Health insurance here in Arkansas is expensive and it doesn’t appear likely to get much more affordable any time in the near future. In fact, right now close to 17% of all Arkansas residents are without health insurance of any kind and the percentage is likely to grow as more and more companies drop their group health coverage.
So is it even possible to still get affordable health insurance in Arkansas?
It is – but you may have to rethink what it is you expect your health insurance to do.
But before we get into the nuts and bolts of finding affordable health insurance here in Arkansas there is some really excellent news for anyone who can’t qualify for health insurance because of a pre-existing condition or who can’t qualify for a number of other reasons. It’s called CHIP, or the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool.
This is a special fund run by the state of Arkansas to provide health insurance to individuals who otherwise can’t get such insurance in the open market. Qualification is not based on income. To see if you or a member of your family qualifies for CHIP coverage go to http://www.chiparkansas.org.
For the rest of us the search for affordable health insurance continues. If your place of employment offers health care coverage definitely look into it. Group health coverage is almost always less expensive than individual coverage.
If your place of employment does not offer health insurance or if you are self employed then it is up to you to find the best and the cheapest coverage you can.
Let’s start by going over a few ways that you can lower your cost of health insurance before you even apply.
First, if you smoke you simply need to stop. Smoking increases the cost of your health insurance by a tremendous amount. Also, if you are overweight set your mind to losing at least a few pounds. Your monthly health insurance premiums will be based, at least in part, on your Body Mass Index, or BMI. If you can lose even a few pounds you may slip down a peg on the BMI scale and that could save you hundreds of dollars a year in premium costs on your health insurance.
Increase your copay. Each time you go to the doctor’s office your insurance company pays a portion of the cost of that visit and you pay a portion. If you increase your contribution then your insurance company will reward you by lowering your monthly premium cost. This can be an especially good deal for people who do not see their doctor often each year.
You can also increase your deductible. The deductible is the amount you pay for your health care each year out of your own pocket before you even ask your insurance company to start paying. The higher your deductible the lower your monthly premium cost.
If health insurance still isn’t affordable but you have a home, some savings or other assets that need protecting, you might consider a super-high deductible policy. These are policies that have a deductible of $2,000 or even $3,000 per year. The premiums are quite low, but the downside is that your insurance will pay absolutely nothing toward your health care costs during most years.
What’s the point, then? The point is that if you are involved in a serious accident or if you suddenly fall ill to a catastrophic disease, your hospital and doctor’s bills can soar into the hundreds of thousands almost over night. If you have no insurance protection you could lose your home, your life savings and any other assets you own.
A super-high deductible insurance policy is a safety net that protects everything you’ve worked for if a serious situation develops.
But no matter which strategies you’ve chosen to lower your health insurance premiums, it’s now time to get online and find at least 3 different websites that allow you to make side-by-side comparisons of health insurance policies and prices from different insurance companies.
Make comparisons on at least 3 different sites. In this way you will be sure to see comparisons of all the different insurance companies offering health care insurance in Arkansas. Once you have done this then you can rest assured that you have gotten the most affordable health insurance available in Arkansas.