Today is quite different when it comes to getting access to health insurance. In fact it is so different you need to make a decision to either take your health insurance at work or go to the open market and purchase your own plan. Some employers are not even offering health insurance due to the rising cost. This is especially true with smaller businesses due to the size of the group and how much the plan is used. Bigger groups do not get a discount due to the size; they just have a larger premium base to work with. This means they have more employees to share the cost with and the larger group can balance health vs. unhealthy better than smaller groups.
We are either switching jobs to one that will have different employer options, in terms of coverage and costs, or your current employer is making changes to make it more affordable for the business. It may be an option to look outside of the employer plan and purchase a plan on your own. More often than not, the employer will pay a good portion for the employee but not much for your spouse and dependents. This could drastically reduce your costs each month. This could be as much as 50% of what you are paying your employer. Initially, it may not make sense to break the family apart on your health insurance, but it is the new reality to save money.
The other reason you may look outside of your company is you believe you can get better coverage than what is offered at work. This may be true, but do not jump the gun. The private market is not full of roses either. There are limitations in policies that you may not have seen with your company plan. They also lack coverage that might have been covered such as chiropractic care and anxiety or depression treatment including counseling. Depending on the carrier you either will not have this kind of coverage or it is very limited and you will end up paying for it. The other thing to consider is pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is any treatment received within the last 12-24 months (or longer on some health conditions). So even if its ‘preventative’ medication or treatment it can be classified as a pre-existing condition. Most commonly treated conditions are usually covered at some point. Each carrier will have a different ‘personality’ for each pre-existing condition. This is why it is important to work with an independent health insurance expert. How do you know they are independent? Ask them for their business card or website. If it shows a particular carrier logo, they have a vested interest in one company.
Buying private insurance has become even more attractive in recent years because you are the one in control. It does not matter if you are self-employed, unemployed or an employee; you can continue your coverage as long as you are paying for your premiums. Generally, if you look at the full premium with an employer, not the portion you are covering, you can get similar coverage privately for 30%-60% less! This is nothing new. We are just stuck in old times thinking someone else should be paying for it.
Fact check: About fifty percent of bankruptcies are due to medical bankruptcy. Most of those filed had health insurance at the time of the on-set of the illness. There are many reasons for this: you are replaced at work due to the length of time off, you cannot afford C.O.B.R.A, you lose sources of income. If you purchased your own policy you could get it for up to 60% less than what C.O.B.R.A could be in a similar situation. That alone can make things more affordable. If you work with an expert they will recommend a Critical Illness Insurance policy on every adult. Critical Illness insurance pays one lump sum upon diagnosis of a critical illness – with no waiting period! How much would a check for $25,000 help you when you need it the most, due your health?
It is clear that buying private insurance is becoming more and more common. There are a lot of pluses to buying on your own versus going with a company plan. Make sure you use diligence when you are shopping. Put your efforts in find a health insurance expert. They will already have done the homework on all the plans in the market place. It is up to you to ask enough questions to help make an educated decision.