When going for health insurance is affordability a good idea?

You’re self-employed and struggling with the idea of launching a start-up or have just received the boot from your family for not launching yourself when you were 18.

Well, news flash – you’re 26 now, and in addition to fending for yourself, you have to opt for a health insurance plan that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), any registered company with more than 50 full-time workers will face a tax penalty if it doesn’t offer full premium health coverage to its employees. Most companies tend to deduct a fraction of the employee’s wage to finance an affordable yet comprehensive health insurance plan. With employee-only perks, this deductible is about 9.86% of the total family income, with options to upgrade as per family requirements.

Why do you need Private Health Insurance?

  • If you’re unemployed, self-employed, or working part-time, you might need to file for an independent yet private health insurance plan that’s not only affordable but cost-effective and efficient of its policies.
  • The ACA requires 26-year-olds – and older to take a leap from their parents’ health policies and start looking for their own. If you’re unemployed, health insurance can rescue you in times when medical or surgical emergencies begin taking a toll on your bank account.
  • With part-time jobs as well, it is rare that your company might take care of you and provide healthcare benefits. Since it isn’t punishable by law, working part-time without reaping any health benefits is practically legal, giving you the push you need to start looking for a private health insurance plan.
  • If you’re self-employed and managing a team of more than 50 full-time employees, you will be expected to pay their health coverage premiums as well. If you’re struggling for your own, paying your employees’ premiums can become hard and negligible, causing you to commit a state offense. If you look into private insured plans, you can find health coverage companies that provide group insurances or business health coverages as well.
  • You’re retired and can no longer fend for your family with the health coverage perks that your employers had in store for you. If you are healthy beyond the age of 65 and receive a pension, you can either apply for public healthcare insurance plans such as Medicare or simply signup for private insurance companies to provide for your medical expenses. But this would mean that the retiree’s family has to look for their own private insurance coverage plans as they’re no longer affiliated with the company of their provider.

Even if your ex-insurer penalizes you, there might be other reasons such as an affordability crisis that can motivate one to cancel their health coverage from a reputed insurer. So, here’s where we stand – with health insurance a vital necessity, can or is affordability an option that you can/should consider? We think so, yes.

Lower Family Incomes Pay more Health Coverage Premiums

As per the KFF Analysis of Current Population Survey, 2017, it was found that families that nestled twice as below the poverty level paid for their health coverage by taking out 14% of their family income on average.

For families with sick members, this deductible is even higher and might require out-of-pocket contributions despite being on employer-health coverage plans. Premiums are charged at a consistent level y companies, warranting more over-the-top contributions by employees for just being ‘able’ to take care of their family members with worsening health.

For families that are lying below 400% of the poverty level, the resources provided by independent companies are so meager that they have to either opt for separate health coverage plans or only out of health insurance as a whole. For employees with moderate or stable incomes, affordability might still be an issue, but thankfully, state-governed ACA is looking into it and coming up with cost-effective premiums that provide more coverage for fewer premiums.

How to Choose a Private Health Insurance Plan?

You can never be sure of any emergency or the medical bill that’s going to line up in your mailbox the second you’re discharged from the hospital. Deciding whether you need health insurance or not based primarily on the area of affordability and cost-effectivity might affect you, but you have to start somewhere.

Choosing an affordable plan as per your salary per annum is an ideal way to settle for a health coverage insurance rather than steering clear of it in the open and welcoming substantial medical bills. Consider keeping the following options in mind when opting for private or independent health insurance.

  • Each health coverage insurance comprises a maximum of four plans; that is ‘Silver, Gold, Bronze, and Platinum.’ In addition to these four, many companies also issue affordable coverage options such as ‘catastrophic-only’ plans or ‘short-term’ plans that you can choose when you’re paying from your pocket. Read the categories with an open mind and decide which premium best coordinates with your healthcare needs and salary cuts.
  • Always remember – you might be paying a certain deductible every month, which can become a bit heavy on the pocket if you’re not using your insurance every month. Try not to think it this way. You are preparing a safety net for unforeseen circumstances and emergencies, which might require paying both a salary deductible and an out-of-pocket amount as well.
  • Each plan has its limitations of networking. Some plans allow you to take up your healthcare business with almost any other doctor, while others require you to stick to their preferred healthcare facility. But if you want to consult a doctor that’s out of your health coverage’s network, you might have to pay more. It’s better to settle for a healthcare facility that lies within your system or choose a plan that extends to the facilities you require in the first place.

Health insurance can be affordable – but there is no looking back to the premiums or out-of-pocket surplus charges that you might pay. When affordability is an issue, it is better to take this up to your legal attorney or employer so that you can discuss the perks of plan you can afford instead of settling what looks somewhat close to your pocket benchmark.

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her at @meetalycia.