Why are there so many Americans who are uninsured? Because it costs too much. It's really that simple. Independent contractors and small business owners often forego getting their own health insurance plans, hoping nothing happens that could ruin their business and put them in the poorhouse. And, the growing number of Americans living before the poverty line could not afford health insurance if they wanted to.
There are some ways to get low-cost health insurance if you need to. We can all stand to save a couple bucks, but for some of us it's a necessity. Here are some ideas to help you get low cost health insurance.
Individual Health Insurance Plans
Everybody knows that you can save with group insurance plans, but not everyone knows that the average cost of individual plans is dropping. This is because more and more people are choosing individual plans because of the flexibility they offer, and that is forcing health insurance companies to be more competitive.
Go With An HMO
An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization [http://www.medicalhealthinsuranceguide.org/Affordable_Health_Insurance/], is a way to get insurance on a fixed budget. Think of it as a health insurance package deal. The HMO has a network of doctors that you can choose from. If you need to see a specialist or go to the hospital, they can refer you to one that is also under the same HMO plan.
HMOs are usually affordable, and they offer you a fixed price, so you do not have to worry about premiums changing. They also handle all the claims and paperwork for you, so they make the whole process easier.
The disadvantage of HMOs is the lack of flexibility. You have to go to the same doctor, and any doctor or hospital visits outside of your HMO will not be covered.
More Alphabet Soup – PPOs
A PPO is a Preferred Provider Organization. PPOs work just like HMOs but with a little added flexibility. For an extra cost, PPOs allow you to visit healthcare professionals outside of your chosen doctor when necessary. These plans are becoming more popular than HMOs in recent years because of the choices offered to carriers.
Fill Your Insurance Gaps With COBRA
COBRA is a program designed to allow those who have recently lost their insurance to stay on it until they find something new. It is ideal for those who have left their jobs, or who were covered under their spouse's insurance but were recently divorced or widowed. With COBRA, you can maintain your current plan for up to 18 months until you get a new health insurance plan.
Let The Big Guys Lend A Hand
There's no shame in seeking government assistance when you are in a tight spot. Think of you and your family's well-being. When you're really scrabbling bottom, there are a variety of low cost health care programs such as Medicare available. While these programs do not offer the same high quality coverage as a good health insurance plan, they will help cut down your medical expenses when you need them.
Health insurance is expensive but necessary. The number of Americans with no coverage at all is shocking. Do not be
intimidated by the high price; there are always ways to find low cost health insurance.