How Can I Get Health Insurance Coverage?
If you’re one of the 50 million Americans without health insurance, here are the different ways you can go about getting it. It may not be as hard as you think.
Millions of Americans lack health insurance, mostly as a result of their working conditions. Several groups fall between the cracks: part-time workers, freelance workers, and students for a start. And now that companies are slashing prices and trimming budgets, employee benefits like health care are often the first thing to be compromised. But many of us don’t realize how easy it is to get affordable coverage, no matter what our working conditions are like. If you’re one of the 50 million Americans without health insurance, here are the different ways you can go about getting it.
This is the most common form of health insurance in the country: individuals who work for corporations, and receive health insurance through their business. Usually there are requirements, such as hourly commitment per week, or a number of months with the company, before the health insurance kicks in. Sometimes the employee pays part of the monthly fee; sometimes the company pays all of it. In addition, you always need to be careful of WHO exactly is covered in your corporate sponsored insurance. Don’t assume your family is covered—you may need to pay additional money so include your family on your policy. Usually there is a representative in your office (or at the insurance company) who is familiar with the account: ask them for advice, and what you need to do to extend your coverage.
Another very common kind of health insurance, government-sponsored insurance ranges from Medicare and Medicaid to state-sponsored health benefits for those with very low income. Cruelly, the majority of insurance companies have an “income requirement” to be eligible for benefits, leaving those in the lowest bracket uninsured. If you are working, and your corporation doesn’t offer health insurance, but your income is too low to buy individual health insurance, research local and federal health insurance programs to see what you can qualify for.
Believe it or not, if you’re working part-time and your business doesn’t provide health insurance, you can buy your own. There are a variety of coverage options you can choose from—many no more expensive than the co-pay you would have with corporate-sponsored insurance. There are certain hassles to individual health insurance policies—you have to fill out pages and pages of questions about your health and lifestyle, and then be required (in some cases) to take a medical examination. But these inconveniences are a small price to pay for coverage.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nicholas Wright has worked in the insurance industry for several years. Because he believes consumers should be well-informed, he blogs to help those seeking insurance information. Whether you’re just trying to find a cheap health insurance plan or you’d like to learn more about the terminology used in insurance policies visit: