the company health insurance plan including coverage types and limits, how much you pay in premiums, and so forth. They will also be able to tell you what your options are should you decide not to avail yourself of the company plan. Some companies will pay their employees the equivalent of their contribution in cash if they elect not to use the company plan.
Finding Affordable Health Health Insurance
Where would I find out about affordable health insurance? If your company does not provide a health plan you’ll need to investigate the possibility of purchasing your own individual group health insurance plan.
If you belong to an organization that provides group health insurance benefits to members, that is your best place to start. Examples of such groups include college alumni associations, nonprofit organizations, business or professional trade groups, civic groups, and fraternal organizations.
Your other two options revolve around dealing with health insurance companies directly. If you bundle your car and homeowners insurance through the same carrier you might want to check with them regarding the possibility of health insurance. Believe it or not, there are a small handful of companies that can do this directly or who contract with a third party health insurance carrier to provide a bundled policy. If not, your final option is to simply start contacting health insurance carriers in your state.
Different Options for the Self-Employed
What if you are self-employed? The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) points out that group insurance is cheaper than individual coverage even for self-employed individuals. They recommend the self-employed check with trade groups, professional organizations, and professional networks to find out if anything is available. Otherwise, the next best avenue is the local office of the Chamber of Commerce.
Information on group health insurance for the self-employed is a little more difficult to come by due to the fact there are so many variables. You may be able to find a trade group or other organization with connections to a group health insurance policy. They should be able to give you the same type of information a standard worker would get from his employer. If you’re forced to check with individual insurance companies on your own, you’ll find it takes a lot more effort to assemble all the information you need to make a good choice.
Finding information about affordable health insurance is only half the task. Once you have it all you then need to sit down and compare the policies in detail in order to find the right one for you. Only with intelligent and thoughtful research will you be able to be fully confident you’re making an informed decision.
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