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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How To Determine If Your Health Insurance Is Affordable

Is Your Health Insurance Affordable?
Beginning in January 2014, uninsured American individuals and families, as well as small businesses, will be able to purchase health care insurance through state health insurance exchanges. A health insurance exchange is a marketplace where people are offered options in cost and coverage for various health insurance packages. This will be offered through the Internet where people can review their options and choose which plan is best for them.

Many Americans will find themselves purchasing health insurance for the first time. So, the question of affordability is an important one. The cost of health insurance varies according to age, health, and size of family. The premium is the amount one pays each month for buying health insurance coverage. The deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket health care costs a person has to pay before the insurance company begins to pay. Basically, the lower the deductible the less expensive the premium is, and vice versa. The key to finding the policy that fits individual or family needs is to find the right mix where the premiums  fit the budget and the coverage meets the needs of everyone in the family.

Buying the cheapest insurance is not always the best. While the premiums may be low, it will most likely have a high deductible as well as minimum health care coverage. This could leave individuals and families vulnerable to paying high costs for deductibles as well as health care services that are not included in their plan. Each individual has specific health care needs that need to be considered when looking for a health insurance plan. But even an individual with perfect health must consider the possibility of unexpected developments in their health that could drain them financially if they did not have proper health insurance coverage.

Not buying health insurance and paying the penalty is also not advised. First, the penalties for those who are considered able to buy health insurance (not exempt) are high. The maximum for a family is $285 or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater in 2014, increasing to $975 or 2 percent in 2015 and $2,085 or 2.5 percent in 2016. In addition, not being insured leaves them without protection.

The Affordable Care Act is designed to provide health care insurance for most Americans. Government subsidies are available for those whose incomes are up to 400 percent of the poverty level. As an example, if a family of four has income no more than $46,000 per year, this is at the 200 percent above poverty level, making the family eligible for subsidies that would limit their cost for health insurance to $235 a month. Once the state health insurance exchanges are open for business, individuals and families can find out what subsidies they are eligible for and determine what they be paying for health care insurance.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.