Even though you don’t plan to become debilitated or suffer a serious injury, the possibility of having a healthcare issue in your life is always present. With the high cost of medical treatment, finding an affordable health insurance plan is a must. Here are three tips to help you navigate through your options:
Be Sure To Shop Around
One method to use when you are looking for affordable healthcare is to purchase coverage directly through a health insurance company. By going to the websites of policy providers, you can compare plans and research detailed information.
Another method is to buy through an agent. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, contacting an expert who understands the ins and outs of a variety of healthcare plans can help take the burden off of your decision. When going this route, you’ll want to use an independent agent who has the ability to choose from a multitude of insurers.
A third option is to go online and use an insurance finder. These websites are similar to independent agents as you can choose from different companies. This may be a good way to get started so you can learn about the policies that are available. If you need extra help, you can contact an individual agent and speak to them in person.
Utilizing A High Deductible
Of course, you never know when a health catastrophe will occur in your life, but you may want to consider utilizing a high deductible plan that includes low monthly premiums. According to the ACA, you can choose this type of policy if you meet certain criteria — you must be under 30 years old or qualify for a hardship exemption such as bankruptcy, a recent eviction or homelessness if you are over the age of 30.
Another tip is to open up a health savings account (HSA) if you decide to utilize a high deductible plan. By using an HSA, you can save money completely tax-free and still pay for your healthcare needs.
Short-Term Plans May Have Pitfalls
When you are shopping around, you may see temporary or short-term health insurance plans that are inexpensive. These can cost as little as $50-$100 per month. Understand that these type of policies do not have protection as ACA guidelines do not apply to them. Problems can occur if you have a pre-existing condition or become ill — the provider may not renew your plan or you may not even be covered.
Be sure to see if the plan you are looking for has a lifetime cap, preventative care such as physicals or immunizations. Most of these short-term plans will not.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!