Affordable Health Insurance Options

According to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, people who are uninsured pay up to four times more for medical services than those who are insured because insurance companies and medical care providers negotiate behind the scenes. The unequal result of this practice is that uninsured people are burdened with the highest hospital bills. Thus, even if you cannot afford expensive and comprehensive health insurance plans, it is still important to seek some type of affordable health plan.
Affordable Health Insurance Option 1 – Medicaid
Medicaid is a state-managed program that is funded by both the states and federal government to provide health insurance for low-income individuals and families that meet the eligibility requirement. Each state has its own set of guidelines regarding eligibility, services, and payments. There are 25 different eligibility categories that can be classified into five broad groups: (1) pregnant women, (2) children and teenager, (3) the elderly, (4) the blind, and (5) the disabled. In general, you should apply for Medicaid if your are considered low-income under the federal income guideline and if you match one of the descriptions of the eligibility groups. Your total asset and immigration status are also considered in the overall assessment of the application. Note a child under the age of 18 can qualify for Medicaid if the child is a U.S. citizen or legal resident regardless of their guardians’ legal statuses.
Medicaid covers most health care services including hospital and nursing home care, lab tests, medical equipments, prescription drugs, and some dental care. It does not, however, cover podiatrists, chiropractors, naturopaths, psychologists, physical therapists, audiologists, or speech therapists.
Affordable Health Insurance Option 2 – Catastrophic Health Insurance
Catastrophic health insurance, also known as the major medical plan, is available to people who have good general health. Major pre-existing medical conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and schizophrenia may bar you from purchasing a catastrophic health plan. Catastrophic health insurance has high deductibles and very low monthly premiums. For instance, a 21-year old female nonsmoker would only need to pay $59 per month.
As implicated in its name, catastrophic health insurance only covers major hospital and medical expenses above a certain deductible. Most of the catastrophic health plans cover expenses for hospital stays, surgery, intensive care, diagnostic X-ray, and lab tests. All other expenses must be paid out-of-pocket. While it is possible to vary your level of coverage by selecting different deductible-plans, the deductible under catastrophic health plan is typically $2500 or higher. Catastrophic health insurance is a great alternative for those seeking affordable health insurance and who do not qualify for Medicaid.