You have no health insurance. Now what? Well…of course, don’t get sick and stay out of the hospital! That might work for a short period of time but you will need a long-term solution to your problem. Since affordable medical insurance is available from many sources, you may not have to go without coverage too much longer. One of the first things you should do is determine if you are insurable. If you have a major health issue and are uninsurable, then your state may have an “Open Enrollment” option that would be worth investigating. If you have been uninsured more than six months, your state “High Risk Pool” should be considered. Rates vary and there are qualifications to meet, but it should be at the top of your health insurance shopping list.
One of the first things you should do is determine if you are insurable. If you have a major health issue and are uninsurable, then your state may have an “Open Enrollment” option that would be worth investigating. If you have been uninsured more than six months, your state “High Risk Pool” should be considered. Rates vary and there are qualifications to meet, but it should be at the top of your health insurance shopping list.
If you are reasonably certain you are going to be able to obtain new medical coverage through a spouse or new employer in the near future, then perhaps a temporary health insurance plan is right for you. Although pre-existing conditions will not be a covered benefit, policies are often approved quickly, rates are low and you’ll have badly-needed catastrophic coverage (assuming you are approved).
However, many persons that don’t have health insurance are not certain when they will be eligible (if ever) for health care through an employer. In these situations, a more permanent plan is advisable. Although you cannot be canceled for medical reasons, premiums will generally increase each year. But you are able to keep the policy as long as you want. Whether you need medical coverage for 2 months or 20 years, the benefits will be there.
Private medical health insurance policies come in many different shapes and sizes. As an example, an Ohio comprehensive health insurance plan closely mirrors an Ohio group plan since it includes office visit and prescription coverage along with protection against large hospital expenses. Although it is the most expensive type of plan, a change in deductibles can help reduce the premiums.
However, to keep rates affordable, other types of medical benefits are available. If you are currently uninsured, then cutting costs may be a main priority. Thus, a catastrophic policy should be looked at. This form of policy is inexpensive. Of course, since rates are low, you are forfeiting some benefits, such as primary-care and specialist office visits and non-generic RX benefits. It’s also possible that there will be extra facility charges built into the policy. Once you have enrolled in this type of coverage, if you develop a serious disease, you may not be able to switch to another type of policy, unless it is through an employer. This is a very important factor to keep in mind.
Understanding policy details and what your “worst case scenario” is will help you in the decision-making process. For example, a policy with a $5,000 deductible and no coinsurance may have lower out of pocket costs than a $2,500 deductible plan with 20% coinsurance. It’s always best to understand what these terms mean to you.
An experienced broker will review all available plan options and properly explain the out of pocket risks you take with specific policies. There may not be a clear choice as to which health insurance plan is best, but you’ll be presented with multiple scenarios that will allow you to make an informed decision. You may not have insurance now, but you will soon!