Health Insurance Options When It Doesn’t Feel Like an Option
Healthcare is expensive. Health insurance can also be expensive. Many folks luck out and utilize their employers health insurance offers, however some employees can’t even afford that because of other situations in their lives. Having to care for an elderly parent or a special needs child can take a toll on income that could help us pay for that health insurance. Perhaps you are a student and underemployed while trying hard to better yourself. Maybe you are a single parent living in an area with limited options in terms of work and health insurance. Although attempts have been made to improve health insurance options in this country, it’s still tied to our income in such a way that it makes it difficult to manage. Look at North Carolina, they only have one option for health insurance in the ACA Open Market. Only one option means no competitive pricing, making obtaining health insurance harder for some. If you are struggling with maintaining or obtaining health insurance, read on for some ideas on how you can get it without adding more financial stress!
State Insurance Could Be Your Answer
Each state offers some sort of state funded insurance. In California, it’s known as Medi-Cal and in other states, it’s called Medicaid. Medi-Cal eligibility is, of course, based on income but can also be obtained for specific issues. You can get coverage just for hospital stays, dialysis, and even your prescriptions. You could obtain Medi-Cal in addition to your current private health insurance to help offset costs. In those instances, your private insurance is billed first and then Medi-Cal is billed for the rest. Sometimes there is a premium fee associated with Medi-Cal but is relatively low in comparison to other insurances. Contacting your county official to discuss Medi-Cal further is in your best interest.
Look to School
College students can have options too! The first, and possibly most affordable option, is to stay on your parents’ coverage for as long as you can. If you are an older student or simply not able to be on your parents’ coverage, you can check with the school about health care options through your enrollment. There are some premiums you will have to pay but it shouldn’t be that expensive. The larger they have in enrollment and in their healthcare program, the less expensive it should be.
The Open Market
Even if you have private healthcare insurance through work, school, or the state, it never hurts to check the ACA Open Market for your state. Most of these are income based and can be quite affordable. When you check the Open Market, they will ask about the previous year’s income tax return and base your wages on that. This is especially important if you are self-employed! We have heard plenty of stories of folks paying as little as $20 a month for their coverage. However, the market isn’t perfect and we have certainly seen some people struggle to get decent coverage for a fair amount.
Whenever we find ourselves in a financial situation that hinders our needs, it’s always best to comparison shop. Whatever you are eligible for that saves you money will be your best friend. Look for those prescription cards that can save you money at the pharmacy, research prices and get the generics whenever possible. Most importantly, take really good care of yourself and eat as healthy as you can so that you can avoid the need for hospitalizations and medicines as much as possible.