The phrase “affordable health insurance” is rarely used today because the costs of staying well have skyrocketed in recent years. However, without health insurance many people end up paying considerably more for the medical services they need. Thankfully, there is one type of affordable health insurance available to most people, even though it may not provide the comprehensive care most needed.
Why Affordable Health Insurance (or Any Health Insurance) is Necessary
According to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, people who are uninsured pay a lot more for their medical services than those who are insured. The organization cited two examples. First, a patient who had a cyst removed from his back was charged $74,396 because he had to wait for his health insurance to cover the costs. This amount was nearly ten times what the insurance company would have had to pay. Another example was that a hospital in California charged uninsured patients more than $5,500 per day when their costs per patient were only $1,376.
The reason for this higher prices is that insurance companies work behind the scenes with medical care providers. They work out pricing arrangements with doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities which provide win-win situations for everyone but the patient. For example, a patient must choose a doctor from his insurance’s network (i.e. doctors with whom they have negotiated). This means the insurance company pays less, and those doctors have a steady stream of patients.
Affordable Health Insurance – One of the Only Options Left
Clearly, having affordable health insurance is critical, especially for major health problems, such as a heart attack. However, finding affordable health insurance isn’t easy. The only option many people have is Catastrophic Health Insurance.
This type of health insurance is available to people who have no prior medical conditions. The main benefit is that the monthly premiums are low. According to the article “Understanding Catastrophic Health Insurance” (see references) a 29-year old female who doesn’t smoke would only have to pay $29 per month.
While it is affordable health insurance, it does not cover much. No routine or preventative actions are covered. Prescriptions are also not included. This health insurance is mainly intended to cover the costs of a major hospital stay, such as surgery. Even then, these plans have limitations. For example, a $250 or more deductible is not uncommon and plans usually have a maximum payout amount. However, this type of insurance may be better than none at all.