It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there for those who don’t have health insurance. Now I will try to stay off of the soapbox too long, but as a cancer survivor I must say: I love and I hate health insurance. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one – cancer or no cancer. And I know employers feel the same way when it’s time to crunch the numbers and see what’s affordable each year.
I’ll set aside the political debate here and just say that not having health insurance can be very difficult. It seems like there’s just a few options in order to get it, too:
- Work full-time for a company that can provide a group benefits package. (Pre-existing won’t matter as long as you’ve been covered by a previous plan. If you haven’t, you’ve usually got a waiting period, FYI.)
- Get an independent plan directly from the insurance carriers. (If you’re healthy and don’t have anything pre-existing this can work. If you’re not healthy or have a pre-existing condition, prepare to be denied coverage, have a very pricey health plan or be presented with a plan that covers everything but what you need it to cover.)
- Rob a bank so you can afford either a family plan, group plan or independent plan if it’s not covered (or partially covered) by your employer. (Ok don’t rob a bank, but all of this to say it can be pretty pricey to try and get health insurance, especially if you have a family.)
And those are just some options on how to even get some health coverage. That’s not mentioning deductibles.
Health Deductibles Run High
Even if you have coverage, many are facing high deductibles just to be able to afford some sort of coverage. Employers offer these plans because they’re some of the most affordable. And, if you go to the doctor a lot (or not at all,) they can actually be a good option for you too. However, for those who are in the middle (go to the doctor sometimes, but not a ton,) they can be frustrating. Upwards of $2000-$5000+ are the deductibles many work toward when they visit a physician, have a lab test drawn or require diagnostic imaging scans. Granted, some still have affordable co-pays; however, others with high deductible plans don’t have that advantage. Even those with health insurance aren’t immune to feeling the pains of high health care costs.
Luckily, there are several options popping up around the country addressing this growing need. Stay tuned for next week’s post where we talk about a few options we’ve noticed for those with high deductible plans or those without health insurance.