Private health insurance cost varies greatly depending on a variety of factors. On average, for a healthy, young male, private health insurance will cost about $600 to over $1000 per year. For many people the cost of private health insurance is enough to discourage them from investing in it. However, health insurance can save you from financial ruin in the case of serious health problems.
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Getting a ball park figure like the one above does not actually give you a good idea of what health insurance would cost for you. Because of the many variables that are considered, it is important to get an individualized quote.
Cost and Private Health Insurance
Health insurance is all about risk. The insurer strives to make sure it is charging a high enough premium to defray the risk of covering health care for a given individual. Because this risk is different for everyone, private health insurance rates vary greatly from person to person.
Rates are set depending on a variety of factors. Each of these things is weighed differently by different insurers, resulting in disparity in pricing from company to company. The factors that impact your private health insurance rates include:
- Whether you smoke
- Your job
- Your lifestyle
- Your health history
- Where you live
If you are coming from a work situation with benefits and are looking for private health insurance for the first time, you are likely experiencing some sticker shock.
Health insurance coverage is typically cheaper in groups because the healthy individuals balance the risk the less healthy ones present.
In addition, group health insurance coverage typically has some amount of employer subsidy for the benefit. On your own you are completely responsible for the entire premium.
The other reason private health insurance costs are so high is the fact that health care in general is becoming more costly. Providers have high overhead costs for expensive equipment and intangibles like malpractice insurance. These high costs are passed along to the patient.
How to Keep Insurance Costs Down
To see a difference in the cost of private health insurance immediately you will need to make some choices that change either the plan or the amount of risk the insurance company is assuming. These choices may or may not be difficult depending on what you want out of your health insurance coverage. To learn about the different types of health insurance options that are available, check out the Insurance Information Institute.
If you are healthy and do not usually visit doctors more than once a year for a check up, you may want to consider a policy that covers catastrophic illness and injury only. Assuming the cost of your one regular visit and paying the lower health insurance premiums will be less costly for healthy individuals than investing in a more comprehensive health insurance plan.
However, if you use healthcare more often, a more comprehensive plan may be best. An HSA insurance plan may be a good option for you so you can put away pre-tax dollars for health care costs to help you save in the long run. Higher deductibles and out of pocket expenses will help keep the cost down on any type of private health insurance.
In the long run, you can help keep the cost of private health insurance down by taking control of the health factors that you can impact. This means, if you are overweight, take the initiative to get your weight under control. If you smoke, quit. If your leisure activities are high risk, make the decision to stop such things.
Finding a Competitive Insurance Price
As with any purchase save money with health insurance comparison before committing to anything. There is no easier way to shop for health insurance than by using an online quote tool. You simply answer a set of questions once and your data is then submitted to a variety of health insurance companies serving your state.
When you receive your quotes, you simply need to compare them in order to find the best price. The fact that they are based on the exact same information and the same type of coverage makes the job easy. However you need to compare more than just price.
Look closely at the health insurance company itself before you commit to a policy. It is important to know the insurer’s reputation for customer service and its financial standing before getting a plan. A simple online search can provide you with all the information you need about an insurer’s customer service record. For information about finances, check one of the independent insurance ratings companies like A.M. Best.
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