You’ve cut the cable and the lattes. You haven’t been to the mall or a restaurant or to a movie theater since – you can’t remember when. But still there is no way you can afford your health insurance.
If you are self-employed, unemployed or your employer does not offer benefits; you may be facing this dilemma. What can you do?
Our long-term goal is to find a way to get adequate coverage in place (we will talk about this in another post). Our goal today is to do the very best we can with what we have.
Some is better than None
You may be able to afford a high deductible, no office visit plan. Do not assume you can’t afford it based on what someone else told you. Most major companies have temporary plans if you are between jobs and almost all of them let you price plans on line — just be aware if you have pre-existing conditions or if you are over weight, the online price or plan may not be available to you.
If you cannot cover yourself (existing conditions make you ineligible or even the high deductible plans are unaffordable), get a quote for just your spouse and kids.
Here are some Providers that offer on-line Quotes:
Cover the Kids
Most states have some type of coverage available through their welfare agency. In Florida, we have Medicaid and KidCare – for those that make too much to qualify for Medicaid. At this time, Kidcare has a sliding scale premium based on income; even if you earn more than 200% above the poverty income level, you can purchase Kidcare for the full premium. Most colleges offer Student Health Insurance and some will offer financial aid to help cover the premium.
We can all do a lot to improve our chances against future health problems. This means dump the weight; get some exercise, stop with the junk food, booze and cigarettes.
Some of the factors that raise your health care premium are within your control (weight, smoking) and some are not (pre-existing conditions). Fix the things you can. It can absolutely make the difference between qualifying for an affordable plan or being ineligible for any individual coverage.
Our healthcare system is broken. You know it, I know it, the doc’s, the government and the insurance companies know it. We have all heard the heart-breaking stories of astronomical premiums and denials of coverage. If you are without coverage, the inequities of the system cannot be your focus. Accept that the situation sucks and pour your energy into getting the best you can for your family today.