As unemployment continues to rise, many people who’ve always depended on their employers for health care are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory. For some the first shock comes when they get the COBRA cost and actually learn what the average monthly cost of health insurance is. For those whose companies have gone out of business or have too few employees to qualify for COBRA, the only alternative is to begin the search for individual health insurance quotes.
Is there such a thing as cheap health insurance, low-cost health insurance or even affordable health insurance? That’s going to depend on a lot of factors, including your personal circumstances (age, pre-existing conditions, lifestyle choices, proof of creditable coverage, etc.), the state you live in and your flexibility.
The older you are, the more you’re likely to pay for health insurance coverage. That’s because individual insurance shoppers are not protected from age discrimination the way group members are. Add in a pre-existing condition or history of health issues, and the degree of difficulty and costs will increase accordingly. It could be something as serious as cancer, as wide-spread as high blood pressure or as minor as surgery on an ingrown toe nail, but if it’s on your health records, it’s going to impact your quest for afford health insurance, because here again, you the individual no longer have the government protection given to groups. Bottom line: if you’re a 58-year-old smoker with diabetes, your odds of finding cheap health insurance are slim and none.
Potential health insurance providers also want to see that you’ve had health coverage in the recent past, also known as proof of creditable coverage. You can obtain that from your previous insurer, but don’t wait too long. A uninsured gap of more than 60 days will make it harder for you to find low-cost health insurance.
Unless you’ve been living on Mars the past few months, you can’t have missed the health care debates raging. One of the issues frequently mentioned as a hindrance to affordable health insurance is the inability to buy across state lines. Depending on where you live, you may have several health insurance providers to choose from or very few. The less competition in your state, the harder it will be to find a cheap health insurance policy. Don’t despair. This is where the flexibility part comes in.
Are you willing to accept a high deductible? That can have a dramatic effect on your average monthly cost of health insurance. Assess your personal situation and take the highest deductible you can reasonable afford. Shop around online at einsurance.com and compare plans and quotes.