Affordable Health Insurance Coverage for your Whole Family
The cost of living in any given area is directly related to the quality of services and amenities that area has to offer. If you live in a nice area with access to recreational activities and clean beaches, for example, the cost of living there is probably higher than if you live somewhere that’s primarily industrial. Fortunately, no matter where you choose to live, affordable healthcare options are available for your family. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) opened up new opportunities for families who need affordable health insurance. These plans are referred to as “Affordable” because they cost less than typical health plans offered by employers and third-party vendors like Blue Cross or Aetna. The downside is that these plans come with lower premiums in exchange for more restrictive networks and higher out-of-pocket costs if you need significant medical care. However, there are still many benefits to these ACA plans, especially if you have a small household income and cannot reasonably afford a more expensive plan with a larger premium but lower out-of-pocket expenses. Let’s take a look at what affordable health insurance is and how it can benefit your family:
What is Affordable Health Insurance?
Affordable health insurance is not the same as affordable health care. Affordable health insurance simply refers to the cost of the plan you choose. Affordable health insurance is usually available through the public marketplace and state exchanges, but can also be obtained directly from insurance providers. Affordable health insurance plans are cheaper than traditional health plans because they have less coverage and a lower out-of-pocket maximum. This means you have higher deductibles and smaller networks. For example, you might have to drive further to see your doctor or you may not have access to certain specialists. Affordable health insurance plans may not be the best option for people with chronic medical conditions who are consistently seeing specialists and need a large network of doctors.
How Affordable Health Insurance Works
Affordable health insurance plans are less expensive because they have smaller networks and higher out-of-pocket expenses. This means that you must pay a larger portion of expenses for things like doctor visits and prescriptions. Affordable health insurance plans typically have a higher deductible, which is the amount you must spend before the insurer starts paying for your care. For example, if you have a $3,000 deductible and a $300 copay for a doctor visit, you must spend $3,300 before the insurer starts paying for your care. The maximum amount you can spend on medical expenses each year is called your out-of-pocket maximum. An affordable health insurance plan with a high deductible might have a $13,000 out-of-pocket maximum, while more expensive plans might have lower out-of-pocket maximum. If you have chronic medical conditions, you might need to spend thousands of dollars each year on prescriptions and medical supplies. For example, thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses may be too much for a family with a small household income. Affordable health insurance plans might be the best option for families with small household incomes who don’t qualify for financial assistance.
Benefits of Affordable Health Insurance
– You can save money for other priorities. Affordable health insurance plans cost less than traditional health plans because they cover less. This means that you spend less money each month on health insurance. You can use this money to pay for other household expenses like car payments, groceries, or debt. Affordable health insurance plans will also have higher out-of-pocket expenses, so you may need to set aside more money each month to cover your medical expenses.- You can have peace of mind. Affordable health insurance plans may not have the same coverage as more expensive plans, but they do provide a safety net in case of an emergency. Affordable health insurance plans are a good fit for families with small incomes who cannot qualify for financial assistance.
Limitations of Affordable Health Insurance
– You have less choice. Affordable health insurance plans have smaller networks and fewer specialists. If you have a chronic medical condition, you may not want to settle for a plan that excludes your specialists.- You have less coverage. Affordable health insurance plans have smaller networks and higher out-of-pocket expenses. If you have a chronic medical condition, you might spend a significant portion of your income on medical expenses.- You may have to change plans during a year. Affordable health insurance plans have shorter terms than more expensive plans. If you have a chronic medical condition, you may need to change health insurance plans during the year.
How to Find Affordable Coverage for your Family?
The first step in securing affordable health insurance coverage is to determine whether or not your family qualifies for financial assistance. The Affordable Care Act provides subsidies to families earning between 100-400% of the Federal Poverty Level. If your family qualifies for financial assistance, you can select a more expensive health insurance plan with lower out-of-pocket expenses and a larger network. If your family does not qualify for financial assistance or you simply want to save money on health insurance, you can select an affordable health insurance plan. You can find affordable health insurance plans through the public marketplace or state exchanges. You can also select an affordable health insurance plan directly from insurance providers.
When you’re searching for affordable health insurance, you want to make sure that you’re not sacrificing too much coverage. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of saving money and forget about what’s actually best for your family. Luckily, even if you don’t qualify for financial assistance, there are still affordable health insurance plans available. These plans provide a much-needed safety net for households with small incomes.