Finding Basic Health Insurance

By Shannon C , last updated July 4, 2011

Finding basic health insurance is not the easiest task to set before ourselves, but it is becoming more and more common today as there continues to be an economic downturn and more and more employees are turning to contract or freelance work, or self-employment, or having to scramble to find their own independent basic health insurance to avoid going without insurance during an extended job search or period if unemployment. The one advantage that you will have when beginning the search for basic health insurance is that there are more options today than ever before for finding a policy that can work for your budget and basic health care needs. The internet can be a very useful tool here to locate basic health insurance as well, and can give you a good starting point from which to assess which insurance providers are likely to have a policy that will most closely match your needs. Learn from experts the considerations to weigh when finding basic health insurance for yourself or your family.

Consider Your Budget With and Without Health Insurance

As experts continually remind individuals who are weighing the pros and cons of obtaining basic health insurance, basic health insurance does not come without some expense, but the most important factor is not the cost of purchasing health insurance, but the cost of catastrophic injury or illness faced without health insurance. In nearly every case, individuals discover that the family would not have the means to address catastrophic medical care with what the budget currently supports. From here, you can factor in how basic you want to go with your health care insurance, whether it is a 10,000 dollar deductible or even higher, but at what level could the family financially recover from or support the costs of catastrophic medical care without going under. From here, you will find a much more stable platform from which to assess how much health insurance you can or can't afford.

Determine Whether Your Current Doctors are Covered

Each plan will function somewhat differently, and what this means is that some basic health insurance will function from within a network of approved care providers, while other plans will allow the policy holder to select their own care providers. But each plan will offer a way to check before purchasing the policy to see if your existing care providers are now or can be recognized as providers within the type of health care policy you are considering. This may or may not be important to you, but if it is, be sure to check before you buy.

Evaluate What Happens After Your Deductible is Met

Basic health insurance coverage functions based on a system of who pays for what, when, and up to what amount. Upon closer examination, you may discover that the policy which offers a lower deductible may not provide as much coverage, or may omit coverage for certain types of care that you need. When selecting basic health insurance coverage, the most important thing to factor in is what you need the coverage for, and how much you can afford to pay for out of pocket costs up to your deductible and in co-insurance after your deductible is met. Experts advise to notice what types of treatment or attention you may require, and select a plan that is heavy on those benefits for a deductible that is financially manageable for you. Generally speaking, the less you pay up front, either the less coverage you will have or the more you will pay in co-payments or co-insurance after your deductible is met.

Ask About What "Basic" Means

Basic health insurance coverage can mean different things to different insurers. For some, it will relate to a maximum dollar amount of care provided annually. For others, it will relate to the types of care offered. Many basic health insurance plans will not cover care for mental health, vision, dental, and so-called "alternative" care such as chiropractic and acupuncture, while others will cover these items. If you need a specific kind of care, and the plan does not provide for it, then no matter how attractive the pricing is, the plan is simply too basic to meet your needs.

Take Your Time and Do Your Homework

The most important part of this process is to take your time, do the research you need to do to learn the basics of how health insurance works, and be sure to ask all the questions that you have before selecting a policy to purchase. This is also a great time to assess the customer service of the insurer.

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