Loan Advice

How Much is Private Health Insurance?

by Jim Hughes   November 13, 2019

Annual enrollment for health insurance coverage in America is about to end. You are running out of time to choose an option. If you need money now, we can help you try to find an emergency medical loan.

Here are smart ways to get cheap health insurance loans.

Millions of Americans are not lucky enough to have free health insurance. Many do not qualify for government-subsidized cheap medical payment coverage, and there are those whose employers do not cover it, either.

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If you are having trouble figuring out how to pay for medicine, doctor’s visits, check-ups, and other medical expenses, here is some information that may make the process a little easier.

Buying Private Health Insurance

Private Health Insurance is a policy purchased directly from an insurance company rather than through an employer or the government.

Some frequently asked questions about health insurance include:

  • How long can you stay on your parents’ policy? According to the Affordable Care Act, when you turn 26, you are no longer allowed to stay on your parents’ policy.
  • Do part-time employees receive health benefits? The chances are that if you work less than 40 hours a week for a company, you will not be offered any benefits.
  • Do you have to get a policy as soon as you lose your job? No. You should be able to keep your policy through COBRA, although this is an expensive solution.
  • Can a provider kick me off my insurance for a pre-existing condition? No. Your provider is not allowed to cancel your coverage because of a pre-existing condition. If this happened, you might need to consult an attorney.
  • Will I receive a fine for not having health insurance? No. The old fine for opting out of health coverage no longer exists.

While Uncle Sam won’t ticket you for not having a plan, it is incredibly unwise to go without coverage. Here is a breakdown of how much it costs to pay out of pocket:

  • Heart surgery – over $100,000
  • Appendix removal – over $15,000
  • Having a baby – over $10,000 (a c-section costs over $15,000)
  • Overnight stay in the hospital – over $5,000
  • A colonoscopy – Over $2,000
  • An MRI – over $1,000

That doesn’t include add-ons like anesthesia that can drive the prices up by thousands. Without coverage, you are expected to pay these costs in full.

If you are facing the due date on past medical expenses and want to avoid late fees, one solution is to borrow cash through a payday loan online. Shorter-duration loans can get you the cash you need in a hurry, although the fees can be higher than with other forms of borrowing.

You can try to avoid sky-high medical bills with an insurance plan. Low-budget private health insurance costs about $400 per month for individual coverage and $1,000 per month for a family plan.

How to Cut Costs with Cheap Medical Coverage

Start by seeing if you qualify for the Advanced Premium or Cost-Sharing Reduction credits. These can make your monthly premiums a lot lower, and you may qualify for them even if you think they are out of reach.

You can also talk to your employer about offering some kind of solution. If you work for a company without a group plan, it might be because nobody has ever done the work to figure out how to get one. If you go to management with a plan, they may be willing to give it a try. Be sure to point out how it can help with hiring and keeping current employees motivated.

If your company doesn’t think now is a good time to start offering group insurance, they may still be willing to help you pay for your private health insurance. There may be tax incentives for your company if they decide to go down this route.

One of the best ways to cut costs when choosing a plan is to make sure you only get the coverage you need. Of course, you don’t always know you’ll need your appendix removed. That said, it may make more sense to choose a plan with a high co-pay and lower monthly rates if you do not plan on using the insurance very often.

One last tip is to buy off-exchange insurance. You may save money when you purchase your insurance directly from the provider. This isn’t always true, but it’s worth comparing rates.

How to Pay Large Medical Bills Without Insurance

Hospitals are sometimes willing to work with patients to come up with a billing plan. There are a few reasons why they are motivated to do this. The biggest reason is that you can file for bankruptcy to avoid paying your bills, and hospitals want you to avoid using this option.

If you are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt, bankruptcy really might be your best way out. It will take nearly a decade for your credit to recover (which can affect everything from finding a job to getting an online installment loan), but that may be worth it for eventually having a clean slate.

If bankruptcy is not the answer, then working with the care facility directly might be another option. They may offer you a long-term plan for paying off the debt. The terms may be better than if you tried to borrow a short-term loan to pay your hospital bill. It never hurts to ask.

When is it Too Late for Insurance?

Since you cannot be denied for a pre-existing condition, it’s probably not too late for you to sign up for medical insurance. You have until Dec. 15 to choose a plan. After that, open enrollment ends, and you will have to wait until next year.

In some cases, you may be able to access a Special Enrollment Period. If you experience a qualifying life event, you will be able to enroll outside the enrollment period for up 60 days after the event. Here are qualifying life events:

  • You lose your job
  • You move and lose your previous plan
  • Your family member whose plan you were on loses their plan
  • The size of your household changes (e.g., you get married, have a kid, or a kid moves out)
  • You suddenly make too much money to qualify for Medicaid or Medicare

If you think you have an exceptional circumstance that should trigger the Special Enrollment Period, you can check the official list of complex issues. Our list above is in no way complete.

Discovering the true cost of private health insurance can be a tough pill to swallow. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs. Whatever you do, don’t gamble with your health. If you think you need medical attention, you should get it as soon as possible.

Jim Hughes   OpenCashAdvance Marketing Manager
Personal Finance
Jim Hughes remembers checking his first email on the original BlackBerry 850 nearly 20 years ago. It was spam, and he fell for it. Even so, he’s been on the beat every day since, following the ebbs and flows of financial technology. Look to Jim for insider exclusives on shorter-duration loans, installment loans, and other popular products in fintech today.
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