An emergency doesn’t arrive with a bell on its neck. A trip to the emergency room is hella scary whether it is for a minor injury to a major accident. One shouldn’t take chances with life. We all know one thing for sure that medical bills are hefty. The rich will pay for it, the poor can take aid from the various schemes but the one that suffers is always the middle-class people.
As of 2018, the number of people without health insurance has risen to 15.5%, which is almost equal to the rise in 4 million people throughout the nation. A simple trip to a clinic cost around $200 which can create chaos in your personal finance budget.
When you buy a phone, you naturally search for a screen protector and cover to protect it from the damage. In a similar way, your health is also important and you need to health insurance to cover from the medical cost. If you are new to health insurance, you need to start from scratch.
Understanding Health Insurance
Health insurance is a medical coverage covered by an insurance company which pays a part of your medical expenses whenever you take a trip to the hospital. Now there are a few terms you should get familiar with. Coverage is the amount that the company will pay under the specified circumstances in your insurance. There are many policies or contracts whichwill cover different things.
In some cases, they may cover the visit but you may have to pay the co-payment fee. Other insurers may not pay anything until you have paid an amount which is known as the deductible. Your policy will have a time span and every month you will be required to pay a monthly coverage known as premium.
Deductible, co payment along with other nonreimbursable expenses together is referred to as out-of- pocket expenses. Another term you will often see is co-insurance which is generally referred to as the percentage of bills that you are required to pay along with the deductible and co-payment.
Why Healthcare is Expensive in the US
You can choose your health insurance either in the group (as the organization gets a better rate due to the large number) or separate. But the need to have health insurance emerged because of the fact that health care is expensive.
The US spend nearly 16% of its GDP on healthcare. Nearly double than any other country and still medical bills are getting higher than the empire state building. With all the money being spent on health care, we still stand on the 37th in the healthcare system. These are a few points that came up in the process.
- The US Spend More on administer Healthcare – about one-quarter of the money is engaged for staffing the people for administrative purposes, which is way more than any other country.
- Drugs are more expensive — Drugs are another reason for expensive healthcare. The price of a medicine is decided by negotiating between drug makers and government but because of Medicare, the power to negotiate the price is lost.
- Doctors are afraid of misdiagnosis — There are high chances of getting your license canceled and sued due to misdiagnosis. So, to counterattack the problem, doctors take extra precaution, run a few extra tests and MRI’s Just to make sure that they are right. This indirectly increases the medical bills.
- Expensive Treatments – Medical practice in the U.S. tend to use a more expensive technology which increases the cost of test. According to Investopedia report, U.S. uses three times as many mammograms, two and a half times more MRI’s and almost 31% more cesarean sections. Plus more and more patient wants to get treated by a specialist than the primary care doctors.
- Wages and work – Too much staffing and paying high reimbursement to specialist and experienced doctor are also one of the reasons to increase the healthcare cost. Few measures were done to lower the cost such as the National Commission on Physical Payment Reform but the work is still under progress.
Although the cost of healthcare is rather high, people want to get treated at the best hospital with the best specialist which is only helping in increasing the cost. Branding is one of the reasons where providers are the one who decides the price and the lack of government negotiation in the prices influence the cost of the HealthCare system.
Need of Health Insurance
Being healthy and fit can never be the reason to decline health insurance. Surely you may not get sick often and take a good measure of precaution yourself. But certain incidences like Cesarean Surgery, appendectomy or dislocating bones can be very expensive.
As you ages, the percentage of you getting problems increases. Not just operation but aftermath like rehabilitation can destroy a big chunk of money. There are cases that medical bills have derived families to bankruptcy.
Getting health insurance for you and your loved ones has become a necessity. An emergency will not come knocking at your door and spending a few hundred dollars will feel much more remorseful. You may be fit now but any chronic disease will leave you with numbers of medical bills with no way out.
Having insurance at that time can take quite a burden off your shoulder and you will not be pushed towards bankruptcy or being in debt.
Best Companies to Get Health Insurance
To get health insurance you need to be thorough with what each insurance has to offer you. First, check whether the plan you are hoping to go, works with your doctor and hospitals or not. What is the coverage of the plan? Are there any pre-approvals? Each and every detail on the deductible, cost, premium, co-insurance, and co–payment – basically the total cost of your health insurance renewal.
We have listed the best health insurance companies where you can find your type of insurance.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield – The BCBS health insurance company is one of its kind companies. It is made up of 37 local and independently operated companies. Few points which make it better than the rest is their availability in the rural areas. You can have 20 different plans with different coverage which can be taken through a company or as an individual.
- Kaiser Foundation Group – The health insurance company gives you priced health plan with high-quality doctors. One thing that you will notice while opting for this policy is that Kaiser Offers plans, doctors, location and service according to them. This is only a good option when you don’t have your own doctors and preferred location.
- Cigna – Yet another health insurer. Cigna, provides health insurance plans that are more compatible for employer but it does have other plans for individual. Cigna is always available night and day and offers a $0 preventive care which includes your annual checkups, shots and health screening. Cigna have a higher premium from the rest, but you will also find more benefits and coverage which is not present in other coverage.
Best Low-Cost Health insurance
No one said that health insurance is cheap. They do with their own deductible and premium and one has to dig out the one best suited for them. There is health insurance which won’t burden your pocket.
Medicaid is the government health insurance who provides comprehensive insurance to a low-income family. It is free insurance with no monthly premium, zero or minimal deductibles and copayments. The policy also works for immigrants who have lived for 5 years in the states. The only criteria that need to meet is the low-income guideline. Medicaid is paid for by federal and state taxes meaning all your policy is paid by the fellow citizen of the state.
Affordable Care Act is another government health insurance which carter towards people having modest to low income. You share the premium payment with the government who pays for a part and rest is covered by you. These subsidies can be used to buy Obamacare health insurance. Whose enrollment is now open for 2020 during the month of November to December.
Medicare is the health insurance provided by the government which has only three criteria for basic eligibility. Enter united state lawfully and lived for 5 years. Medicare is also applied to people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities. The medical cost—Medicare provides a high out of pocket payments. The site has also broken down the medical cost into parts for better understanding the policy.
Having Health insurance has become a necessity. No matter whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s or 50’s, everybody needs to have health insurance so that one doesn’t fall in the labyrinth of medical debt. One thing to keep in mind before you purchase a policy is to always go through the coverage, policy, it’s premium amount, deductible. The number one reason for going into bankruptcy is medical bills, and one of the ways of not going into medical debt is Health Insurance.
Securing good health insurance will surely take time and effort. By doing so will definitely help you in the long run, when you and your family will require care.
About the Author:
Shubhi is an ambitious writer who wants to help people in succeeding their finances. She is well researched and provide useful insight into budgeting and money making ideas. Her keen interest is to evolve her ability to write. Outside work you will find her traveling, reading and learning new things.