With many employers cutting back on providing health benefits and many insurance companies becoming increasingly reluctant to pay their policyholders claims, can you ever afford to get sick? Here are some things you should do to make sure you can afford to get sick.
Do not switch health insurance plans.
If your present coverage is adequate for your needs, if you have a serious medical condition or have a current health problem, switching health insurance plans will not work out to your benefit. A new insurer is likely to exclude coverage for any pre-existing medical condition and may decide that you are uninsurable if you have a serious medical problem. Even when you are in good health many insurers impose a waiting period on new policyholders for certain procedures. The exception to not switching health insurance plan is if your employer changes insurers. State law usually requires that the new insurer provide the same coverage without any penalty to you.
Never temporarily dropping out of a health plan
There are many companies that will offer you an annual list of benefits that you can choose from. This list of benefits include but is not limited to health insurance, paid vacations, life insurance, child care and retirement contributions. If you are a healthy employee you may choose to temporarily forego the medical plan in favor of other choices. The problem with that is the insurance company is in no way obliged to take you back as an individual after you waive group benefits.
Keep family coverage
Many companies will offer you financial incentives if as an employee you waive family coverage. Though it may not make sense to pay for double coverage when you and your spouse work, it is a gamble to drop coverage. Should the insured spouse die or lose their job, the family could find itself uninsured.
Be careful of any health insurance policy that excludes coverage if you become eligible for Medicare. If you are disabled by a devastating illness or injury you are eligible for Medicare. Many insurers would like to pass on the cost of catastrophic care to you the taxpayer even though you are paying premiums to ensure better protection than Medicare can provide in case of crisis. You should find a policy that pays costs over and above what Medicare will pay.
Choose well-known insurers
Beware of insurance companies you have never heard of. Go or call your state’s department of insurance and check the financial status of an insurer.
How do you get health insurance if you are a freelancer, or you are in business for yourself? If you are in business for yourself and if your spouses coverage will not add you on, then you will probably need to go out into the insurance world and get a few health insurance quotes and decide on which health plan best suits your needs.
Many people avoid going into business for themselves, or freelancing because they are afraid of being without health care benefits. This is not to say that health care benefits should not be a serious consideration, but there are many ways to get your health care benefits needs met.
Getting health insurance coverage is not as difficult or as costly as it once was. Many people just don’t know how to go about getting health insurance that is affordable.
The first thing you can do is check to see if your employer’s insurance carrier is on the cobra plan. It is most likely that they are, since it is a legal requirement that insurance carriers offer this type of coverage. COBRA is a coverage that a group insurer must carry. Here the insurer must cover a former employee for a period of two years after the employee has left the company. The only drawback is that the employee has to cover the premium amount that was previously covered by the employer.
Think about what your actual insurance needs are. Then go shopping for insurance coverage. Get health insurance quotes from several providers. There is no reason to go with only one provider. You would not buy the first pair of shoes you saw in the shoe store, so why would you consider buying the first health insurance quote you get.
Seek the services of an insurance broker. An insurance broker will get you several viable health insurance quotes. He will give you the analysis of each company that is offering health insurance quotes, and that way you will be able to make a more informed decision about your insurance needs.
Ask the broker if you can get better health insurance quotes by elevating your deductible. Many companies will give you a better insurance quote if you have a higher deductible.
Look into associations. Many associations offer you health insurance at group rate. Check out one of the professional associations like AARP.
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