Best Health Insurance Alternatives For Individuals And Families

Affordable health insurance alternatives for individuals and families are easily purchased and are surprisingly cheap. Benefits can be customized to match single or multi-person needs. Our website’s quoting process helps you find these types of plans so you can quickly compare policies and apply for coverage. We understand that your current group, private, Exchange, or COBRA  plan may be very expensive. And there are many less expensive options, although it’s important to understand all differences in coverage.

Firstly, why would someone want an alternative to conventional medical coverage? There are many legitimate reasons. Cost is perhaps the most popular reason. Health insurance policy prices from the major carriers have dramatically increased over the last 5-10 years. And although the passage of The Affordable Care Act has provided large federal subsidies to millions of Americans, many others have watched their rates continue to climb. Other consumers simply do not want Obamacare coverage. Often deductibles are high $7,900 for Marketplace plans), out-of-pocket expenses are prohibitive, and the number of local network providers is limited.

Also, you may want to specifically cover emergencies for family situations instead of buying benefits you feel you would not utilize. Five years ago, 10 “essential health benefits”  became mandatory on all Marketplace (Exchange) plans.  So although maternity, pediatric dental, mental illness, and other benefits are a “must have” benefit for many persons, others realize they may be needlessly paying thousands of extra dollars, since they only want low-cost major medical coverage.

You Won’t Be Denied Marketplace Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions

Denial of coverage is no longer a reason to seek alternative healthcare. Unless you miss Open Enrollment, regardless of your medications, impending surgeries, or past and existing conditions, you won’t be turned down. If you missed the cutoff date (December 15), you may still qualify for an SEP (Special Enrollment Period), which allows you to apply for subsidized benefits any time throughout the year. All offered plans in your area are available.

Perhaps prior to 2014,  you  applied for medical coverage through Blue Cross, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare or another reputable company. If you were denied coverage in previous years, there were not many low cost options remaining. COBRA was (and still is) expensive and if you qualified for your state’s “Risk Pool” or “Open Enrollment,” premiums could have been out of your price range. But fortunately, that situation rarely exists any more.

The simplified “State Risk Pool” application was always popular on those types of policies. Often, the number of medical questions was just a few, and completing the process usually took less than 10 minutes. You did not have to take a physical and rarely were you asked to provide or look up medical information. Coverage was quickly approved, often without a waiting period.

And usually you were able to qualify for coverage within a few days instead of a few weeks. If you were in good health and just wanted a cheap medical plan, it was available. NOTE: Prior to Obamacare, Risk Pool policies were how persons with severe medical issues got covered. Pennsylvania featured one of the best options. In the Keystone State, the monthly rate was about $250 per month regardless of age or health.

“Limited Benefit Plans” Not Always A Good Choice

Find Best Health Insurance Alternatives

So now that we know why they are fairly attractive, what type of “alternative” policy is the best to purchase?

Although the most appropriate choice is often not the same for individuals or families, perhaps one of the most common options is a “Limited Benefit Health Insurance”  plan. And yes, just as it sounds, benefits are limited! But it’s important to understand which benefits are limited, in case those coverages are needed. And it should also be noted that these types of options are typically offered as supplements, although they are often utilized as primary coverage.

A much lower list of covered illnesses and diseases is fairly typical. And for the benefits that are included in the policy, you can expect to pay higher out of pocket expenses. For example, a two-day stay in the hospital may cost you $4,000 instead of $2,000. A much larger claim could cost you $20,000 instead of $7,000. Of course these are arbitrary examples.

These “Limited” policies do have a specific niche that may help you. If the options you currently have are either too expensive or are simply not available until a later date, they may be a temporary fix. With the money you are saving on premiums (from the high rates you are being offered elsewhere),  that may offset the higher risk you take in the event of a claim.

“Guaranteed Acceptance”

Also, it is important to understand that private “Limited” plans that are the easiest to qualify for, are often the ones with the highest potential for paying for specific items that otherwise are covered. Often, it’s an unusual lab test that was requested or a procedure that is not often utilized. If there are no medical questions, there’s probably a good reason.

If you see “guaranteed acceptance”  being used when describing coverage, medical underwriting will be limited and important benefits may be limited or missing.  NOTE: This does NOT apply to Federal or State Exchange plans, which provide very comprehensive benefits and our guaranteed (almost) to be accepted. However, when the term accompanies  a contract that consists of only a series of discounts, run away, but fast.

Christian Healthcare Plans

Find Cheapest Exchange Prices Online

Affordable Health Care Is Available

Lately, many “Christian” plans, commonly referred to as “Health Care Sharing Ministries,” are popping up in various parts of the country. They are often discussed and offered through local churches. The concept is fairly simple. Customers donate a fixed amount of premium every month (usually between $200 and $600) and that money is pooled together with other persons that have contributed. If the number of contributors reduces, higher amounts may have to be collected.

The funds are deposited and subsequently paid when covered medical claims are submitted. Of course, the more persons participating, the greater the chance of the concept working. This creative alternative has been available for about 20 years and almost 150,000 members utilize their services each year.

Typically, members can come and go as they please, and can not be canceled because they developed a serious illness and a large amount of money was paid to cover the claim. And the rate will not increase either. However, federal subsidies in the form of instant tax-credits are not available since these plans are not ACA-approved. And although no major organizations that offer Christian coverage have gone bankrupt, if they do, you could suddenly owe thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for medical services just performed.

Also, these types of  private medical coverage are not regulated by state insurance departments or The Affordable Care Act, so if potential financial or insolvency problems arise, you may be fighting your battle alone. Some of the biggest organizations that offer Christian coverage are Christian Healthcare ministries and Medi-Share. They are not regulated by the Department Of Health And Human Services.

Medical Tourism Healthcare

No, we’re not referring to traveling abroad on vacations. This concept involves US citizens receiving medical treatment in other countries. Although quality of care is not always equal to the best hospitals here, the  savings is often significant. Even if you take into consideration travel and accommodation expenses, the actual cost of surgery and major procedures is often 25%-70% less than the conventional method.

Accredited overseas hospitals (by “The Joint Commission”) often utilize doctors and specialists that were originally trained in the United States. By researching and verifying credentials, you can eliminate the “quality” variable out of the equation. The affordability aspect of medical tourism is helped since international healthcare pricing is typically low, wages of physicians, other employees, and facility costs are cheaper, and malpractice insurance rates are less expensive.

We are not formally endorsing the concept of replacing your personal medical coverage with this highly unusual option. However, in selected situations (and there are many factors to consider), it may be a viable alternative. But it’s critical to do your research and understand the risks.

Discount Cards

You can easily find them.  Craig’s List. Your local newspaper. Facebook. Perhaps someone at work is selling them. They’re cheap and they are available everywhere. But are they worth the money you pay? Usually, not, since the combination of the application fee and ongoing monthly charge is not offset by the services you receive, especially if all of your medications are generic.

And what are those services? Discounts. Some are big and some are small. And many of them don’t work as advertised. Rates for many items are negotiated, although you may be able to obtain the same savings without purchasing a “discount card.” Although these programs can be used as a primary or supplement form of coverage, they will not match the benefits offered by an on or off-Marketplace policy.

Summary

We’ll do our best to provide and find the most affordable health care options for you and your family. Viewing our free quotes is the first step and then, if you choose, you can apply for coverage. We’ll customize  policies so they closely match your existing needs. “Alternative” is not always a negative word when searching for your best medical plan options. But it is important to consider all policies that you may be eligible for.