Monday, March 20, 2006

Health Insurance for those who are unisured

Finding Health Care coverage and other tips on Health Insurance

Health insurance or health care coverage is probably one of the most concerning things on American's minds these days. It ranks right up there with the ecomony, jobs, education, and terrorism. Businessweek had an interesting article about finding the health care coverage that you need.

Not insured by your current employer? Find the health care coverage that you need! According to the Census Bureau, in 2004 45.8 million Americans (15.7% of the population) lacked health insurance. Here are some of the tips on fine the health insurance coverage that you need.

  1. First of all stay insured. Maintain your health insurance coverage even if you loose your job by participating in the COBRA payments. This rule passed by congress allows you to maintain your health for up to 18 months. While the premiums can be expensive it is important for you to determine if you want to run bare without health insurance or if you want to bite the bullet and pay for the coverage. The good part is I think you have roughly 45 days to determine if you want the coverage before your first premiums are do. Your previous employers HR department should be able to provide you with a copy of rules.
  2. Buy your own health insurance: Let's say you are on your own for an extended period of time without health insurance. Did you know that you can purchase your own health insurance from Wal-Mart? I know a lot of people have a real sore spot about Wal-Mart however, a family of 4 can purchase health insurance from Wal-Mart for $138 per month. That is pretty cheap! Granted the deductible is $10,000 however, you are also buying coverage that has a $3 million maximum benefit. So basically, you are self insured for the first $10,000 however, beyond that you start to get some benefits. If you want a lower deductable you just need to select a plan with a higher premium.
  3. Health Savings Account: A health savings account allows people to set aside fund tax free to be used for health care expenses. This doesn't do you much good unless you have been contributing to it for a long time and have enough money saved up to pay for health care expenses.
  4. Keep working: Another option while you are waiting for your real job to come along is to keep working. If you work at Starbucks for at least 20 hours you are eligible for health insurance. Additionally, you can also participate in the 401K and stock options.
  5. Contact an insurance broker: If all else fails contact your local insurance broker to review the insurance plans offered. It pays to shop around and talk with more than one source.

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