Lack of health insurance coverage for over 41 million Americans is one of the nation’s most pressing problems. While most elderly Americans have coverage through Medicare and nearly two-thirds of non-elderly Americans receive health coverage through employer-sponsored plans, many workers and their families remain uninsured because their employer does not offer coverage or they can not afford the cost of coverage. Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) or HAWK-I here in Iowa help fill in the gaps for low-income children and some of their parents, but the reach of these programs is limited. As a result, millions of Americans without health insurance face adverse health consequences because of delayed or foregone health care and extending coverage to the uninsured has become a national priority. -( Information taken from kff.org).
The number of people that are forced to go without health insurance is nothing less than a crisis in this country today. We have fallen into a vicious cycle over the last few decades in which health insurance premiums have become too expensive for even a middle class family to afford. This in turn results in the inability of the uninsured to cover medical costs which often times results in the financial ruins of the family, and in turn results in the continuing loss of income by the medical community, which in turn drives the cost of medical expenses higher, finally cycling back to the insurance company which then must drive the premiums of health insurance higher to help cover the rising cost of health care.
Many proposals have been tossed around by politicians on both sides of the isle ranging from socializing health care comparable to the Canadian system, to endorsing health savings accounts and cracking down on frivolous law suits against the medical community. Many of these proposals have good points, but along with whatever good points they bring they also bring major downfalls. For instance; a socialized national health care program would eliminate the need for health insurance all together and the cost would be taken on by taxes, which in theory doesn’t seem like a bad idea. However, the downfalls to this system include a deficit in new doctors willing to get into the field due to the inevitable decline in income while the demand would grow due to no personal responsibility. In short if people didn’t have to worry about deductibles or copays that would normally keep the person from seeking medical treatment for minor things, they would simply go to the doctor every time they had an ache or pain. So now we have waiting lines for people with major health problems since everyone is scheduling an appointment while at the same time we are losing doctors due to lack of incentive.
The current battle cry by the republican Bush administration is to push HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts) which reduce premium by taking a less expensive high deductible health insurance plan with a tax deferred savings account that earns a small interest on the side that you contribute to along with your premiums each month. Any money withdrawn from the savings account for qualified medical expenses are taken “tax-free”, and unlike a flex spending account like many people are familiar with in employer based plans, you don’t lose the money you put into the account that you don’t use. Basically if you never used any of that money in the savings account you could withdrawal or roll it over into another vehicle once you turn 62 1/2 penalty free to be used for retirement. This is a viable option for some people, however for many the premiums for these plans are still too expensive, and the problem remains that if you need major treatment in the first few years of the policy you will not have a big enough amount in the savings account to help cover the gaps leaving that person responsible for a large portion of the cost out of pocket.
Now we come to what I believe is one of the biggest problems from a health insurance agent’s point of view, which is the inability for persons with pre-existing health conditions to obtain coverage. safe guard health From the number of people that contact my office searching for health insurance coverage, I would have to say that about half of them have a health condition that will either result in an insurance company declining that persons application, or result in an amendment rider which basically excludes coverage for any claims related to that condition.
An example of a condition that I run across constantly is hypertension or high blood pressure. This condition will sometimes result in a company declining an application all together if other factors are involved, but most generally result in an amendment exclusion rider. group health insurance Arizona You may think that this isn’t that big of a deal, after all, blood pressure medicine is about the only thing they would have to pay for out of pocket, but what many people don’t realize is that this rider will exclude ANYTHING that could be considered part of this condition including heart attacks, strokes, and aneurisms which would all result in a huge out of pocket claim.
Consider the fact that my father had a double by-pass surgery recently that ended up with a final bill of around $150,000. This whole amount would have had to come out of pocket had he had a hypertension rider on his health insurance policy, not to mention the added cost of 2 months off of work thrown into the mix. On a modest income of $40,000 per year this would have ruined him financially.
Finding affordable, low cost health insurance may seem difficult, but with a bit of planning, searching, and researching you will be able to find a health insurance policy that offers the coverage you need at a low cost price you can afford.
Follow these steps to get started.
Look at your budget. After you pay your monthly bills and set aside enough money for essentials such as food and gas, how much money do you have to spend on health insurance? Be truthful with yourself. Do not imagine money that is not there, and do not overlook money that is. You want to spend enough for adequate health insurance, insurance broker Tucson but you do not want to put yourself in a bind. Once you are aware of your budget, you can begin searching for health insurance that is low cost and affordable according to your budget.
Consider your options. The ideal option is probably your employer or your spouse’s employer. If you have the option of purchasing a group health insurance policy from your employer or your spouse’s employer, blue cross blue shield of arizona small business choose it. Group health insurance policies are usually the most affordable, low cost health insurance policies available. Of course, not everyone has that option. If you do not, consider contacting your state’s insurance department to find programs that offer affordable, low cost health insurance plans for which you’re eligible.
Research several health insurance companies. If you are not eligible for any programs that offer affordable, low cost health insurance plans and have opted to purchase an individual health insurance plan, make sure to research several health insurance companies before making a decision. goodrx coupon Getting affordable health insurance at a low cost will not matter if the health insurance policy does not provide the exact coverage you need.
You should not rush when searching for affordable, low cost health insurance. Consider your budget, explore your options, and find a policy that is right for you.