Many people do not have health insurance. Often, this is deliberate. They have weighed the odds of injury or illness against the high costs of individual major health insurance and decided that it’s better to gamble with their financial security than it is to ante up.
All things being equal, this is never a good choice. Unexpected circumstances may arise, driving uninsured individuals thousands of dollars into collections, where insurance might have kicked in for ten times what they had paid into it.
So how do you save money when choosing a health insurance plan?
Buy Only What You Need
The more money you have coming in, the more you can divert to a health insurance policy, but avoid overbuying. Many health insurance plans offered through your place of employment will offer benefits that you can opt out of. If you are certain that you will not need an eye exam within the next year, opt out of optical coverage for a lower monthly premium.
Buy Into a Group Plan
Group plans are offered at lower rates than Individual Major health insurance plans. Group plans offer security for those in moderate to poor health. If you own a small business, or you are an independent contractor, consider becoming a member at your local Chamber of Commerce and buying into their group plan. On average, individuals can expect to save 10% per year on health insurance over Individual Major Plans.
One of the advantages of buying into a group plan through the Chamber of Commerce is that the plan is obligated to accept you. Individual Major Plans are not. With group plans, medical attention needed for pre-existing and current health conditions are covered within 90 days. With Individual Major Plans, individuals usually end up waiting as long as 180 days.
Finally, everyone on the group plan pays the same amount. Those in poor health who apply for Individual Major insurance plans may be asked to pay double the monthly premium that someone in good health would pay. Ultimately, buying into a group plan can save you money while affording you security.