Getting affordable coverageNever scrimp on health insurance just to save a little money. Affordable alternatives are available, and the financial consequences of going without insurance can be catastrophic.
If you can get health insurance through your employer, you're set. If not, here are some other affordable options:
- Short-term health plans. These major medical policies usually don't require an extensive medical history check, and you can get a policy within 24 hours. Monthly premiums are based on the amount of coverage you need, but they usually don't exceed $100. Keep in mind that short-term plans generally don't cover preexisting conditions or preventive care, and they are designed for recent college graduates, employees waiting for group coverage to begin or anyone between jobs. Policies can be extended up to 18 months and are often nonrenewable.
- High-deductible individual health insurance. Also known as "catastrophic" insurance, this offers low premiums but high deductibles toward coverage for major injuries or illnesses. That means you'll pay less each month, but you'll have higher out-of-pocket expenses if you need care.
- Group discounts with professional or affinity groups. Bar associations, automobile associations, medical associations and other professional organizations may provide cost-effective policies.
- New individual policy. These plans typically cost more than short-term or high-deductible coverage, but they can provide more comprehensive benefits, including wellness care.