On the marketplace in your state, you can shop and compare affordable healthcare plans from multiple companies. You can buy health coverage through your state or federal marketplace, which offers plans in various options. For individuals who are not eligible for federal Medicaid, your health insurance marketplace, along with non-exchange plans, including short-term health plans, might provide the most cost-effective solution.
Short-term health insurance has lower monthly premiums, but policies can extend only for a few months–up to a year, at best, depending on your states laws regarding short-term health coverage. Short-term plans have limited benefits, which is compared to plans offered in each states Affordable Care Act marketplace. Full benefits means individual coverage provides comprehensive coverage of all 10 essential health benefits required for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
If you earn 100 percent to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), you are eligible to receive subsidies on health plans that you can purchase through the Health Insurance Marketplace, a program run by the federal government for buying plans that are Affordable Care Act-compliant. If you are a lawful U.S. resident, you can apply for health insurance subsidies and sign up for a health plan through the Health Insurance Exchange, operated by your state or by the government. Before you can purchase a single-coverage policy, you have to provide the insurer with information about your health.
To start, check with my parents medical coverage to see if they offer dependent coverage. If a plan covers only your parents – or both your parents and your spouse – expect the cost of monthly insurance to increase as you enroll.
Depending on what kind of plan you purchase, your care might be covered only if you go to a provider that is part of the plans network. You may need to pay more or obtain a referral if you decide to receive care from a provider who is not in your plans network. If you are going to go out-of-network to see a preferred provider or go to a preferred facility, know that they are not contracted by your health plan providers, and will probably charge more – sometimes at full cost.
Ask what benefits a plan does and does not cover, which benefits are subject to limits; ask whether the plan covers your prescription drugs; ask where you can see a list of the plan-networked healthcare providers. When you have finally found a health plan that seems like it will cover your needs, check on the Insurance Divisions website or give them a phone call to see if the company is licensed to sell this kind of coverage in Massachusetts, before committing to buying a product. Keep in mind, some of these plans might have limited coverage, so be sure to know and understand exactly what you are getting.
Regardless of where you fall in those measures, the best way to find affordable health insurance is to shop around between several different providers and compare plans by what they offer, your monthly premium, annual out-of-pocket costs, and other details. Some factors that influence the cost of your health insurance include your deductible, copayment, coinsurance, monthly premiums, and your out-of-pocket max, as well as your individual choices regarding plans and options for coverage.
If you are trying to find the health plan with the best value, look closely at that number and how much it can potentially cover. Generally, the more you are willing to pay out-of-pocket for medical services, such as physician visits or prescription drugs, the less you will pay for the monthly premium.
Marylanders have several options to help with the cost of their health care, depending on their employment status, insurance needs, and ability to pay. These plans enable groups of individuals who have a religious affiliation to split costs for some specific medical expenses.
If you were covered by an employer group plan and lost coverage, you might qualify for continuation of existing coverage through COBRA, a federal law that gives some employees the option of continuing their health coverage when they leave their job, or under Marylands continuation of coverage laws. Loss of coverage is one of qualified life events that allows you to enroll in a private health plan outside the annual open enrollment period. These changes include losing employer-based health coverage, changing your family situation, or moving to another area.
A student health plan may be an excellent option for inexpensive medical coverage, as you do not lose coverage if you choose to move to another school. A plan sponsored by the school usually provides medical insurance for most campus-based medical services, but you can lose your coverage if you become a part-time student or transfer schools. You might try mixing indemnity insurance, which is designed to pay a flat daily benefit if you are hospitalized or have an accident, with short-term health plans, which might allow you to see the doctor several times per year for more minor ailments. While those plans will not cover pre-existing conditions that you might have had prior to buying the plan, if you develop the condition within that time frame, you are covered through the end of the year, explained Nate Purpura, VP of marketing strategic partnerships for the health insurer eHealth.
With HealthMarkets, you can sign up for a plan at the same price that you would pay if you purchased directly from an insurance company. As a small business owner, you can shop for group health, dental, and vision coverage for your employees through eHealth. With eHealth, you can buy medical, dental, and vision plans for everyone in your household.
As a trusted provider, eHealth allows you to get the healthcare coverage you need for a reasonable price, with over 13,000 options from 180+ carriers. Explore yearly costs and premiums, metal categories if you are considering Affordable Care Act plans, health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts (FSAs) options, and out-of-pocket costs.