It is against regulations for different vendors to charge different amounts for health plans that are the same. Hence, you should look at the widest variety of providers if you wish to find cheap health insurance. Also, you don't want to make a final decision without taking a look at the full picture. Bear in mind, to obtain the highest coverage; you might need more than the cheapest health insurance options. Nevertheless, the final say lies with you.
#1 Determine if You Qualify for Special Programs
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare, and Medicaid offer qualified members affordable and subsidized medical care. The most popular of these three is Medicare and targets members above 65 years, whiles Medicaid targets very low-income members. On the other hand, CHIP (as the name implies) caters for children who do not meet the eligibility criteria of Medicaid but also find standard insurance too expensive. To know for sure whether you are eligible, route your application through the health insurance exchange of your state. For those who meet all eligibility criteria, you can join both CHIP and Medicaid.
#2 Ask Your Parents about Staying on Their Plan
For persons below the age of 26, you can remain on your parents' medical insurance plan per the regulations of the ACA. This is often the cheapest option for most people even. This option is available even for people who are married and living independent of their parents. Ensure that you can find in-network care providers from your parent's insurer in the area you live in. In the case of out-of-network costs, you may find that it accumulates rapidly and negates all you intended to save.
#3 Shop Around
You need to get out of the state exchange comfort zones. And look around for cheap health insurance outside those set up through the ACA. Your options are numerous, finding out what they might you can't hurt in any way. You can use one of the following options in your search.
- Use an online insurance finder
- Purchase through insurance companies
- Purchase from an agent
#4 Make Sure COBRA Is Worth It
COBRA, called Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in full, allows employees to remain on insurance plans provided by their employer. This grace period extends for approximately 18 months, even though you should be off coverage of this plan. However, it's not the cheapest of insurance policies. Because, instead of your employer and you sharing the cost of your insurance, you need to pay for the insurance in full. According to the 2017 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, an individual's monthly insurance premium is $558. Those enjoying subsidies under the Affordable Care Act lies around $89 every month.
#5 Be Wary of Short-Term Plans
Temporary health insurance plans usually extend a total of three months. However, after these three months, you can renew your policy. This might be the cheap health insurance you've been looking for. Here cheap means cheap! You can find ads for policies with monthly premiums as low as $75. You can visit insuranceShopping.com to look around for these short-term plans. However, you need to keep your eyes open and catch all the nitty-gritty.
#6 Consider High-Deductible or 'Catastrophic' Plans
For those who aren't too enthusiastic about health care policies and don't need much from their health care providers, 'catastrophic' or high-deductible plans are the best fit for you. According to the regulations of the ACA, you must be under or over 30 and be eligible for a hardship exemption to qualify for the catastrophic plans.