Where to find affordable health insurance quotes ?
Whether your trip to the doctor is for something as simple as a sinus infection or something as complex as cancer, you don’t want to feel worse when you receive the bill. The cost of medical services can hit the wallet hard : there are 1.7 million personal bankruptcies every year due to inability to pay medical bills, in fact, crushing healthcare debt is the number one reason for filing bankruptcy.
While having health insurance is no guarantee you won’t be overwhelmed with medical expenses in the event of a serious accident or health issue, it does let you rest easy in the knowledge that barring something extreme, you and your family can take care of your healthcare needs without going broke. Additionally, with the passage of the Affordable care act (often referred to as Obamacare or Aca), those without insurance in 2014 and beyond will face a penalty on their tax return, 1% of their yearly household income, or $95 per household member, whichever is higher.
Check with your employer
According to the Bureau of labor statistics, 86% of full time employees in the US have access to company health insurance through their workplace. If you are in this category, your lowest cost, best coverage option is probably going to be your employer’s plan. Group health insurance generally provides significant savings, even with rising costs for the worker’s portion of the premium. In 2013, the average employee’s cost for family health insurance was $4565 annually, with the employer paying the remaining portion of $11,786.
Look to the government
For a sizable portion of the population, the government is picking up their healthcare bill, either through Medicare for older Americans or state Medicaid plans for those with low incomes. If you’re over 65, you probably already receive Medicare. While Medicare is quite complex, in simplest terms, if you paid enough taxes while working, you will receive Medicare part a, which covers hospital related expenses, premium free. Medicare part b, which covers outpatient care, doctor’s visits, medical supplies and lab tests, requires a monthly premium of $104.90 for those with an annual income of less than $85,000, and carries a $147 deductible.
For those with very low income, Medicaid offers health insurance at low or no cost to the recipient. Though every state manages their Medicaid program differently, the general guideline is that individuals or families with income below 133% poverty level are eligible. Since the passage of the Aca, many states have expanded their Medicaid guidelines to cover far more families than in previous years. If you feel you might qualify for Medicaid, you can apply at your state’s social services department or through your state’s insurance exchange.
Shop through your state exchange
One of the key facets of the Aca is the creation of state exchanges to facilitate health insurance quotes for individuals enrollment. Seventeen states run their own exchange, the remainder either default to the federal government’s exchange (which you can access through healthcare.gov), or have a hybrid state / federal exchange program. With the advent of Obamacare, your state exchange (or the federal marketplace) is one of the easiest ways to compare health insurance companies, free health insurance quotes, online health insurance quotes and choose the one best suited to your needs.
While the individual states have a great deal of flexibility in their insurance programs, generally, you’ll find a wide range of policies with varying deductibles, premiums, out of pocket limits and coverage details. You may also qualify for assistance in paying for your insurance :
– if your income is less than 400% of the poverty level, you may qualify for tax credits to help offset the cost of insurance health quotes.
– if your income is under 250% of the poverty level, you may qualify for a subsidized insurance policy.
– if your income is less than 138% of the poverty level, you qualify for Medicaid in those states with expanded coverage.
Get health insurance quotes direct
If you don’t qualify for any of the above options, or you simply prefer to buy health insurance policy on your own, there are several ways to shop.
Health insurance company : you can buy insurance directly from most insurance companies. Most have websites that let you compare quotes for health insurance plans, health insurance quotes online and apply for coverage.
Online insurance sites : at some websites, you can compare plans from multiple insurance companies, decide which offers the individual health insurance quotes price, health insurance quote and coverage that you need and apply online.
Insurance brokers and agents : if you prefer a personal touch, contact an insurance agent or broker to discuss your insurance quotes health in person. The agent will help you choose the right types of health insurance plan for you and your family.
The bottom line
Health insurance not only provides peace of mind that you and your family are covered in case of illness or accident, but it’s also required by law. With so many health insurance types available, you’re sure to find a plan you can afford.