Thursday, April 26, 2012

What should I do about medical insurance?

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What should I do about medical insurance? 

By far, this is my most common reader question. My family is very fortunate that my part-time employer provides medical insurance at no cost to me. I feel like my family does a lot to insure our own health by eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, even if you take great care of yourself, you just never know what the future brings.

I'm not an insurance expert, but here are some insurance options that might work if don't have employer-provided affordable coverage:
  •  Look up insurance agencies in the phone book and get quotes. For a while we used an agency from a company who shopped around for the best quote. It was great because that one agent could give us at least five good options that she could provide. I also loved having that agent to call with questions or concerns. The coverage was surprising affordable too.

  • Check with the local hospitals. Sometimes hospitals also have their own health plans that are affordable. We've had this kind of coverage as well. Of course, you'll want to make sure any coverage you get covers major medical and catastrophic stuff--not just regular doctor's visits.

  • Carry a high deductible. If you have a six month emergency fund and are mostly needing insurance for catastrophic purposes, consider carrying a $5,000 or higher deductible. This can prevent you from going bankrupt if you have a serious medical issue arise. In this scenario, you'll probably want to rely on health clinics for routine care or minor injuries.

  • Consider all alternatives. One of my favorite blogs, Stacy Makes Cents, did a great post about alternative plans. She mostly talks about faith based plans, but there are also other kinds out there. 
  • You may qualify for state insurance, especially for your children. Check with your local department of social services or their website. You may be surprised at how high the income guidelines are!
I hate hearing that some of my readers struggle to insure themselves and their families. This is a struggle that my family and I can absolutely relate to. It makes me angry that medical care costs so much. Sometimes it seems that there aren't easy answers when it comes to health insurance.

What options have you used to insure your family? Have you ever had to go uninsured? Are you aware of insurance options that I didn't mention? 

1 comment:

  1. We have a high deductible plan. It was the only plan we could afford as the only other option was $1200/month. Physicals and well baby visits are covered, so we're basically paying our premium as a "just in case". Which is great now that I'm pregnant and prenatal care isn't covered. Our deductible is $5400. A recent er trip for our son will cut that in half. We offset the deductible with a pre- tax HSA. Anytime we swipe that card at the doctor or pay a medical bill, our deductible drops. Should nothing else go wrong, we should have our deductible paid off by the time I have the baby.
    We chose this option because we feel insurance is important. God forbid something major happens, we're protected against thousands in medical bills. But as long as we stay healthy, we pay nothing out of pocket. So it works for us.
    At my husband's last job, we had fantastic, inexpensive insurance. Like $200/month for the best health, dental, vision coverage available. Our HD plan now is almost $700/month.


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