MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 1
Ways to Find Affordable Health Insurance Options In 2021
Looking for that perfect and affordable health insurance plan can be a daunting task considering there are many options out there. But what if you missed the enrolment window? That would mean less fitting options for you.
But do not fret. There are still ways for you to find affordable health insurance. The trick is to keep in mind your purpose for getting one so you can get the most out of it.
The Scenario for the Uninsured
Statistics show that there is a 1 in 5 chance that you will be needing emergency health care between the ages of 25 - 44. If you manage to get severe injury, which is far from impossible, it could cost you as much as $16,000 if you’re uninsured.
If you’re not prepared for such an expensive freak accident, then that scenario won’t look good for you.
Back when the ACA (Affordable Care Act) was passed, unless you were exempted due to a certain criteria, you were required to cover penalty taxes if you don’t have health coverage. But this year, you won’t have to pay for penalty taxes for going without health insurance.
So yes, there will be no fees for going uninsured. But that does not mean you should consider going without health insurance.
Where To Look For Affordable Health Insurance
These are some options to look into outside of open enrollment if you’ve missed its deadline for application. Regardless of your health insurance needs, always remember that shopping around and weighing your options can help you find the affordable health insurance that fits perfectly with your needs.
Check the websites of insurance companies you trust. They give out more detailed info on their websites than on state exchanges. Apart from that, you can compare plans directly from the site and apply online conveniently.
The downside though is you won’t have access to affordable health insurance plans from other companies. But this won’t be a problem if you’ve already set your eyes on a certain insurance company.
Or Through An Insurance Agent
They can help you weigh out the pros and cons if you’re overwhelmed by your choices.
Knowing what insurance company you trust also helps make this process easier. If so, you can hire “captive” agents who represent only one company.
But if you feel the offers are lacking from one company, you can seek assistance from independent agents who can help you with a wider selection of health care plans from different companies.
Consider Special Programs
You can also try to apply through your state health insurance exchange to know if you qualify for special programs. Once you’ve passed eligibility, you are allowed to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) any time of the year.
COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act)
This is relatively an expensive alternative to being insured. You won’t be sharing the insurance expenses with your employer. You will be the one paying for the entire plan.
Nevertheless, with this option, you can stay insured for up to 18 months even after leaving employment.
Ask Your Parents
You also have the option to stay on your parents’ health insurance plan thanks to ACA (Affordable Care Act).
This is applicable if you’re under the age of 26.
Look into High-Deductible Plans
If you think you won’t be using your health insurance as much, you can try applying for high- deductible plans.
Those under 30 years old, or over 30 who qualify for a hardship exemption, can apply for low premium high-deductible plans, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Getting this health plan allows you three visits to your primary care doctor annually, free prescriptions, and other health essentials.
Experts suggest this plan fits well for the young and healthy.
Do Not Be Fooled By Short-Term Plans
Also coined as temporary health insurance plans. This is the cheapest of all plans mentioned and usually last for 3 months. They should cost you around $75 monthly.
However, there is a catch. If you have already availed medical advice or treatment prior to applying for new health insurance, your short-term plan provider might not cover you.
Short-term plans have little coverage. Preventive measures are possibly not part of the list as well. They also come with caps on lifetime care. In the event of a grave illness or injury, you could possibly run short on coverage.
Can the ACA be considered an Affordable Health Insurance Option?
The ACA enables everyone easier access to affordable health insurance. However, keep in mind that getting coverage from ACA does not automatically mean having lower costs on health insurance.
Unless you qualify for a certain criteria, enroll within the deadline to gain access to more affordable health insurance options.
Affordable Health Insurance Plans in the ACA Marketplace
There are 4 tiers of health insurance plans.
These are bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Respectively, each kind of plan cover 60%, 70%, 80% and 90% of health care expenses.
Are Coverages Cheaper Through the Marketplace?
Health insurance is generally cheaper looking through the marketplace if 1) you have health problems 2) if your income allows you eligibility for subsidies.
However, if you’re young and looking healthy, you may find the options in the marketplace less impressive.
More Things To Keep in Mind When Looking For Affordable Health Insurance
Don’t forget that cheap insurance does not really mean it’s worth it.
Just because a plan has a low monthly premium does not mean you should automatically get one. You also have to consider fixed co-pay prices and other expenses that come with availing an insurance.
Always keep in mind that if it’s too good to be true, you might have to re-evaluate the fine print just to see if there’s no catch.
Remember that your health is your most important investment. Spending a few bucks a month on affordable health insurance that covers your needs is the wisest decision you can make for a secure future.
On a Similar Note