Are you looking for affordable health insurance? If so, you’re one of many people left overwhelmed by the rising costs of health insurance plans. In 2017, Americans spent roughly $10,739 per person on health insurance, which totals $3.5 trillion countrywide. These staggering numbers might make you wonder if health insurance is worth the cost. However, not having coverage for emergency room visits, ambulance trips, or doctor appointments could lead to a personal financial crisis. Health insurance provides financial peace-of-mind whether you visit your primary care physician regularly or rarely need medical attention.
Health insurance may be a necessary investment, but expensive monthly payments and medical costs don’t have to be. Let’s look at the steps that could save you money on your health insurance and provide more financial freedom.
Step 1: Understand Your Health Insurance Costs
Health insurance plans can include confusing jargon. To make sure that you understand the ins and outs of your plan, you should know what the following health insurance costs mean, how they apply to your health care services, and how they affect the price that you pay for health insurance each year.
Your premium is the amount of money that you pay each month for your health insurance. This cost may sound the most familiar to you because it has the most immediate financial impact. According to eHealthInsurance, the average cost of monthly premiums in 2018 was $440 for individuals and $1,168 for families. Quality health care may be priceless, but costly monthly premiums can be challenging to manage.
Before choosing a health insurance plan, you should understand the cost behind its premium. If a plan includes coverage for health care services that you do not personally need, you may choose not to pay a higher monthly cost for those benefits if you don’t have to.
Your deductible is the amount of money that you are responsible for before your health insurance starts to cover a significant percentage of your medical costs.
For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you will pay the first $1,000 for medical expenses out-of-pocket before your health insurance kicks in.
Your coinsurance is the portion of health care costs that you are responsible for after you pay your deductible.
Say your coinsurance is 80/20 and you have a deductible of $1,000. Once you pay your $1,000 deductible, your insurance will start paying for 80% of covered health care costs, and you will pay the remaining 20%. So, if you have paid your $1,000 deductible and have a $100 medical bill, your insurance will pay $80, and you will owe $20.
Your out-of-pocket maximum is the most that you could pay for health care in one year. Your health insurance pays for covered medical services that extend beyond your out-of-pocket maximum.
Say your out-of-pocket maximum is $5,000. You injure your arm while playing basketball and need to go to the emergency room where your medical fees reach $10,000. Once you pay your $1,000 deductible and your 20% coinsurance, your health insurance will pick up any expenses remaining outside of your out-of-pocket maximum. Therefore, the max amount that you could be responsible for in this scenario is $5,000. Some health insurance options do have a policy period or lifetime maximum amount they will pay.
Step 2: Decide How Much Coverage You Need
Have you ever reviewed your health insurance plan? If not, now is a good time. You may realize that you’re paying for coverage for medical services that do not apply to you. If you do not have any chronic conditions, you could save on your health insurance by considering a cheaper alternative to traditional health care, like short-term health insurance. Short-term health plans include limited benefits and coverage, but if you do not need comprehensive coverage, why pay for a more expensive plan?
However, if you have pre-existing conditions, require maternity care, or use mental health services, you should invest in a health insurance plan that provides the care that you or your family may need. Keep in mind that all Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance plans are required to include 10 essential health benefits, and STM plans are not.
Step 3: Know Your Health Insurance Options
If you do not receive health insurance through your employer, you might not realize that you have options outside of ACA health insurance plans. Unlike ACA health insurance plans that are only available during the ACA open enrollment period (unless you qualify for a special enrollment period), short-term health insurance can be applied for at any time and generally can be much more affordable if you do not qualify for an ACA subsidy. If you’re in-between jobs, self-employed, do not have any pre-existing conditions, or looking for health insurance outside of the annual ACA open enrollment period, short-term health insurance could be a terrific health insurance option for you.
Apply for Short-Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance plans provided by Vera Health give you access to personalized, affordable health care, so you pay for the coverage you need, and not the coverage you don’t. If you think you’re paying too much for your health insurance, find out if you qualify for a short-term health insurance plan with our quick, easy application. Vera Health allows you to build a plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. Through radical transparency, flexibility, and low monthly premiums, we strive to streamline the path to affordable health care.
Get in touch with one of our friendly Vera Health experts to learn more about our customized plans and how short-term health insurance could put a pretty penny back in your pocket. Give us a call at 844-961-9645 to learn more about Vera. No mystery, no fluff, no hassle.
Short Term Medical coverage is not required to comply with federal market requirements for health insurance, principally those contained in the Affordable Care Act. Be sure to check your policy carefully to make sure you are aware of any exclusions or limitations regarding coverage of pre-existing conditions or health benefits (such as hospitalization, emergency service, maternity care, preventive care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance use disorder services). If this coverage expires or you lose eligibility for this coverage, you might have to wait until an open enrollment period to get other health insurance coverage.