Founders Life and Health Blog
Founders Life and Health Blog
FINDING AFFORDABLE HEALTH INSURANCE
Finding Affordable Insurance can be a little bit like trying to find a unicorn or a needle in a haystack, but it is not impossible.
Affordable Health Insurance
Hi, I'm Jo Hutchison. I am an independent Medicare and Health Advisor with Founders Life & Health based here in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri. Today we are talking about finding affordable health insurance.
Hint #1 for finding affordable health insurance:
The Marketplace, and I know, stop, stop, stop, before you just click off onto another website. I know in the past that the Marketplace has been a little bit expensive, but some things have changed, so there are new guidelines in place that could help you get much more affordable coverage. So what changed? As far as the ACA goes, and just to backtrack for a second, when I'm talking about the Marketplace, or ACA, or Obamacare, they're all the same thing. So what changed?
The American Rescue Act that was passed in 2021, allowed for a whole lot more subsidies to enter the Marketplace to help people offset the cost of their Marketplace coverage. If you had shopped the Marketplace in the past but the coverage was still too high based on your income, it could be a whole lot more affordable now. The guidelines for all of that have changed.
Also, COVID was really hard on all of us, some of us obviously physically, and for a lot of us financially as well. New guidelines were put in place that if you filed for unemployment in 2021 or 2022, even if you took just one week of unemployment, your healthcare costs can be remarkably lower. In fact, in some instances almost as low as zero dollars premium per month. So why is ACA coverage/Marketplace coverage/Obamacare coverage, why is that the first thing that I'm talking about?
It's going to be the most comprehensive coverage for you.
If you're looking for a plan, you're looking for something affordable, an Obamacare plan is going to be one of the only things that's going to cover your pre-existing conditions, which is huge. If you have chronic conditions or if you have something that you really need to have a doctor address, then having ACA coverage is actually going to cover that so that you won't be paying out of pocket for anything.
Hint #2 is to find a plan that you can raise the deductible on.
Usually this is going to work much better with a short-term medical plan. Raise your deductible to a much higher, say $10,000 annual or a $12,000 annual. What that is going to do is it's going to lower your monthly premium by a great deal. But here's the way that you protect yourself. Add an accident coverage plan that covers that exact amount of the deductible. If you're in a bike accident, or you're riding your scooter somewhere and you fall off of it, or a car accident, and you have an accident that you need to have covered, that deductible is going to come due. The accident policy is going to write you a check for the amount of the deductible, so you're not going to have to worry about paying that high deductible. And usually the monthly payments on an accident plan are going to be really low. You're going to be able to offset the cost of that high deductible and protect yourself at a pretty low amount.
Helpful Hint #3 is to get a little bit unconventional with the type of policy.
There are several options out there for things that are actually not really considered health insurance, but they will cover you financially for all things health-related.
One of those option is an indemnity plan. I know that's a big dumb word, but basically what it does is, any time you have anything, whether you go to a doctor's appointment, if you have a procedure, if you have testing done, then you submit a claim to the indemnity company and they basically just write you a check for what the coverage amount would be. Then you send that check, clearly, over to your doctor.
If you decide to go with a policy like this, here's a hint inside of a hint. A lot of these plans that do this indemnity kind of work actually have a company in-house that will negotiate down the cost of your medical bills as well. They have people that will contact all of your providers as you're having services, or even before you're having services, to negotiate what the cost of that service is going to be, which really protects them because they're the ones writing the check, but overall protects you too because you're going to have a much lower amount for whatever those options are going to be. Another hint kind of within a hint here, if you do decide to go the route of an indemnity plan, you can also negotiate with your healthcare providers upfront, and you can find out what the cost of those things are going to be.
If you have to have a procedure done, have the conversation with the doctor before the procedure happens so that you know exactly what the cost is going to be. Then you can coordinate with your indemnity plan provider either right before it happens or after it happens to make sure that all of those funds are going to be there for you.
The big takeaway here is that there are options.
If you did not think that there were options to be able to get yourself covered affordably, there are ways. There are ways to do it. You just need to be able to talk to somebody that knows what they're doing that has access to several different options, and shop the policies. Figure out what's going to work best for you and for your budget. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope this was helpful.
About the Author
Hello! I’m Jo Hutchison and I’m the owner of Founders Life & Health. I’m a proud baseball mom, lover of live music and all things potato.. My husband and I have two great boys and two lazy hound dogs. My boys play a LOT of baseball so when I’m not helping my clients we can almost always be found on a baseball field somewhere in the Midwest.
I'm a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) and a member of NAHU (National Association of Health Underwriters). I spend a good deal of my time working on educational outlets and working on healthcare policy change to help bring comprehensive and AFFORDABLE coverage to everyone. Nothing makes me happier than sharing the tidbits of knowledge that I know about the Medicare and health insurance world so people can make the most informed decisions about what plans they need.
The most important thing that I have learned through the years in this business is that each client has very different needs. Our goal is to listen to you, assess your needs, and use our experience and knowledge to help you make informed decisions about your health care coverage. We are an independent brokerage so we advocate for our clients, not the insurance companies.