Do you have a health insurance plan? If so, you may be wondering how much it costs. Health care is becoming more and more expensive with each year that passes, leading many people to wonder if they can find cheaper alternatives to group health insurance. Luckily for you, there are plenty of great options out there. In this blog post, we will discuss the best health insurance alternatives for your budget!
Health Insurance Alternatives
As we said before, health care is expensive, and it’s only getting more expensive. If you want to go without health insurance coverage, you will still be required to pay a tax penalty fee mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). When you feel as though your current insurance plan is too much for your budget or that you can’t afford to pay the penalty, here are some free or very cheap alternatives.
All of the following alternatives to group health insurance options require you to self-report and file your taxes correctly and completely and may be subject to an additional tax (although, again, we all know how difficult it is for many people to do that).
Health Insurance Sharing Plans
One thing you can do if you don’t have health insurance but still want to avoid the penalty is to purchase a “health insurance sharing plan.” These plans are also known as an HCS or HCTC. They are called “sharing” because they allow several people to join together and share their expenses. This is often a lot cheaper than having an insurance plan on your own, and you can save up to 50%! The plans usually include a few different levels, such as bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Each of these includes different benefits and costs.
The health insurance sharing plans are free or very cheap, but what if you’re looking for something just a little bit cheaper than the options above? Many people will turn to short-term health insurance. This is basically like accident insurance; it covers you for up to 365 days, and you can get it for up to 12 months at a time. The great thing about these plans is that they are very cheap! You can get them for around $100 or less per month, depending on the plan you choose. These plans usually cover prescriptions and doctor’s visits (although you will have to pay out-of-pocket for other services, such as hospital visits).
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans
If you are unemployed, self-employed, or do not qualify for Medicaid, then this might be the best health insurance alternative for you. Unfortunately, these plans will not cover prescriptions, and they may take a few months to kick in, but if you need something cheap right now, this is probably your best bet! Plus, it’s better than nothing!
Be aware; short-term health insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. So, if you already have something like diabetes and need ongoing care for it, you will not be covered with a short-term health insurance plan. And lastly, this type of insurance does not qualify for the ACA’s subsidy, meaning you will still have to pay the penalty.
Long-Term Health Insurance Plans
These plans are similar to the short-term ones, but they do cover pre-existing conditions. The downside is that they can be pretty expensive. Plus, these plans will cover doctor’s visits and hospital stays, ambulance rides, and even surgeries! So if you have a chronic condition or other ongoing medical needs, this may not be the best option for you; however, if you don’t need medical care at the moment and want to save money with long-term coverage, then it is worth looking into.
Long-term health insurance plans are essential to ensure you and your family have the protection you need in times of medical need. However, managing these plans requires a lot of data entry. Don’t let filing insurance claims data entry be a headache for you or your employees; options are available to help streamline the process!
What Other Key Factors Should You Know?
As you can see, there are several different types of health insurance alternatives. But it is important to remember that none of these will cover prescriptions! So, if you have a serious medical condition that requires ongoing medication, then none of these options will benefit you. In addition to the plans listed above, there are several other alternatives for individuals and families without Health Insurance. However, most of those alternatives do not protect against the tax penalty. So make sure you investigate all of your options carefully.
The government is also offering several grant and loan programs to help people pay for health insurance premiums. In addition, employers can cover part or all of the cost of these premiums. You really should do some research because there are a lot of different ways to go about getting yourself covered!
As we always say, if you want good service and don’t like worrying about how you’re going to pay for unexpected medical expenses, then you should probably get a good insurance plan! Short-term health insurance, long-term health insurance, and sharing plans are all great options for people on a budget. But if you can still afford to pay your monthly premiums, it is worth looking into an ACA plan or other more reliable private plans.
By looking into these three different options for health insurance alternatives, you will find something that meets your specific situation and budget. No matter what plans you end up choosing, remember to carefully read the policy, so you know all of your rights and obligations! If you have questions or if anything is unclear then contact our company directly. Be safe and good luck!