If you fall short of receiving free health insurance, you still have a shot at getting low cost coverage. There are ways to save money on monthly payments without going through the qualifying process for low cost insurance. Let’s take a look at those options first.
Adding yourself to your spouse’s job coverage may provide a low cost alternative to keeping your own. Some employers won’t offer this option if you can get insurance from work while others have no problem with it.
If you don’t have health insurance at all, a small amount extra can include you in your spouse’s plan. How much of an increase is up to the employer. This is true when adding children to the plan, as well. You’ll need to decide which way provides the most savings for your family.
Another way to obtain low cost health coverage is to get a short-term policy. Premiums can be as low as $52 a month depending on where you live. States that do not offer short-term insurance are:
It may not be free health insurance, but your out-of-pocket costs can be next to nothing. The plans cover preventive care and have little to no co-pays. Furthermore, some plans have no deductible for contraception, high blood pressure, and other common health problems.
Nevertheless, it’s best to be young, healthy and have no preexisting conditions. That’s because you can only keep the low cost health insurance for six months. Rarely will they allow back-to-back coverage for another six months. You may opt not to have health insurance for certain periods of time and get coverage other times. In this way, you keep the amount of money you have to pay out each year to a minimum.
How Do I Qualify For Low Cost Health Insurance?
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, allows individuals, families, and businesses to acquire low-cost health insurance plans. Sometimes free health insurance options through Medicaid or Medicare is possible. These all provide full coverage as mandated by federal law.
This regulation is one of the reasons insurance costs have gone up so much. Health insurance companies now have to offer extensive coverage to every individual. Be that as it may, the government subsidizes much of the cost, lowering the expense for the consumer.
How Much Money Can You Make to Qualify?
How much the government subsidizes relies on the amount of income one receives. Their family size, or business expenses and ROI factor in. The government determines this through tax information provided to the IRS each year. The difference between qualifying for Obamacare rather than Medicaid is that your income can be less than 400% of the poverty level.
So, if you don’t meet the requirements for free health insurance through Medicaid, you could qualify for low cost health coverage through the Affordable Care Act. A single person can make as much as $49,958 and receive help in paying. A family of two earning $67,400 also qualifies.
Households of three making approximately $83,120 are still entitled to assistance. If you have a family of four, you could earn $100,400 and remain within the prerequisites of less than 400% of the poverty level. Adding $4420 for each family member beyond four still applies when determining whether you qualify for low cost insurance.
What Plans Are Available to Me?
Now that you’ve determined you may qualify for subsidized health insurance, the first step is to fill out an application. You can do this online at the Health Insurance Marketplace. You’ll receive help online, over the phone, or in person at no charge. They’ll help you to enroll in an insurance plan that fits your budget.
Several insurance companies take part in the program. Blue Shield, Aetna, Oscar, Molina, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, and more are available to choose from. Each insurance carrier offers plans four different ways in either platinum, gold, silver, or bronze. Each plan has the same comprehensive coverage.
The premiums, however, depend on the amount you pay out for other things. Deductibles, copay, the percentage of hospital bills and tests can be lower or higher. With platinum plans, you have the highest monthly payment. Hence, the deductible is much smaller, as well as the co-pays and percentages you’ll pay.
What Prices Will I Pay?
You can get amazing, high-quality health insurance for very reasonable prices. Especially at the silver and bronze levels, you’ll have lower premiums. If you seldom go to the doctor beyond your annual check-up these less expensive plans are the best option.
You can also choose high deductible plans that offer a health savings account (HSA). The money that you don’t use from your deductible in one year rolls over to the next year. This becomes money available for medical expenses beyond your preventive care appointments.
The prices you pay for low cost, comprehensive health insurance may surprise you. A family of three could pay a premium as low as $26 dollars at the bronze level. Premiums can run as high as $557 at the platinum level for an HMO. Keep in mind that you’re still completely covered either way. Premiums for a PPO run $146 a month at the bronze level to $958 at the platinum level for a family of three.
As a single person, you could pay as little as $1 a month for an EPO. That’s practically free health insurance, so it’s worth looking into. For a bronze PPO, you pay about $90. Of course, there are prices between and beyond these amounts. A platinum PP0 runs about $428 monthly. The income you enter into the system determines these choices.
Can I See More Pricing Examples?
View the prices of varying options available to you below for a family of two making $43,000 a year.
Oscar Bronze HSA EPO: $21.01 monthly premium
Oscar Bronze EP0: $49.41
Molina Bronze HMO: $120.12
Health Net Bronze PPO: $134.66
Blue Shield Bronze HSA PPO: $199.51
Blue Shield Bronze PPO: $206.28
Health Net Silver HMO: $283.54
Health Net God HMO: $370.75
Blue Shield Silver PPO: $432.28
This is only a sampling of different plans available that offer the same coverage. What you’ll pay beyond your preventive care is the only way they differ. Which doctors you can choose from also depends on whether you have an HMO or PPO plan.
Getting free health insurance or low-cost coverage is within your reach. Filling out the necessary applications is definitely worth it. Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace to see what you qualify for. It’s a good start. You’ll enjoy the money you save.