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Cheap Health Insurance: Best Individual, Self Employed & Private Plans

Rachel Carey
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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Cheap Health InsuranceThe rising cost of medical bills is one of the most significant reasons why you should always have medical insurance. However, in the United States, approximately half of the population that does have health insurance never sees a doctor because they cannot afford the doctor’s fee. This cycle gets even worse when an uninsured individual gets seriously injured. Even if uninsured individuals go for medical treatment, medical providers are always reluctant to offer recommended service to these patients.

Table of Contents

Background

Likewise, most individuals from low-income profile are afraid of the cost of get healthcare insurance. However, research shows that health insurance significantly increases financial security among low-income populations. This is explained by the fact that hospitals charge more to uninsured patients compared to insured patients.

The Cost of Uninsured

A recent study of uninsured Americans found that nearly two-thirds of uninsured were not able to pay their medical bills. As a result, they relied on loans or their medical bills were sent to collections. On average, an uninsured person is likely to pay one-fourth of the total cost of medical bills as out-of-pocket expense. Considering that health bills can accumulate in thousands of dollars, this can wipe out any kind of savings – even for seemingly well-off individual.

The consequences of ending up in an emergency room can be disastrous for a majority of uninsured individuals. The financial experience can be horrifying because it can cost up to $1,500 to treat a minor emergency. In contrast, if the emergency requires surgery on the arm, the total cost can exceed $16,000 This cost is unfathomable for most of us. Considering that you will also need to bear the expense of a hospital stay, the total medical bills can be more than double the cost of the surgery itself.

The most widely cited reason for not getting insured is the high cost. According to ACA statistics, nearly half of uninsured Americans think that high cost is a major barrier to their decision. If true, this article offers useful insight into how you can get an affordable health insurance without feeling the burden on your pocket.

Cheap Health Insurance

Shop Around

If you have an internet connection, it doesn’t cost a penny to compare individual health insurance plans. Often, these insurance plans are less costly because you can get a customized plan according to your specific requirements. Additionally, you can save a lot getting a personalized plan by paying for only what you need. For instance, if you don’t have a chronic disease, you shouldn’t pay a premium for health plan that covers chronic illness.

Buy Directly from Insurance Companies

Use the power of the Internet to compare various health insurance plans. Every insurance company has a website, with offers and incentives to attract new customers; take your time to understand their plans and related cost. Health insurance comparison websites are also a good choice to study the variety of health insurance under one platform. The competition in the industry definitely plays in your favor, and it may surprise you to find out that health insurance companies are willing to provide health insurance at a much lower rate than you may have imagined.

Buy from an Agent

Finding a good health insurance can be time-consuming for someone who has a history of health issues. Under these conditions, designated healthcare agents can help you in selecting the right plan. Generally, there are two types of healthcare agents: captive agents and independent agents.

Captive agents are usually associated with a single company. They are useful when you are sure that you need insurance from a specific healthcare provider. You can get a better opinion from a captive agent if you have compared health insurance plans. Hence, it is a good idea to study and compare healthcare plans online, and then seek a captive agent if you require more information on your selected plan.

If the captive agent doesn’t seem an attractive option, independent healthcare agents can offer another option. These healthcare agents are trained to offer guidance according to specific needs of their client. For more complex healthcare issues, independent agents can also offer specific guidance according to your health and budget.

Still, it is important to ensure that you have proper information about basic healthcare plans before seeking help of the agent. If you are well-prepared, it will make things much easier for you to discuss your choice with the agent. In fact, you can also start your search on the Internet before seeking specific advice from an agent.

Special Government Programs

The United States government also provides subsidized health insurance programs to its residents. There are mainly three kinds of government-sponsored healthcare programs: Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.

Medicare is the most popular choice as it is available for anyone who is over 65 years of age. If you fall into this category, it’s time to visit your State’s health insurance exchange. In contrast to Medicare, Medicaid is designed for low-income individuals and families. If you do not qualify for Medicare program, it is heartening to know that you may still be able to get it if you are receiving any type of aid for community-based services or if your child is in foster care.

CHIP, Children’s Health Insurance Program, is another option for many families. CHIP offers healthcare coverage to children in families that do not qualify for Medicaid. In certain circumstances, CHIP can also extend the service to families including pregnant mothers.

Many people get health insurance through their jobs. However, if you lose your job and the open enrollment period for your state has passed, then you might worry about what you’ll do for health insurance. If you missed the open enrollment period to take health insurance, you can still apply if you just lost your job. Similarly, individuals who are getting married or expecting a baby can also get the coverage. In addition, the special enrollment period in many states welcomes anyone who lost the health insurance recently. If the proposition seems exciting, make sure to apply within the 60-day window or you will need to wait for anther open enrollment period until the end of the year.

Ask your Parents

If you’re under 26, your parents can save you the hassle of paying for health insurance. Young adults can remain on their parent’s health coverage until 26. In such a case, seek your parent’s advice to review if their current coverage will also cover you.

If their health insurance policy doesn’t cover you, you are likely to be eligible by paying an extra amount to the health care provider. If paying the extra amount is less than the cost of getting an independent health insurance from another provider, it makes sense to stay on your parent’s coverage. As such, you can pay the difference in cost to your parents.

Interestingly, staying on your parent’s healthcare insurance is much easier than you may think. Even if you don’t live with your parents or you are married, you can remain on their policy. In addition, financially independent children and children in school, over 18 years, are also eligible to share their parent’s healthcare in most cases. Staying on parent’s healthcare also makes sense if your employer is charging a lot to insure you.

Before making such a decision, ensure that you do not live outside of the network health coverage of the plan. If so, the added cost of getting healthcare outside the coverage area can prove more expansive than getting your own private insurance.

Cheap Health Insurance

High-Deductible Plan

An average American pays more than $440 in healthcare premium, every month. If you have a family, the total healthcare premium is usually more than $1000. In simple words, it means that you are going to pay around $5000 every year to get insured if you are single.

If the high cost seems too much, high-deductible health insurance plans can help you pay for one-off treatment. These treatments will usually include a high deductible cost. For instance, a major surgery may require you to pay up to $10,000 as a deductible. As a result, many people view these sorts of health insurance plans as an emergency option. You’ll need to cover the entire deductible before your insurance kicks in, but you’ll know the exact maximum you can possibly spend on health insurance for the year.

Before enrolling in a high-deductible plan, make sure that you are in a very good health and you have some sort of savings to protect you from high medical bills. Usually, high-deductible plans are recommended for young adults; adults who do not engage in outdoor activities; adults in a healthy shape; and anyone who is in a good financial condition. Due to these confines, less than 1% of Americans opt for high-deductible health plans.

Short-Term Plans

If you are left with limited options, short-term plans are yet another option to take care of your imminent medical bills. These short-term plans are offered for two to four months. Often, a short-term plan costs only $70 to $80 per month. Remember, if you have a pre-existing condition, short-term plans may not cover your health condition.

Despite their attraction, temporary health insurance plans should only be a short-term option. These plans are criticized for their stringent terms and conditions. For instance, you are going to pay for the same kind of tax penalties that individual without a healthcare pay. In addition, if you are seriously ill, the plan will only cover you for the period of its coverage. It means that you will not be able to renew the plan if your hospital stay is extended to more than one or two months.

The maximum coverage of these plans is also something to be cautious of. If medical expenses are high, it is likely that these plans will ask the insured individual to pay high deductibles. These deductibles can often go in thousands of dollars. Typically, $75 per month plan will come with a deductible of over $10,000. Nevertheless, you can compare these short-term plans with high-deductible plans to get some sort of coverage, if required.

Membership Organizations

Many Americans are not aware that many private organizations also offer their member’s low-cost health plans. Just like an employer, these organizations are able to negotiate a discounted health plan due to the sheer number of members belonging to these groups. If you belong to any of the groups or membership clubs, it’s time to ask them if they offer any health benefits.

For instance, Writers Guild of America is a membership organization, which may offer such services to writers enrolled in their network. In fact, most of these organizations do not require specific qualifications. Consequently, you can easily become a member of a private club by paying a small membership fee enabling you to get health discounts.

Examples of group memberships include AARP Health, which offers health benefits related to supplemental health care. Alliance for Affordable Services is yet another membership club, which may attract your attention. Costco Healthcare Insurance, Affiliated Workers Association, Freelancers Union, Association for Computing Machinery, and American Institute of Graphic Art are also well-known organizations offering health services to members.

If you can’t seem to find a suitable membership organization, ask your spouse if they qualify for any memberships. Just like regular health insurance companies, group health insurance also caters for other family members.

Affordable Care Act – Affordable Health Insurance

Apart from a stream of private insurance, you can always opt for the popular ACA health program offered by different health exchanges in your state. ACA is designed to offer affordable care to everyone in America; therefore, it makes sense to compare ACA plans with the private insurance quotes you get from insurance companies. In fact, the plans on the ACA are offered by the same private health insurance companies you can purchase plans from directly.

Before comparing such options, remember that ACA may also prove much expensive than you initially thought. For instance, it may include health benefits that you may never want from your health provider. In addition, there can be a lot of deductibles. In fact, majority of Americans are still unable to understand the complex structure of ACA, which is a major reason for many of them sticking to their health providers.

On a positive note, ACA also has a lot of advantages because everyone is entitled to such services as maternity care, emergency care, outpatient care, inpatient care, lab services, rehabilitation, pediatric care, and lots of other services that are often expansive and out-of-reach for most Americans.

Whatever option you select, make sure that you pick your health plan according to your health conditions. Whereas ACA is a great option to use basic services, it can be difficult to customize ACA according to your specific needs. Mostly, public health exchanges are notorious for providing lackluster service when it comes to guiding potential insurers regarding a good health policy.

Should you take ACA?

ACA health insurance basically falls into four tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Based on the tier, the patient shares medical bills with the government on the basis of 60-40%, 70-30%, 80-20%, and 90-10% split. It means that anyone opting for a bronze level will pay 40% deductible out of their own pocket, whereas the rest will be paid by the healthcare provider. Similarly, anyone opting for a platinum level will pay only 10% from the pocket, while the rest shall be paid by the provider.

From a broader perspective, ACA is practical for certain health groups. If you have a known health problem, ACA can be a good choice because you will not be subjected to a high premium. If you were to go to a private healthcare provider, pre-existing health condition can cost you a lot. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are young and healthy, ACA may also be a reasonable choice due to a smaller cost associated with it.

Cheap Health Insurance

How to select a health insurance?

It can be overwhelming to decide the type of health insurance that you want. It can be a very time-consuming process because what seems cheaper is often very expansive once you start reading the terms and conditions. As a rule of thumb, try to focus on your co-pays and basic health checkups like dental discount plans before comparing insurance.

The most important thing to consider when you look at a health care plan is the out of pocket maximum. The ACA requires all health insurance plans to display this figure when they present plans to you. The out of pocket maximum is the most you can possible pay for health insurance within the year.

After considering the out of pocket maximum, you should look at the deductible. This is the amount you’ll need to pay before your health insurance completely covers all of your costs. A lower deductible generally comes with a higher premium – the amount you pay each month. That means you should weigh the two numbers against each other and consider them in the context of your health situation when determining which health plan to pick.

In reality, almost everything related to your medical bill is expansive; hence, it makes a lot of sense to worry about your deductibles. Always keep a close eye on how much you will pay at the end of a treatment. Thinking from the perspective of deductibles, an expansive insurance may not seem very expansive after all. Overall, you want to eliminate deductibles, if you can.

Besides deductibles, you also need to check if basic healthcare needs such as dental care and prescription medicine are included in the package. What are you going to do if you’ve a severe toothache, and your doctor tells you to do a root canal to remove the teeth? You will likely be stuck because the procedure can easily cost upwards of $5,000 for treating a single tooth. According to the recent statistics, tooth extraction can cost anywhere from $90 to $900 in the United States. Once root canals are done, you are likely looking at a bill of around $1000. Most probably, you will need another tooth to spare infection, which is another $500 to $3000 in medical bills related to dental crowns.

Choosing Healthcare Plans

If you’ve decided to get health insurance, then you need to decide what kind of healthcare plan makes sense for you. Most private healthcare plans fall in four basic categories. The most popular is a PPO, preferred provider organization, which offers maximum coverage and a lot of flexibility in selecting who will treat you. The downside of a PPO is the cost associated with these health plans as they are generally more expansive than the other three types of plans.

In contrast, an HMO, Health Maintenance Organization, is less costly than a PPO. The downside of an HMO is restrictions on the type of doctors and hospitals you can use. Another disadvantage is the additional cost of deductibles which can be high, depending on your healthcare needs. Similarly, an HMO uses a referral system, which requires patients to get a referral from primary care doctor to see a specialist. For many individuals, such a referral system can prove annoying because patients can lose precious time.

If you need a low-cost plan with the ability to avoid doctor referrals an Exclusive Provider Plan is another option. Just like HMO, it has a limited network, which keeps the cost lower. On a side note, deductibles on an EPO are higher than an HMO, which can increase the overall cost of this plan.

Another similar healthcare plan is a Point-of-Service Plan, or POS. A POS is also a low-cost program with limited choice. Nevertheless, you can always see a doctor out of your network by paying a higher fee.

In today’s dynamic environment where U.S. government has made its top priority to provide health insurance to masses, it does no good to remain uninsured. Without health insurance you will likely pay your more in tax fines than you would on health insurance. Penalties for avoiding health insurance can range from 2% to 3% of total income, which is significant for those Americans whom mostly live hand to mouth, every month. Instead of paying these penalties, it’s better to start looking for health insurance.

Initially, the immense information on healthcare plans may seem daunting; however, you will be able to make a better decision after understanding how to make the basic choice available to you. Getting health insurance makes sense: you don’t want to ruin your finances just because of one hospital visit to an emergency room.

Aside from health insurance, life insurance should also be a priority. Check out our term life insurance quotes on this site. 

 

FAQ

General Health Insurance Questions

This section will answer general questions about health insurance.

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What is health insurance?

Health insurance is a product that lowers the cost of getting health care. You pay the health insurance a monthly premium and other fees, and the health insurance company pays some to all of the costs of your health care.

When is open enrollment for health insurance 2019?

The open enrollment period changes based on the state you live in. You’ll need to check for your state’s open enrollment period.

How does health insurance work?

Health insurance works by paying a company every month to lower the cost of your doctor visits. This means that you can afford health care and put a maximum cost that you’ll spend on health care in a given year.

How do health insurance deductibles work?

Health insurance deductibles work as an amount you need to pay off before your health insurance completely covers the costs in its terms. You pay off some of this deductible every time you pay your doctors bill. The insurance company will also help with doctors’ bills before you meet your deductible, as you’ll pay what’s known as a co-insurance charge to the doctor.

Is health insurance mandatory?

Yes, health insurance is mandatory. However, congress recently eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance. That means it’s technically illegal to not have insurance, but there’s no penalty for breaking the law.

When do you pay health insurance deductible?

You pay off your health insurance deductible as you make payments for health care at doctor’s offices and hospitals. The deductible shows how much of these costs you need to cover before you get 100% coverage.

How does health insurance work in the US?

In the US, some people are able to get health insurance from the federal government – the old, the poor, and children. Others get tax credits to go toward the cost of purchasing private health insurance. After a certain income level or if you get insurance from your job, you are no longer eligible for tax credits.

What is health insurance marketplace?

The health insurance marketplace is a website run by the federal government that allows individuals to shop for qualifying health care plans in their state and immediately apply a tax credit to the cost of insurance.

What is the best health insurance?

Everyone has different insurance needs. The best insurance for you is the one that provides you the protection you need at the lowest price. However, it’s up to you to decide what the most important aspects of health insurance are to you.

How do I know if my health insurance is active?

The best way to check if your insurance is active is to call your provider or log in to their website. You can also check your bank statements to see when the last time you paid a premium was.

Do I have to use my health insurance?

You don’t have to use your health insurance – but that means you’ll be paying the cash price for medical services. Paying full price can be very expensive.

What does PCP mean in health insurance?

PCP stands for primary care provider. This refers to the general practice doctor that you go to for things like checkups or basic medical needs, rather than a specialist.

Where is the policy number on health insurance card?

Every company has a different card. However, most policy numbers are listed in the top left side of the card, near your name. The number might be called something else, like member number.

Who is the subscriber for health insurance?

The subscriber is the person whose name the insurance policy is in. For children, this will be your parents. Most adults will be their own subscriber or have their spouse as a subscriber.

Can health insurance companies drop you?

Yes, health insurance companies can drop you. However, there are a limited number of circumstances when they’re allowed to do so. If you think your health insurance company dropped you inappropriately, then you should contact a lawyer.

How long can you go without health insurance?

It’s bad to go any length of time without health insurance. Accidents and illness can happen suddenly, and if they happen when you don’t have health insurance, you’re going to be facing a large medical bill.

Is Medicaid health insurance?

Yes – Medicaid is health insurance provided by the federal government to people that don’t make enough money or have a qualifying disability which prevents them from working.

Can you see a doctor without health insurance?

You can see any doctor you want without health insurance. However, you’ll be on the hook for the full cost of the visit and any treatment you receive.

What is the purpose of health insurance?

Health insurance protects you from high medical bills. Health insurance lets you see the doctor at a reduced cost or even free. As a result, you can stay healthier and know that should an emergency happen, then you’re covered.

Getting Health Insurance

This section covers the most popular questions people have about getting health insurance coverage.

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How to get health insurance?

There are lots of ways to buy health insurance – you can go through a specialized agent, an independent agent, health insurance company websites, or the federal marketplace during your state’s open enrollment period.

How to get cheap health insurance?

That depends on what you mean by cheap – a high-deductible plan will have a low monthly premium but can have higher overall out-of-pocket costs if you get hurt or sick. Consider the monthly premium against the out-of-pocket maximum when you’re looking at different healthcare plans.

How to get health insurance after open enrollment?

That depends on your situation. If you’ve experienced a qualifying event, then you can still get a plan from the marketplace. Otherwise, you can get insurance from an insurance company directly through their website, a captive agent, or an independent agent.

How to get health insurance without a job?

You have a few options for health insurance with no job. Many state Medicaid and unemployment programs provide health care for low-income or recently unemployed individuals. You can also sign up for insurance from the marketplace or with individual insurance companies.

Does AARP have health insurance?

The AARP offers supplemental health insurance and also has reviews and other information about health insurance plans specifically for seniors and those on Medicare.

How long does it take to get health insurance?

Usually not very long – most insurance companies will start your insurance coverage within a few days of signing up. However, insurance plans sold on the marketplace may not take effect until the calendar year, depending on when you’re purchasing them.

How to compare health insurance plans?

You can compare health insurance plans through an independent agent, health insurance comparison sites, www.healthcare.gov – which is the health care exchange marketplace and by talking to your doctor about what insurance plans they accept.

Can I add my girlfriend to my health insurance?

That depends on the laws and regulations in your state as well as the rules for your insurance provider. You’ll need to check state laws and with your employer or insurance company to be sure.

Is a spouse a dependent for health insurance?

In most cases, yes. You’ll need to check with your insurance company or provider about their specific policies regarding adding spouses to your policy.

Can I buy health insurance from another state?

No – each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to both insurance and practicing medicine. That means you can’t get a policy from another state.

Can undocumented immigrants get health insurance?

In most cases, yes. Health insurance is a private business, and most health insurance companies don’t have a citizenship requirement to purchase their products.

Can you buy health insurance anytime?

Yes, but you’ll pay more if you buy outside the open enrollment period without a qualifying event. You should pay attention to when your state has enrollment to get the best deal.

Should I use a broker to get health insurance?

That depends on your situation. If you want to do research yourself to compare plans, then you don’t need a broker. However, many people find the expertise a broker offers helps them find the right insurance product faster.

Can I add my boyfriend to my health insurance?

Sometimes – it depends on where you get your health insurance from and what that organization’s policies are regarding adding a non-married significant other to your insurance policy.

Can employer pay for individual health insurance?

Yes – there’s no restriction on what your employer can and can’t pay for. However, they’re not required to do so in most cases and the decision is up to the individual company.

Different Types of Health Insurance

We’ll answer some questions about different types of health insurance in this section.

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What is single payer health insurance?

Single-payer insurance is a system where everyone has the same insurance coverage and all health insurance is done through the government. It’s the type of health care system nearly every industrialized country uses, with the exception of the US.

What does PPO mean in health insurance?

PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. This type of health insurance lets you see any healthcare provider in the insurance plan’s network.

What is COBRA health insurance?

COBRA health insurance is a short term, catastrophic health care plan. It has a high deductible and is usually only used by people who are between health insurance coverages.

What is catastrophic health insurance?

Catastrophic health insurance is a type of health insurance that focuses on providing coverage for major injuries and illnesses only. They have a limited list of conditions they cover, and you pay out of pocket for most common medical expenses.

What does HMO mean in health insurance?

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. It refers to the network of providers who agree to provide medical services at a negotiated price for insurance companies.

What is gap health insurance?

Gap insurance is a special type of health insurance that allows you to pay a monthly premium to have the difference between your bill and your primary coverage taken care of. The result is that you have no out of pocket expenses.

What is group health insurance?

Group health insurance is when an employer, group of employers, or other groups negotiate a health insurance agreement with an insurance company. Everyone in the group gets the same benefits.

What is supplemental health insurance?

Supplemental health insurance is also called gap insurance. It covers the cost that your primary health insurance company doesn’t pay for.

Do I need health insurance if I have Medicare?

Maybe – that’s for you to decide. Medicare provides coverage for many things, but many seniors like to have medicare supplement plans as well to pick up the costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Costs of and Paying for Health Insurance

The cost of health insurance is one of the most important things people look for. This section answers questions about the cost of and paying for health insurance. It also includes questions about different payments to doctors based on your insurance.

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What is copay in health insurance?

A co-pay is the amount you pay to see your primary care physician. Your health insurance covers the rest of the doctor’s fee.

How much does health insurance cost?

There are lots of different health care plans and options, it can cost as little as nothing to as much as $800 per month, depending on your situation. We recommend using a comparison site or the marketplace to compare plans.

How much is health insurance?

That depends on lots of factors. The lower your income, the greater the tax credit you can get for your health insurance. Also, lower income people may qualify for Medicaid or other state insurance programs.

Are health insurance premiums tax deductible?

Sometimes – the relationship between taxes and health insurance can be complicated, so it’s best to talk to a qualified tax preparer about your situation.

What is the penalty for not having health insurance?

As of 2019 there is no longer any penalty for not having health insurance. This change happened through Congress in 2018.

Why is health insurance so expensive?

Health insurance is expensive because the cost of health care has grown tremendously. As a result, insurance companies need to charge more money to make a profit on their services.

How much does private health insurance cost?

That depends on the specific plan and other aspects of your particular health condition. On average, premiums for individuals are about $440 per month.

What is coinsurance in health insurance?

Co-insurance represents the payment you make to the doctor when you get service. Coinsurance is usually expressed as a percentage, so you’ll pay that percent of what the insurance company pays. The amount you pay goes towards your deductible.

Why are health insurance premiums going up?

Health insurance premiums are going up because the cost of health care is continually going up. That means health insurance needs to cost more as well for health insurance companies to make a profit.

What happens if I stop paying my health insurance premium?

If you stop paying your health insurance premium, you’ll develop a back payment due and then have your coverage canceled. Having your coverage canceled due to failure to pay doesn’t erase the debt you owe for the months you had coverage.

Why did my health insurance go up after Obamacare?

The most common reason that insurance prices went up after the ACA passed is that the law required insurance companies to provide more comprehensive coverage so that people could get the benefit of having health insurance.

How to pay deductible for health insurance?

You pay your deductible for health insurance every time you pay for health care and use your insurance card. The copay or coinsurance payment you make reduces your deductible until you hit zero.

What to do if you can’t afford health insurance?

The federal government and different state government have programs to help you out if you can’t afford health insurance. Also, you can qualify for a reduced premium through tax credits if you get a policy from the marketplace. These tax credits can dramatically lower your monthly premium.

Health Insurance Coverage

It can be hard to understand health insurance coverage. We’ll answer some of your questions about coverage in this section.

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What are preexisting conditions for health insurance?

A pre-existing condition is a health condition you had prior to obtaining insurance coverage. In the past, insurance companies were able to avoid paying for coverage on pre-existing conditions.

How long can a child stay on parents health insurance?

The ACA lets parents stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 years old. They can remain on this insurance regardless of their marriage, employment, school, or living situation.

How long is health insurance active after termination?

That depends on your specific arrangement. If you got insurance through an employer, then you may have coverage extended for a period of time. However, if your insurance is canceled for non-payment, then it is inactive immediately on termination.

Do employers have to offer health insurance?

Some of them do. Employers that meet certain conditions according to the ACA are required to offer qualifying insurance plans for employees.

Does health insurance cover therapy?

In most cases yes. However, you’ll need to check with your specific insurance company to see how to ensure that your therapy sessions are covered.

Is Viagra covered by health insurance?

In most cases, yes. Sexual health is still part of health. As long as you get a prescription from your doctor, and as long as your doctor says you need the prescription, then it will be covered.

Can I add a parent to my health insurance?

That depends on your specific insurance plan. In many cases it is possible to add a dependent to your health insurance.

What is considered a qualifying event for health insurance?

A qualifying event is a major life change that affects the state of your health insurance. Some examples include moving to a new state, getting a new job, losing your job, getting married, getting divorced, and so on.

Does health insurance cover dermatologist?

Sometimes. Most insurance companies don’t cover treatments that are considered cosmetic. You may also need a referral from your primary care doctor.

Does health insurance cover Lasik?

Many health insurance companies do cover Lasik. You’ll need to talk to your insurance company and Lasik surgeon to see if they take your insurance.

Does health insurance cover chiropractic?

It can, if you have a referral or if you have a condition that requires chiropractic care. Check with your insurance to see under what conditions chiropractic care is covered.

When does health insurance expire after leaving job?

Every employer has different policies regarding extending health insurance for someone that has left the company. You’ll need to talk to your job’s HR department to see if your insurance is extended and for how long.

How to fight health insurance denial?

The best way to fight health insurance denial is to look up your health company’s appeals process. Every company has an appeals process to deal with denied claims. You should also talk to your doctor, as most offices have staff whose sole job is to deal with denials.

Can my employer cancel my health insurance while on disability?

No – the Affordable Care Act makes it illegal to terminate your health insurance because you can’t perform your job duties due to disability.

Can my parents kick me off their health insurance?

Yes – your parents are allowed to keep you on their insurance until you’re 26, but the law doesn’t require them to do so.

Does health insurance cover birth control?

Yes, the Affordable Care Act mandates that most insurance plans cover all methods of birth control and no cost to the patient.

Does health insurance cover car accidents?

Yes – however your insurance company may attempt to get another company to pay, depending on the specifics of responsibility for the accident.

Does health insurance cover gym membership?

Many health insurance companies have some kind of benefit involving gym memberships. Sometimes companies give you a discount on your premium if you get a gym membership and other times, they’ll cover some or all of the costs of gym membership.

Does health insurance cover hearing aids?

That depends on where you live and your specific policy. Currently, only 22 states require insurance companies to cover hearing aids.

Does health insurance cover marriage counseling?

That depends on your specific insurance policy. Most plans only cover medical illnesses, and so they won’t apply benefits to couples therapy.

Does health insurance cover past medical bills?

No – health insurance only covers medical bills from service that happens during the time you’re enrolled and have an active insurance policy.

Does health insurance cover STD testing?

In most cases, yes. The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that require most insurance companies to cover STD testing for free or a reduced price.

Does health insurance cover vasectomy?

It depends on your company and specific policy when it comes to if your health insurance company will cover a vasectomy. Most insurance companies will cover the procedure at least partially, and many of them will cover it in full.

Health Insurance and Taxes

This section covers questions about health insurance and taxes.

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Is health insurance tax deductible?

Sometimes – it depends on several highly-individualized factors. That means you should talk to an accountant or tax preparer to determine your unique tax status when it comes to health care.

What is a tax credit for health insurance?

A tax credit for health insurance is money the federal government provides for you to get health care. If you don’t use the credit for health care and pay for health insurance out of pocket, then you get the tax credit back as a refund on your tax returns.

How does IRS verify health insurance coverage?

Insurance companies will send both the IRS and you a specialized tax form. This will show when you had insurance coverage with the company and how much you paid for that coverage, along with what, if any, tax credit was already applied to your payment.

Is health insurance tax deductible for the self-employed?

It may be, it depends on where you get health insurance and how your self-employment is structured. You’ll need more specific details to answer this question.

Are health insurance premiums paid by employer taxable income?

Health insurance premiums paid by an employer are exempt from federal and payroll taxes, so they aren’t considered taxable income by the IRS.

How do I qualify for a tax credit for health insurance?

Health insurance tax credits are issued on the basis of income. If your income is at or below a certain level, then you’ll qualify for tax credits from the government.

How does the tax credit for health insurance work?

The tax credits for health insurance work by taking your income into account to see whether or not you’re eligible for a tax credit. If you are, then you can choose to apply some or all of that credit to your insurance premium. Whatever you don’t apply to your premium will be sent back to you in your tax refund.

Other Health Insurance Questions

We’ll answer health insurance questions that don’t fit in to our other categories in this section.

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How to cancel health insurance?

You can cancel health insurance by contacting your insurance company and telling them you want to cancel your plan. There may be additional requirements depending on your state.

What health insurance does Congress have?

Congresspeople mostly get health insurance through the DC healthcare exchange, known as DC Link. Some members of Congress get healthcare through the VA because of their former military service.

Can I buy health insurance that is not Obamacare?

Yes, you can buy health insurance from places other than the insurance exchange marketplace. However, all insurance policies must meet requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

What is the health insurance exchange?

The health insurance exchange is a website run by the federal government or specific states that allows people to compare different healthcare plans and apply tax credits to their plan.

How do health insurance companies know if you smoke?

The health insurance company may not know if you smoke, but if you request coverage for complications that arise from smoking, the insurance company can decline you and also sue you for fraud, as your contract swears that all the information on your application is true to the best of your knowledge.

How do health insurance companies make money?

Health insurance companies negotiate deals with doctors and health care providers. Then they charge people a monthly premium in return for covering healthcare costs. They make a profit by charging more in premiums than they pay out in health care coverage claims.

Can I change my health insurance plan after enrollment?

If you experience a qualifying event, then yes, you can change your health insurance after enrollment. However, without a qualifying event, it’s going to be hard to change health insurance without paying steep fees.

Is it a law to have health insurance?

The law requires that you have health insurance, but in 2018 Congress removed the penalties for not having health insurance. So, while it’s still against the law to go without insurance, there’s no penalty for doing so.

Do politicians pay for health insurance?

That depends on the politician. Members of congress usually pay for their own health insurance, with the exception of veterans that get insurance from the VA. However, every jurisdiction handles this situation differently.

How to file a complaint against a health insurance company?

The best way to file a complaint against a health insurance company is by contacting your state’s department of insurance or department of revenue. These organizations have the jurisdiction to investigate your complaint.

Can my employer see my health insurance claims?

No – HIPAA is a federal law that protects medical privacy and doctor-patient privilege. The law specifically forbids employers from accessing insurance claims.

Does not paying health insurance affect credit?

It can – it depends on whether or not your health insurance company reports your non-payment to the credit reporting bureaus.

How many hours are considered full time for health insurance?

The ACA considers 30 hours or more to be full time for the purposes of employers providing health insurance.

Rachel Carey

Rachel Carey

Financial Guru

Rachel is dedicated to helping individuals and families boost their budgets so they can enjoy the lifestyle they deserve. Rachel graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She’s a prolific finance writer, producing tons of articles on different aspects of personal and family budget management.

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