Know your options

Low Cost Health Insurance

Most people who are looking to buy health insurance are looking for the best value for their money. This is especially true for Americans who are purchasing private health insurance because it is not available through their employer. In this article, explores some of the considerations and options in choosing among low cost health insurance plans.

Monthly Premium Is Not the Only Cost
Before beginning, it is worth noting that a plan's monthly premium cost shouldn't be the only factor in determining the value of that plan. While consumers are accustomed to reading the price tag when shopping, health insurance consumers need to understand that the premium cost is only one factor in the potential costs of what they are buying.

For example, say you buy a health insurance policy that only has a $100 monthly premium but has a $5,000 deductible. When you fall seriously ill and require hospitalization, your insurance policy does not provide any coverage until you have paid for the first $5,000 of medical expenses. If you factor that over a one year period, your $100 a month policy just became a $504 per month policy, which clearly is not the low cost health insurance plan you thought you were buying.

Because the monthly premium cost is an important factor in choosing which health insurance policy to purchase, here are a few options for consumers who are looking specifically for Low Cost Health Insurance.

Traditional Individual/Family Plans
Finding low cost options among traditional private market plans requires a careful balance between premium cost and reimbursable medical expenses. Here are some tips:

1. Opt only for the coverage you need.
While it is nice to receive coverage for any conceivable medical expense, most people only require basic coverage. One way to find a lower cost plan is not to include dental or vision coverage if you can pay for those out-of-pocket. Also, you can reduce the amount of coverage you need for predictable events. For instance, certain low cost health insurance plans have lower caps on the number of reimbursable doctor visits in a year. You may choose to have a fewer number of doctors visits if you aren't inclined to visit the doctor for common or non-severe illnesses.

2. Balance cost vs. choice
While having a choice of providers is important in making health care decisions, you will generally be paying a higher monthly premium to have the option to choose your providers. HMOs can provide a lower cost option, in part because health care is provided exclusively by managed care facilities contracted by the insurance company.

Deductible Health Plans
Health plans with a deductible of $1,000 or $2,000 can significantly lower your monthly premium without having a harsh affect on your long-term costs in the event of excessive medical expenses. Qualified deductible plans can be coupled with a Health Savings Account which has tax advantages for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Short Term Health Insurance
One last option for low cost health insurance is a short-term health insurance plan. These plans have a fixed period for coverage, and provide generally fewer benefits. However, they are easier to enter into and are going to have lower premium costs than traditional individual/family plans. Find Short Term Health Insurance quotes, along with more information on short-term health insurance.

Search for low cost health insurance plans
Search for short-term health insurance plans

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