There’s a lot of confusion about health insurance options. However, don’t be distracted by the politicians and the media hype, healthcare is real and you need to know what’s out there for you.
Under the Affordable Care Act, there are 10 essential health benefits that all individual insurance plans are REQUIRED to cover. It’s also important to note that each insurer can define how they cover each benefit. When shopping around for low-cost health insurance, it’s important to know the facts and know what you need; or at least give it serious thought. Here are some tips and options to help guide you through purchasing affordable health care.
Outpatient care (doesn’t require admission to a hospital)
Emergency room visits
Inpatient care in a hospital
Care before and after your baby is born
Mental health and substance use disorder services
Services/devices to help you recover from an injury or deal with a disability or chronic condition (including physical and occupational therapy)
Dental care and vision care for kids
What Matters To You
Take it all in, it’s a big list…now start deciding what really matters to you. There is no sense in paying for what you don’t need…right now. Always keep in mind that you can only change your benefits during open enrollment or a qualifying life change. If you visit the Healthcare.gov website, you’ll be able to see if you’ve experienced a qualifying life change. While you’re on the site, you can take advantage of the next tip.
Apply for Medicaid
You never know…depending on your state and your income, you just might qualify. Parents can apply for CHIP MEDICAID for their children. This could provide working parents with some relief to the more expensive options their employers offer. It doesn’t hurt to try and there is no shame in getting free healthcare for yourself and your family. After all…we are searching for low-cost affordable health insurance.
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, the next step is open enrollment. Every year the health insurance market opens up, and people are able to make changes to their existing plans and shop for new ones. The window is brief and you have to make your changes or purchase insurance by the close of the market. Failure to make changes can have you paying for obsolete benefits for another year; while failing to purchase insurance can result in a financial penalty. With that being said, missing open enrollment is not the end of the world.
Qualifying Life Event
If you find yourself in December with the same old insurance, technically you’re out of luck. You’ve missed the window and you’re stuck till next November unless you’ve undergone a qualifying life change. Qualifying life changes can be (but are not limited to): the birth of your child, marriage, and loss of health insurance. If you experience one of these events before or after open enrollment, you can go to Healthcare.gov and request to make changes. It will be determined if you qualify and if you do, you may proceed to make the necessary changes.
You Win When They Compete
The most important tip to remember when shopping for low-cost health insurance is to SHOP AROUND! You wouldn’t (at least I hope) buy the first car you found, or the first outfit or even the first piece of jewelry. You’d shop around for the best price and the best options. While Healthcare.gov is an amazing tool with a wealth of information and even insurance you can purchase, it is still one option of many. Do yourself a favor and shop around. When these insurers see that you’re in the market, it’s on them to close the deal, not the other way around.
Which Option is Right For You?
There are many options out there and it can be a bit overwhelming. It’s important to get the facts on coverage and then determine what you and/or your family needs. Apply for Medicaid, you might be surprised. If you’re not eligible for Medicaid then wait for open enrollment or see if you qualify for a life-changing event. Don’t stop shopping at the first deal you see, continue to look around and make these insurers EARN your business and hard earned money. Take your life and your health into your own hands.
Apply For Medicare
Most people who are over 65 or disabled will apply to Medicare, and they will find that they can get into this insurance quickly because it was designed for someone like them. The people who are trying to make the best choices for their insurance might contact the national call center for Medicare because they can apply for Medicare on the phone, get instructions for applying online, and check the coverage options that they have. The coverage options for the customer change based on the companies that are available and someone who wants to use Medicare might need to have an exemption because of their age or their disability status.
You Can Make Changes Every Year
The enrollment period that people use to apply allows them to see all the different parts of the of the Medicare system. They can check all the coverage options, and they can see all the companies that do the Medicare plans. They can choose companies that provide them with drug assistance, and they can take a look at the Advantage plans that they need. The Advantage plans that people take, allow them to make a monthly payment that will pay for their medical care. This is a very simple way for people to get the coverage they need, and they can even go under Part B to get help for medical equipment and transportation to medical facilities. All these things are chosen at the enrollment period, and there are a lot of people who will find that they need all four parts of Medicare in order to get the help that they need.
Affordable Health Care Through Other Means
A company that provides affordable health care also works with Medicaid because they provide local care to people who need it. Someone who wants to get the medical care that they need through an affordable company might apply through their local government that will administer Medicaid. This also means that most people who apply can get dental, vision, and medical care worth no problem. This also means that a lot of people who are applying for coverage can extend that coverage to their kids. That makes it much easier for people to know that everyone is covered, and it also allows people to know that they have coverage for things that they might not have had covered before.
The Health Coverage Is Easy To Use
The health coverage that people get is usually set up to help them in their local area, and there are many companies that will help people get care close to their home. Someone who wants to be sure that they can get medical coverage also needs to apply through their state so that they can get state coverage. The state coverage does extend beyond the network, and it helps people to be comfortable when getting help for themselves or their kids. They present their card, and they get the care they need.
The company that provides affordable health care also offers emergency care, and they will make it easier for people to get an ambulance at their location or go to an emergency clinic. You can apply to have this included in your insurance plan, which could make this benefit cheaper and that means that they can be given the help that they need without worrying about how they will access care. Someone who is trying to get healthcare needs to search for the plans that truly offer emergency care. Emergency care is important but not all plans offer it in the right way. This means that people should check the plan carefully before signing up. They can get this care through both Medicaid and Medicare, or they can apply online through other services that are available.
The Plans Offer No Premium For The Qualified
The plans that offer no premium for those who qualify because that makes it easier for them to gain the insurance they need. The people who apply will find that they need to send in all their financial information. They can use the online application system to see how much coverage they qualify for, and they will learn which plans they qualify for as the page narrows their choices.
Someone who is trying to make sure that they can get health insurance also needs to remember that they can save a lot of money and time if they have just applied online. Applying online allows people to get the insurance they need, and they can slip into Medicare or Medicaid fairly easily. There is a local office for most of these plans, and the people who apply can get service there or use their card to go into a medical clinic for care.
Created by health and insurance professionals, Gov Health Option provides a one-stop source for healthcare from insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and options for children. Let Gov Health Option help you understand your health care options.