Are you high and dry when it comes to health care? Not having health insurance can leave you worrying about even a little sneeze. You know you can’t afford the hospital bills without it (at least not easily) but your employer doesn’t offer it. What do you do? Especially if you’re your own employer? It’s okay if you don’t know where to start. There wasn’t a private health insurance class you missed in high school. Thousands of people have the same question and issue as you, but we’ve been lucky enough to help them. Can we help you too? Hopefully, but first, you should read the guide on private health insurance below.
What is Private Health Insurance?
When you listen to politics, there’s always talk about allowing the privatization of health insurance. Basically, there are two types of insurance. Government-controlled like Medicare or Medicaid and then there are private companies. It would be the difference between if the government offered car insurance and Geico, for example. They both do the same thing, but there are subtle differences. It’s hard to get on Medicare unless you qualify with certain strict requirements, like a disabilty or turning 65. Medicaid programs like HIP are typically only available to those with incomes below the poverty line, although qualification for children is more lenient. So people turn to private health care, like the kind we offer instead of jumping through bureaucratic hoops.
Which Plan is Right For You?
Let’s say your child or you do qualify for Medicaid, great. But is that your best option? To know that, you’d want to work with an experienced insurance agent that can compare networks and out of pocket cost. Insurance agents are qualified to compare and contrast plans based on cost and coverage. They know what kinds are available in the local area and how you can qualify. For example, did you know you can get short-term health insurance coverage? Maybe you lost your job but you’re working on getting a new one. You know the new job you take will have health insurance, so you don’t need to start a new lifelong plan. You just need a Band-Aid to cover you and your family from now until then. You have that choice. Short-term plans are available for you, at the click of a button. Learn more about them here. Or maybe you have a health insurance policy through your school or current job, but it’s not great. Then an agent can set you up with an Indemnity or supplement plan. This is a mini-coverage plan that essentially fills in the gaps of what your other plan doesn’t offer. It’s not enough to replace a health plan completely, but it may be a more affordable choice than choosing an entirely new plan.
In 2010, President Obama signed an act into law called the Affordable Care Act. It put restrictions on private insurance companies on the amounts they can charge and requires certain no-cost and low-cost services. Like preventative checks, they’re free on ACA accredited plans. It also allowed parents to leave their children on their health insurance until age 26, which is a great thing if you have college-aged children.
The ACA is not one plan, though people sometimes get confused. It’s a set of legal guidelines for individual insurance providers. But, since it’s based in politics, the requirements shift and change. You’ll need a professional to help you sort through them and help you find one with the right type and level of coverage.
Faith Share Plans
You know the collection basket at church? What if that could pay for your medical bills? Stick with me. Faith share plans (or Health Sharing) are comparable to small people-owned insurance companies, where all the members share the costs. They offer individual plans along with multi and family plans. They’re great for people who currently have few healthcare needs, but want to know they will get the help they need if their health takes a turn for the worse. Instead of a premium, you make a monthly contribution, this is your donation to the collection basket. And instead of a deductible you have a MRA or a member responsibility amount. It allows you to have your services and if you don’t use them, then the money can go to someone else. If you’re faith driven and love giving back, this is a great choice.
What to Look for in a Plan
Now that you have an idea of the types of plans that are available, how do you know what type of coverage you need? The easiest way is to talk to an experienced human about it, but if you want some background information, here you go.
Does your plan cover catastrophic illness? A dramatic term, but an important question. You’ll want to know that your health insurance plan will cover you if you get really, really sick. If all you had was an indemnity plan, then you’d be out of luck. That’s why we don’t recommend indemnity as a sole solution. Does the plan cover mental health? If you have any diagnoses or want to use therapy, it’s necessary to find a plan that covers those costs. Psychiatrists are expensive, as is behavioral therapy. Does it cover birth and birth costs? Fertility treatments? If that’s a concern for you, you certainly don’t want to pay out of pocket. Does the plan have your doctor and preferred hospital in network? Any plan is going to charge much more if you use a doctor not in the network and many plans don’t even allow you to do it. Are your medications covered by the plan? You don’t want to find out your heart medication isn’t covered on the day you run out. These are just a few of the things you should consider when buying healthcare coverage.
Finding Private Health Insurance
Hopefully, our guide gave you a better idea of what your options are as an individual plan seeker. It’s not as easy as online shoe shopping, but there are good resources out there. We’d like to be one of those resources for you if you’re in Indiana, Alabama or surrounding states. Your agent Larry Medcalf will take careful note of your needs and help find the perfect private health insurance plan for you. It’s worth having someone on your side to wade through the paperwork and to hold any hoops you have to jump through steady. Learn how to get a consultation here.