In today’s uncertain times, health insurance is a necessity, allowing you access to medical care and protecting you from the financial burden of unexpected medical emergencies. At the same time, it also helps prevent illness by providing access to routine and preventive healthcare.
Adequate coverage is associated with lower death rates, improved health, and increased quality of life. Although, rising health insurance costs have made it difficult for people to access medical care when they need it the most. In fact, data suggests that nearly 1-in-4 Americans are avoiding medical care because of rising costs.
To mitigate inaccessible high prices, low-cost health insurance plans have surged in popularity. However, many individuals are unaware other options exist, causing them to forgo health insurance altogether. If you’re on the hunt for affordable plans, read on for no-fail tips on finding the perfect policy for your needs.
Try employer-sponsored health insurance
The most affordable way to obtain healthcare is through your employer. Large organizations are required to provide health insurance coverage for full-time employees through group policies. With these plans, your employer will pay partial fees, thereby lowering your premium. Employer-sponsored policies also enable you to cover your spouse or dependent children by paying an additional amount.
See If You Qualify for Medicaid
Medicaid is a public health insurance program jointly funded by federal and local governments, providing health care to individuals and families who meet specific income-based criteria. If you are a low-income individual, a person with disabilities, pregnant, or over the age of 65, Medicaid is the best way to receive health coverage for little to no cost.
As of September 2020, Medicaid covered nearly 70 million Americans under the program. However, coverage varies from state-to-state, so check your local government website for qualification requirements.
Look for insurance alternatives
You may be eligible for group health insurance if you’re a member of a specific profession or membership-based organization. The premium rates for organizations are generally lower because of the group discount, as they pool resources to cover medical costs. Check if your organizations provide group health insurance or research institutions that offer alternative plans and consider joining.
Do your research
If you’re not eligible for any of the above plans and have to purchase individual health insurance, do your research. Once you’ve determined your coverage needs, investigate important factors like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance to find the best value for your money. There are numerous low-cost options available, from primary care memberships to medical cost-sharing programs to health savings accounts.
Compare Plans (and Fine Print)
Once you’ve done your research and narrowed down your search for an affordable health insurance plan, compare all the options. Look at which options provide you with the most comprehensive coverage at the best rates. Additionally, consider deductible costs—up-front pricing can be misleading. Per-visit costs matter, too, so be sure to compare plans from all angles.
Accept short term insurance
If you don’t have health care coverage throughout the year, you’re subject to a tax penalty. However, to dodge additional charges and cover the gap until you can find affordable health insurance, look into short-term health insurance plans, which generally have lower premiums. Although low costs come with decreased benefits, short-term plans are a viable option for those needing temporary coverage.
Get insured, affordably
Affordable health insurance plays a vital role in helping you access medical care and avoid financial hardships. With these tips, you’re sure to find a plan that fits your budget and protects you in emergencies.