Being able to afford health insurance is a big problem for many people here in Alabama. In fact, the problem has become so severe that close to 17% of all Alabama residents cannot afford health insurance of any kind.
Fortunately the state of Alabama has made low-cost health insurance available to many people who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Children under the age of eighteen, college students, pregnant women and others may be able to qualify for low-cost health insurance through one or more state-sponsored programs.
For those individuals who do not qualify for a state-sponsored program there are still several simple things you can do that may help to reduce the cost of your monthly health insurance premium. And once you know what things you can do to lower the cost of your health insurance, then it will be time to get online and compare the cost of your premium-saving policy at every health insurance company that sells policies in Alabama until you have found the very lowest cost possible for the insurance you need.
Let’s start with some lifestyle changes. These are the most difficult things for most people to do, even though they can potentially save the most on your health insurance.
Don’t smoke or use chew or any other tobacco product. You know in your heart of hearts that tobacco products are not good for your health, and insurance companies know this too. That’s why they charge tobacco users anywhere from 20% to 50% more for their health insurance than they charge non-smokers.
Losing weight is even more difficult than stopping smoking for most people, but if you are overweight you are going to pay more for your health insurance. Again, this is simply a fact of life. The good news is that losing even a small amount of weight can potentially drop you down on the insurance company’s weight chart and can potentially save you hundreds of dollars each and every year in premium payments. Every little bit can potentially help.
Are your weekends filled with extreme or dangerous sports or hobbies? As fun and exciting as they may be, the fact is you are going to pay more for health insurance if you put your life and health at risk unnecessarily. The same goes for driving a fancy sports car.
And were you aware that your credit rating can also affect how much you pay for your health insurance? As strange as it may seem, the better your credit score the lower your health insurance premium.
Group health insurance is always less expensive than individual health care, plus group plans will often overlook smoking, weight and some pre-existing conditions that would drive the cost through the roof if you were purchasing an individual policy. If your place of employment does not offer a group plan start asking around at any club, organization or association you belong to. You may be surprised to find that some group you never even thought about offers its members group health insurance. Ask your friends and co-workers if any of them belong to a group, club or association that offers group health insurance – and then see if you can join. Ask if any religious organization you belong to offers its members group health insurance.
Look into joining an HMO a PPO or some other form of health maintenance organization. If your favorite doctor is not part of an HMO then you may have to switch doctors, but often you can keep your same doctor if you join a PPO. See if one of these types of groups makes economic sense to you.
If you own a home-based business it may be possible to qualify for group health insurance even if your only employee is a spouse. Ask your insurance agent if this is possible in your case. But even if group health is not a possibility, it still may be possible to deduct your health insurance payments from your taxes if you own your own business – and the tax savings could help offset the cost of your premiums to the point where health insurance is more affordable than you thought.
What about your co-pay and your deductible? If you can increase your co-payment and/or your deductible you can lower the cost of your health insurance. Obviously increasing your co-pay and/or your deductible must be considered carefully as any increase in either represents cash that is coming out of your pocket.
It’s finally time for you to take the tips and tricks you picked up from this article and use them when filling out the form on at least 3 of the websites which allow you to compare health insurance prices among the different insurance companies.
Make sure that you fill out the form exactly the same way on all three of the comparison websites you’ve chosen and then simply pick the company with the lowest cost (being careful to choose a company that you feel confident will still be around when you need them), and your job is done!
You have now compared low cost health insurance in Alabama, you’ve picked the lowest-priced company and you can feel good about the fact that you are getting the coverage you need at a price you can afford.