Health insurance is an essential part of life. It provides protection against financial disasters such as hospital bills, medical emergencies, and other unexpected expenses.
But health insurance isn’t just for people who are sick. In fact, it’s for everyone.
If you’re considering buying health insurance, here are 10 questions every person considering getting health insurance should know.
1. How much does health insurance cost?
The average annual premium in the United States was $2,856 last year, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That means that if your employer offers coverage through their plan, they will likely charge about 2 percent of your income each month toward premiums. If you don’t have access to any kind of group or individual policy, then you may be paying more than twice that amount on top of what you pay out-of-pocket.
It’s important to note that these numbers vary widely depending on where you live, whether you qualify for subsidies, and which company you choose. For example, some companies offer lower rates because they cover fewer services while others offer higher rates because they provide many benefits.
It’s also worth noting that there are different types of policies available — including HMOs, PPOs, POS plans, etc. Each type has its own set of pros and cons, but we won’t go into detail about them here. Instead, we recommend checking with experts at NerdWallet to learn more about how various options work.
2. What do I need to get covered?
Before purchasing health insurance, make sure you understand exactly what you’ll be required to purchase. This includes things like:
• A deductible – The first portion of costs that must be paid by yourself before your insurer pays anything. You can usually find this information online when shopping around for a new policy.
• Coinsurance – Also known as co-insurance, coinsurance refers to the percentage of total costs that you’ll be responsible for after meeting your deductible. Most insurers require you to meet a certain threshold before they start covering 100%. However, some plans allow you to keep all of your money until you reach a specific level.
• Out-of-network charges – These refer to situations where you visit a doctor outside of your network provider.
3. Can my current job affect my ability to buy health insurance?
Many employers offer health insurance as part of their benefits package. But not all employees receive those same benefits. Some workers might only be eligible for limited coverage while others could potentially lose their jobs altogether if they fail to obtain adequate insurance.
4. Do I really need health insurance?
While most Americans believe they need health insurance, research shows otherwise. According to one study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, nearly half of adults reported having no form of health care coverage whatsoever. Another survey found that almost two-thirds of uninsured individuals said they didn’t think they needed health insurance.
5. Will I still be able to afford healthcare once I retire?
One thing to consider is that even though you’ve retired, you probably aren’t done working yet. Many retirees continue to contribute to retirement accounts throughout their lives so that they can maintain their standard of living later in life. And since Medicare doesn’t kick in until age 65, you’ll want to save enough money during your career to ensure that you’ll always have something left over.
6. Is health insurance expensive?
Yes! While the price varies based on the factors mentioned above, the average monthly premium for family coverage is currently hovering around $400 per month. That means that someone earning $50,000 annually would pay roughly $7,200 each year in premiums alone. If you don’t earn enough to qualify for tax credits or Medicaid, then you may end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket.
7. Does Obamacare change everything?
One major difference between pre-Obamacare and post-Obamacare is that under the former system, consumers had very few choices when choosing health insurance providers. Nowadays, however, there are more than 1,500 different companies offering individual policies nationwide. Additionally, many states now provide subsidies through state exchanges which makes it easier for low-income families to get affordable coverage.
8. What happens if I become ill?
When you do eventually fall ill, you’ll likely face high medical bills. Unfortunately, these bills often exceed your available funds. This is why it’s important to make sure that you have sufficient savings set aside to cover any potential emergency expenditures.
9. Are there ways to lower my premiums?
There are several things you can do to reduce your overall health insurance bill including:
• Choosing a plan with higher deductibles
• Paying attention to how frequently you go to the ER/hospital
10. Am I covered by my employer?
Employers typically offer some sort of group health insurance policy. However, this type of coverage usually comes at a hefty price tag. For example, according to Forbes Magazine, the average annual premium for a single employee was about $2,800 last year. To put that into perspective, that amount will buy you less than three months’ worth of groceries.
Buying health insurance is not only necessary but also extremely beneficial. Your unique financial and medical needs dictate the strategy best suited for your situation. Healthbridge Insurance Solutions can help you understand the complexities of insurance plans and companies so you can make informed decisions about your coverage. Call us today to book an appointment!