The best health insurance plans are those that will fit the medical needs and financial abilities of you and your family. Whether you receive benefits from an employer, purchase private insurance, or participate in a state-run plan, you want a plan that will meet the health needs of your family.
Today, health insurance is a necessity because of high medical costs. Not having insurance puts you and your family at risk for financial instability and poorer health.
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Why do I need health insurance?
Health care costs are rising, and it is just not realistic for most Americans to pay for doctor’s visits and monthly prescriptions completely out-of-pocket. Additionally, an accident or serious illness can produce medical bills that run into the tens of thousands of dollars and beyond.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that lack of health insurance puts children at a severely increased risk of developing preventable diseases and illnesses. Children and adults without health insurance tend to have poorer health as they do not participate in annual check-ups, preventative health care or screening services as much as those who have insurance to cover such care.
What is the best plan if I am young and single?
Many young people find themselves between parents’ insurance plans and employer’s insurance plans. It can seem like a cost-effective move to forgo paying health insurance premiums. However, an accident or illness will be much more costly without insurance. Choose insurance plan options that will fit your particular health needs to save the most money now and in the long run.
A health savings account (HSA) will allow you to save money in an account that can be used for any health-related cost. The money you save in the HSA can grow over time and it is not taxable by the IRS. An HSA is usually paired with a high deductible plan or “catastrophe” plan; this plan will provide coverage for those medical costs that skyrocket past the savings in an HSA.
What is the best plan if I am just married?
Once you start a family, then financial considerations affect everyone, and it is desirable to have health insurance in order to protect the family’s financial stability for the present and into the future. You and your spouse will want to compare each other’s employer’s health benefits, if applicable, as well as private health insurance options to work out which plan will provide the most coverage for the money.
An HSA is also a useful plan in this situation as a supplement to comprehensive health benefits; the money deposited in the HSA is not taxable, so you and your spouse will owe less income tax to the Federal government.
You will also want to make sure that your plan has maternity coverage; it is an added expense that many plans do not offer in order to save money. Having maternity coverage is a must for any couple that is of childbearing age.
Plans that are focused on saving money, such as Health Management Organization plans (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organization plans (PPOs), and Point of Service plans (POSs) might be the best health insurance option for young families. These plans usually require you to choose providers from lists or networks that will charge lower fees for the services.
While it still may seem like a good option to skimp on health insurance at this point in your life in order to save money, a young family needs the financial peace of mind provided by health insurance. This is not a time to look for limited benefit plans; full coverage plans with manageable deductibles and copayments will best serve the financial solvency of a young family.
What are the best plans for a mature family?
The health insurance needs of a family changes as everyone gets older. HSAs are still a good idea as they save money on income taxes. Optional benefits such as vision and dental are good choices as children develop the need for braces and glasses.
Young adults can now remain on a parent’s plan until the age of 26, under The Affordable Care Act of 2010, unless they are able to join an employer’s plan. Coverage for young adults should be different from that of their parents; they will need options such as maternity insurance and a lot of coverage for accidents.
What are the best plans for those of retirement age?
As young adults start families and careers of their own and parents begin to reach retirement age, it is again time to change insurance policies. As always, HSAs are a good way to save money for medical costs while saving on income taxes. Maternity coverage is no longer necessary, and insurance can soon be provided by Medicare.
Short-term health insurance might be needed to fill in the time between retirement and Medicare benefits. In addition, gap insurance should be considered if Medicare does not cover all of your health costs.
Additionally, seniors might want to choose coverage that provides long-term care. This insurance provides coverage if you are diagnosed with an illness or disease that requires nurse aid visits, extended hospital stays or care at a nursing home facility. Long-term care insurance is costly, and it becomes more expensive as you get older.
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