For many people health insurance has become so expensive that they are forced to do without it. Unfortunately this leaves them wide open to the financially devastating effects of a catastrophic illness or a severe accident, which can wipe out a lifetime of savings and decimate other assets in the blink of an eye.
The health insurance crisis has gotten so bad that almost 17% of all Maryland residents no longer have any health coverage at all, and more than 50% of Maryland residents admit that keeping their health insurance is a severe financial burden. It won’t take much to push many of these people over the edge and create a health care nightmare.
Fortunately there are things you can do to help keep the cost of your health care down – and for many people it may be necessary to completely re-think the reason for having health care insurance in the first place.
But let’s start with a few simple things you can do to help keep your health insurance premiums as low as possible.
First, if your company offers group insurance you need to consider participating in it. Group insurance is almost always less expensive than individual health insurance.
Of course, if you are self employed or if your company doesn’t offer insurance then this won’t be an option.
Don’t smoke or use tobacco products – and if you already do, stop. The amount of money you can save on health insurance if you don’t smoke is significant. Think about it.
Consider increasing your current co-payment. Your co-payment, or copay, is the percentage of your doctor visit charges that you pay out of your own pocket, and the percentage of your lab work and other medical expenses that you pay. Increasing your copay from 25% to 50% can dramatically decrease your monthly health insurance premiums.
But even with these savings health insurance may still be too expensive for many people. Some people may be forced to re-think health insurance entirely and look at health insurance as a safety net for the protection of your assets and not as a way to pay for routine health care.
By this I mean people may want to look at purchasing a low-cost high-deductible health insurance policy. Such a policy, with a deductible of $2,000 or even $3,000, would pay nothing at all for your routine doctor office visits or routine lab work or most out-patient surgery. You would pay those health expenses yourself.
Where your health insurance comes into play is any time you have a major illness or a catastrophic accident, the type of medical emergency that can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in just the blink of an eye.
In this way low-cost high-deductible health insurance is used only to protect your life savings, your home and other assets that you may have acquired over a lifetime.
But whether you choose to go the low-cost high-deductible route or take the more traditional path, the best place for you to get cheap health insurance is online. The multitude of health-insurance-comparison websites makes it relatively quick and easy to compare policies and prices, allowing you to create the perfect policy for your needs at a price that you can afford.