There are many different resources available to individuals who are looking for low cost health care. With more and more employers cutting or not offering health insurance to their employees, people are looking for other ways to get health care coverage for themselves and their family.
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It is also important to differentiate the types of low cost health care. A low cost plan can be considered health insurance coverage premiums that are low, or it can be a health insurance plan that has very little out-of-pocket expenses to you as the insured. Which plan is best depends on your personal preference.
Are there low cost options available through employers?
Depending on your employer, there may be different health insurance coverage available to you and your family at a low cost. Many employers offer different types of coverage through different health insurance companies, and depending on the level, there can be no cost to you.
However, many of the low cost plans offered by employers will have some costs associated with them. A plan with a very low premium may have substantially higher co-pays, while a plan with a higher premium may have either low or no co-pays associated with them.
Are low cost health insurance plans available through state or federally funded programs?
Yes, most states offer low cost insurance plans for individuals who do not have access to other types of health insurance.
These plans are usually based on your total family income, and the out-of-pocket cost is usually low. As an example, New York State offers a program known as Family Health Plus, which allows you to purchase health insurance coverage at a low cost.
There are also low cost health insurance plans specifically designed for children, such as the New York State Child Health Plus plan. The cost of this plan is based on the family income, but can be free for all children if the family only earns about $25,000 per year or less.
For families that cannot afford any cost associated with health insurance premiums, there are Children’s Medicaid programs available. In addition, no hospital or emergency department can deny care to a child or adult in an emergency situation just because they do not have the ability or capacity to pay for the care.
Do all low cost health insurance plans offered prescription medication plans?
In most cases, health insurance plans that are very inexpensive do not offer prescription drug coverage. This is because prescription medications are usually the most costly portion of health insurance coverage.
However, this does not mean that if you have a low cost health insurance plan you cannot receive prescription medications. It is best to speak to speak to your physician or health care provider to let them know that you do not have prescription drug coverage.
Many times, the doctor can prescribe a generic medication rather than a name brand, so even if you have to pay for it, the cost will be much lower.
In addition, many physician offices have access to free samples of certain medications. If you are being prescribed a certain medicine, make sure you ask your doctor if he or she has any free samples available.
This cannot only save you money but can also give you the opportunity to try a new medication before committing to pay for it.
Can I pick my doctor with a low cost insurance plan?
The cost of the health insurance plan usually does not have any impact on which doctor you can choose. Most health insurance plans will have a list of “in-network” physicians that are accepting new patients with that specific health insurance coverage.
These physicians have a relationship with the health insurance company. In turn, using an “in-network” physician allows you to be treated by a practitioner that understands your coverage limitations and will most likely not perform a procedure that is not covered.
“Out-of-network” physicians are local doctors that do not have any type of relationship with your health insurance company. If you are adamant on using a physician that is “out-of-network,” make sure you speak to your health insurance company to find out what costs for which you will be responsible.
Most “out-of-network” doctors will require you to pay for your care directly, as they are not able to submit a claim to your insurance company. If you are truly in the market for low cost health insurance, it is best to choose an in-network doctor.