Affordable Health Insurance
Finding an affordable health insurance plan can be a real challenge. This article examines some of the most common sources for affordable insurance.
The majority of people in the United States receive health insurance through their own or through a spouse’s employer. Employers are able to purchase insurance at group rates (as opposed to individual rates which are much higher) and pass this savings along to employees. In addition, some companies chip in either the full cost or a portion of the cost of the health insurance.
As insurance costs skyrocket and companies cut back on the amount they are willing to contribute towards insurance, however, many individuals find that they can no longer afford insurance through their employers, even at group rates.
Some professional organizations offer insurance at group rates to their members. The International Women’s Writing Guild, for instance, offers affordable health insurance to members who live in New York.
If you’ve recently left a job where the company employed twenty or more people, you may be eligible for up to eighteen months of health insurance coverage at your previous employer’s group rates.
Medicaid provides free health coverage for certain individuals. In order to qualify for Medicaid, an individual must have little or no income and few assets. Other conditions may also apply—in many states, for instance, applicants must be under 18, pregnant, disabled, or elderly.
SCHIP stands for State Children’s Health Insurance Program. SCHIP offers affordable health insurance for children whose parents earn too much to qualify them for Medicaid but too little to be able to afford health insurance. Income guidelines differ from state to state.