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Affordable Health Insurance

It is essential to find affordable health insurance.

Health costs can add up quickly. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Health costs can add up quickly.

Affordable Health Insurance

Insurance premiums continue to rise, and many hardworking individuals cannot afford coverage for themselves or their families, which is why finding affordable health insurance is so important. When employer-sponsored health insurance is not an option, the uninsured can take advantage of statewide or government programs designed to help low- and middle-class families. But what if a person is self-employed or cannot qualify for government assistance? In this instance, a person would have to find individual health insurance, which necessitates comparing plans and choosing the health plan that best fits into their budget.

Compare Health Insurance Plans

According to the National Coalition on Healthcare, approximately 47 million Americans do not have health insurance. With employers cutting benefits to reduce expenses, this number increases every year. Health insurance is a necessity, and there is a higher mortality rate among the uninsured. These persons are less likely to receive preventive treatments and annual checkups, which delays diagnosis of serious medical conditions. Another problem that affects some adults is the inability to obtain a health insurance policy. According to the AARP it is harder for people over the age of 50 to get a health insurance policy than it is for younger people. The cost of a policy is higher, and older individuals tend to deal with more health problems, making some insurance companies deem them uninsurable.

Finding affordable health insurance involves comparison shopping. There are plenty of health insurance providers and programs available. Health insurance brokers compile free health insurance quotes, in which the uninsured can provide their personal information and medical history and review no-obligation quotes.

Keeping Health Insurance Premiums Low

Fortunately, there are ways to keep health insurance premiums affordable. Health plans include different features. Most plans have a co-payment for office visits, which is a dollar amount a policyholder pays upfront before medical services are rendered. Some plans also may feature an annual deductible, which is the out-of-pocket expense a policyholder pays before the insurance company starts to pay benefits. Ideally, people looking for affordable health insurance want a plan with a low co-payment and no deductible. This lowers their annual out-of-pocket expense. However, these plans are more expensive.

To keep health insurance premiums affordable, it is advisable to look for an insurance plan that features a higher co-payment and deductible. These amounts vary according to health plans. Policyholders can reduce their monthly premiums by declining medical riders such as a prescription plan, dental plan and maternity rider.

Health Insurance Alternatives

Another option for those unable to afford insurance is to consider a medical discount plan. Discount plans are not insurance, but they are ideal for anyone who cannot obtain or afford coverage. These plans reduce health care costs and provide members with discounts on medical procedures and doctor visits. There are no co-payments or deductibles. Discount plans cover pre-existing conditions; and members can choose from a network of doctors. However, upfront payment is required for all medical services.

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