Learn why you cannot afford not to have health insurance
By purchasing a health insurance policy, you can protect your health and your wallet. Unexpected accidents and illnesses happen. For instance, a mountain biking activity results in a trip to the ER, or a weekend game of soccer sends you to an orthopedic group or that nagging pain in your right side is diagnosed as appendicitis. The bill from the doctor or hospital will not only hurt your bank account, it can turn into a credit nightmare.
Everyone worries about the cost of a health insurance policy; however, insurance does not have to be expensive. In fact, the Exchange saw an average decrease of .4% while the off-Exchange plans only saw an average increase of 2 percent! In some cases, consumers may qualify for a $0 cost plan.
Under the Affordable Care Act, a person may stay insured under a parent’s health insurance policy until that person is 26 years old. After that, millennials need to purchase their own health insurance. It may be a good idea to start shopping before the age of 26, so the new insurance policy may begin when the old one stops, avoiding any gaps in coverage.
Investing in a health insurance policy now, can save you a lot of money later. Don’t begin your career with a bankruptcy or poor credit because you were caught unprotected by a health problem or an injury. The cost of two nights in a hospital can be the difference between good credit and years of rebuilding that credit.
Learn how to get more bang for your buck
Now that you know why you cannot afford on skipping health insurance, learn how to get the most out of your policy. Many consumers try to get the “best deal” possible which translates as “cheapest” for many. However, the cheapest health insurance plan may not be the best fit for you and your family. A lower premium will mean higher out of pocket costs, which can be more expensive over the course of the year. Carefully research the plans for the one that best meets both your health and financial needs.
Consumers need to consider the unique needs of themselves and their families. For example, if you are young and healthy, you may want to consider a catastrophic or bronze plan, rather than a gold plan, which will be more expensive because it provides benefits less likely to be required. The point is to get health insurance coverage for what you and your family need, so that you won’t spend money on services you are unlikely to use during the year.
Take advantage of the free services
When you purchase a health insurance policy there are some free medical services that may be part of the health insurance policy. For example, preventive care is generally covered with the plan. This includes vaccines, health screening, counseling, an annual physical, and women’s health care. You can visit your doctor’s office once a year for a checkup exam and you won’t be responsible for the co-pay or office visit if you visit an in network doctor. Always make sure to review your policy documents and verify the benefits your policy.
Out of pocket costs
It is important to remember that the higher the out-of-pocket cost, the lower the monthly premium will be and vice versa. If you are young and healthy you may be able to assume the risk of a higher out of pocket deductible, paying a lower monthly premium. And if you expect to use more health care services, you may want to pay a higher premium to lower your out of pocket expenses.
Consumers that purchase specific high deductible health plans may also have a health savings account (HSA). With this option consumers put money into the HSA account at their own pace to help pay for medical costs. It offers tax and financial planning opportunities.
The Division posts the cost and the supporting documents for all health insurance policies for individual and small group markets on and off the Exchange at http://healthrates.doi.nv.gov/Wizard.aspx. Reading this material will help you make more informed decisions for a health insurance plan that fits the needs of you and your family.