Medical care is slowly reaching new heights with each passing day. An average American struggles to get the medical expenses within his reach. Health insurance also does not present a pretty picture with the sky high premium rates and hundreds of out-of-pocket expenses. In all such unfavorable circumstances, an average or low income family is left with no insurance coverage. Needless to say, this can pose a major financial crisis for the family, should an emergency strike. A low cost health insurance plan can prove to be of great help in such conditions.
Advantages of Low Cost Health Insurance
It is an affordable insurance plan for individuals and families from low income groups. There are various types of insurance plans available. Some plans are especially targeted at unemployed individuals. Low cost insurance plans have lower premiums and other deductibles, thereby making them affordable even to families that have no extra funds to spare for health care. Health care insurance is also available to individuals who enjoyed employer’s coverage when they were employed, but were left uncovered due to lay offs. Such individuals can continue to enjoy the benefits through a scheme such as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Even college going children can get a coverage on their parent’s COBRA scheme.
Medicaid is a very beneficial and affordable health coverage. Although, it is mostly targeted at unemployed individuals, some employed families may also qualify for this insurance. The eligibility criteria for Medicaid is very strict and changes for every state. However, if you do not qualify for Medicaid, you should still keep yourself informed about the latest eligibility criteria as they keep changing it. Hence, even if you do not qualify one year, you may become eligible the next year.
The Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010 can provide respite to people who were denied insurance due to pre-existing medical ailments. This plan offers affordable health insurance benefits to families of sick people, including dependent children up to age 26. The provisions of these acts were later extended to offer coverage to people seeking early retirement from employment, through the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.
Besides, you can also seek insurance coverage from various federally funded health centers. These centers are located in every state and offer preventive, diagnostic and procedural coverage to low income groups. Also, one can explore the various group insurance programs, which pool the group money to provide financial assistance during medical emergency for its members. If you switch your jobs frequently or you still need some time to zero in on a long term insurance plan for your family but need to get insured quickly enough, then you can go for any of the short term health insurance plans. These plans cover you only for a short time, hence have lower premiums. Nonetheless, they offer you some breathing time before you commit to a long term plan.
Problems with Low Cost Health Insurance
Lower premiums often translate to higher deductibles, limited coverage and more out of pocket expenses. Besides, some low cost insurance plans may only provide coverage if you opt for medical services included in their network. Certain other plans may only cover hospital charges and physician’s expenses, thus you are required to arrange for preventive, diagnostic and post operative care. Hence, it is recommended that you weigh your options carefully before opting for a low cost insurance plan.
Low cost health insurance benefits can indeed prove to be of great help to uninsured people. After all, some kind of coverage is better than no coverage at all.