How to Go Without Health Insurance
Health insurance costs have been on a steady rise for both individual and employer-based plans. Americans are no longer automatically taxed for failing to carry health insurance through their employer. Many families now opt to forgo medical coverage altogether in an effort to save money for other necessities. The reality, however, is that health insurance costs can quickly mount into a significant barrier to maintaining quality health care.
President Obama and his health insurance administrator, Seema Linden, have taken steps to alleviate some of the pressure by offering alternative, consumer-driven options. They have eliminated the individual mandate penalty – the penalty that all Americans who are not covered by health insurance must pay if they choose to go without insurance – along with the “coupons” that many employers used to charge for out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 passed by Congress to make changes to the medical claims billing process that will minimize out-of-network claims.
However, the individual mandate penalty still applies, and it does apply until enrollment deadlines have been met for each year. For most people, this will be in their best interest to purchase health insurance when the penalties are still in effect. For those who find themselves in a situation where they need to purchase insurance as soon as possible, there are several things they should keep in mind to maximize their savings.
Currently, there are three ways that an individual can ensure they will get the lowest possible health insurance premiums: he can choose a high deductible plan; he can choose a high monthly premium; or he can choose a high co-payment. An individual with a higher deductible and a low monthly premium will probably be able to qualify for a more affordable plan than someone with a high deductible and a high monthly premium. High deductible plans, also referred to as catastrophic plans, have a lower premium than traditional health care sharing ministry plans, but if an individual finds that he must make many out-of-pocket expenses, it is probably not the best option. On the other hand, if an individual only needs to make a premium payment every month, he may be better off with a traditional health care sharing ministry plan.
Another way that people can save money on health insurance is by going without health insurance coverage for certain major illnesses. It is important for people to realize that if they go without health insurance for any period of time, they can jeopardize their financial future. Going without health insurance coverage for one year, for example, could result in a catastrophic financial disaster for an individual if they were to become ill. Most people do not become ill every year, but statistical reports indicate that illness does happen at some point. If you go without health coverage for any amount of time, you could end up owing thousands of dollars in medical bills.
One of the ways that people can save money when they go without health insurance coverage is by obtaining a health refills policy through their employer or the state. In essence, this type of policy pays the individual for any out-of-pocket expenses that he or she has incurred to obtain health insurance coverage. Most employers offer some sort of health refills program to their employees and many states provide assistance to citizens who are seeking this type of policy.
One way that people can go without coverage for any amount of time is to allow the insurance company to handle paying their premiums. Many insurance companies will allow the client to set the amount of money that they will need to set aside each month. In return, the insurance company will pay a portion of any out-of-pocket expenses. The client may be able to save money by choosing this method of coverage, however. Many people find that they are unable to pay the premiums on time each month and as a result, they are ultimately turned down by the insurance company.
A new survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that one in six American adults lacks the proper insurance coverage. An estimated 35 million Americans fall into this category. Uninsured rates have increased significantly in recent years, and the number of uninsured Americans has also risen. With health care costs rising, it is more important than ever for all Americans to find some way to afford proper health care coverage.