Health insurance is one of those things that we all know we need, but often times it can feel like an unattainable luxury. In the United States, the health insurance industry is a competitive market with a range of prices and coverage options. For some people, the price of health insurance is so high that they are forced to go without it. This can have devastating consequences if they become ill or injured and are unable to receive proper medical care. In this blog post, we will explore the reality of the health insurance industry and how you can find affordable health insurance for you and your family.
What is a health insurance?
Health insurance is a type of insurance that covers the cost of medical care. It can be purchased from a company, through the government, or as part of an employer-sponsored benefits package. Health insurance can help pay for doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and other health-care services. It typically includes some level of protection against high or unexpected medical costs.
What are the different types of health insurance?
There are four types of health insurance: private, public, nonprofit, and cooperative.
- Private health insurance is insurance that is provided by a for-profit company. The company contracts with healthcare providers to provide coverage to its members. Private health insurance can be either group or individual.
- Public health insurance is insurance that is provided by the government. The government contracts with healthcare providers to provide coverage to its citizens. Public health insurance can be either national or state-run.
- Nonprofit health insurance is insurance that is provided by a non-profit organization. The organization contracts with healthcare providers to provide coverage to its members. It can be either group or individual.
- Cooperative health insurance is a type of nonprofit health insurance where members of the cooperative pool their resources to pay for medical expenses. Cooperative health insurance can be either group or individual.
What are the benefits?
- It can help pay for medical expenses in the event of an illness or injury. This can include things like doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and prescription medications.
- It can provide peace of mind. Knowing that you have coverage in case of an emergency can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Health insurance can help improve your overall health. Having coverage gives you access to preventive care and routine screenings, which can catch health problems early and make them easier to treat.
- Having health insurance can save you money in the long run. While you may have to pay premiums and deductibles, this is typically less expensive than paying for all of your medical expenses out of pocket. In some cases, your insurance company may also offer discounts on things like gym memberships or healthy lifestyle programs
How to get affordable health insurance?
There are a number of ways to get affordable health insurance. Here are a few options:
- Get insurance through your employer: If your employer offers insurance, this is usually the most cheapest option. As a result your employer will typically pay a portion of the premium, and you will be responsible for the rest.
- Get insurance through the government: There are several government-sponsored programs that offer health insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare. These programs typically have lower premiums than private insurance plans.
- Shop around for private insurance: If you don’t have access to employer-sponsored or government-sponsored health insurance, you can shop around for private plans. Be sure to compare premiums, deductibles, and coverage levels before choosing a plan.
- Consider a high-deductible plan: High-deductible health plans can be a good option if you’re healthy and don’t expect to use your insurance much. These plans often have lower premiums than traditional health plans, but they also have higher deductibles (the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in).
What to consider in getting a health insurance?
- Total cost of the health insurance policy: Look at the annual costs, premium, metal categories (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), deductible, coinsurance, copay, out-of-pocket maximum, and out-of-network coverage. To list, Health maintenance organization (HMO) or Eexclusive provider organization (EPO) is the most cheapest health plan but require you to stay in the plan’s provider network. Preferred provider organization or PPO is a plan that gives you more flexibility, but that comes with a higher price tag.
- Your anticipated health care needs: If you don’t expect to need much health care, you may save by going with a high-deductible health plan. Still, if you expect to need more care, choosing a plan with a slightly higher premium but lower deductible may save you money over the year.
- Your health care providers: Make sure that your providers accept a health insurance plan before you buy it. To point out, check with your providers to confirm they take that specific insurance plan and don’t rely on the health insurance company’s online provider directory, which can be incorrect or out of date.
- Your health insurance options: Getting added to another person’s health plan may cost less than buying your own health insurance.
The terms you need to know
- Premium is the amount that you will need to pay for your healthcare insurance policy because it is usually paid monthly. Provided that, some policies may require yearly or quarterly payments.
- Deductible is the amount of money that you will need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance policy will start paying for covered medical expenses.
- Co-insurance is the percentage of covered medical expenses that you will need to pay after you have met your deductible. To sum up, f your co-insurance is 20%, and you have a $100 medical bill, you will need to pay $20 and your insurance company will pay $80.
- Out-of-pocket maximum is the most you will have to pay out-of-pocket in a year for covered medical expenses. With this conclusion, once you reach this amount, your insurance company will start paying 100% of the costs for covered expenses.
Top 10 affordable health insurance
Price is often one of the most important factors for many people. Here are 10 of the best options with their monthly full-price of Bronze plan purchased by a 40-year-old.
1. Kaiser Permanente – $338
Kaiser offers its own HSA
ACA-compliant plans available for individuals and families
Several top ratings in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Commercial Health Plan Study
Coverage only available in eight states and Washington D.C.
2. Ambetter – $377
Optional dental vision coverage
Customer service experience
Limited availability within 26 states
3. Oscar Health – $408
Digital healthcare experience
Talk to a doctor for $0
ACA-compliant plans available in eligible coverage areas
Shorter company history and offered in 22 states
4. Blue Cross Blue Shield – $414
Long company history and strong reputation
Global coverage available
Widely accepted by doctors and specialists
There are plenty of third-party negative user reviews online across
5. Bright Health – $420
Those looking for low-cost insurance
Those who want broad choices of doctors to see
Those who prefer frustration-free interactions
6. Anthem – $428
Most people who need standard health insurance plans and coverage
Those who want to combine health insurance with vision, dental or other policies
Those who prefer personalized service or smaller companies.
Those who are connected about coverage details.
7. United Healthcare – $468
Long company history
Short-term health insurance available
Offers ACA-compliant plans
Below average ratings in almost all regions in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Commercial Health Plan Study
Some short-term plans are not available in every state
8. Cigna – $560
$0 annual checkups
Talk to a nurse 24/7
Multiple coverage types available
Several top ratings in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Commercial Health Plan Study
ACA-compliant individual and family plans only available in 13 states
In conclusion, if you’re looking for affordable health insurance, there are a few options available to you. The best place to start is by visiting your state’s healthcare website, which will have information on the different plans that are available. There are also a lot of private companies that offer health plans so be sure to shop around and compare rates before making a decision.
For more health ideas and insights, visit Centric Healthcare.