By: Mevish Jaffer
The cost of health insurance is rising every day and consequently you may be one of the many people who feel you cannot afford an adequate health insurance plan. You may also think that health insurance is completely unnecessary because you and your family are all healthy and have never experienced any medical problems that are cause for concern.
However, being in good health is one thing and going through life as if you’re invincible or rather immortal is completely different! Health-related issues have a way of coming up extremely unexpectedly, often stemming from the most routine doctor visit such as an annual check-up. It’s important to remember that even if you and your family are in perfect health, you still need to be prepared to handle future medical problems that may arise by having a health insurance plan in place.
Factors that Affect Health Insurance Rates and Premiums
When shopping around for health insurance policies, it helps to know and understand what you’re paying for. There are several different factors that affect the cost of the health insurance rates and premiums you pay. The following are a few examples to help you get a better perspective:
- Personal/family health history is a major factor influencing the rates and premiums you pay for health insurance. Some insurance companies ask questions relating to certain conditions and diseases such as high blood pressure, heart problems, cancer, diabetes and other detrimental health risks. The reality of the matter is that perfect health history usually results in more affordable health insurance rates; however the health history of your family isn’t something that you can control. The only thing you can do is try and find the best health insurance plan available for you and your family’s individual needs.
- Age is also another huge factor that affects the health insurance rates and premiums you pay. The general rule of thumb is that when you have an 18 year old and a 60 year old with similar health and health backgrounds, more often than not, it is the 60 year old who will have higher health insurance premiums.
- The deductible amount is what you pay out of your own pocket before your health insurance company reimburses you. The exact way it affects your premium is that the higher amount of deductibles you have, the lower your premium tends to be.
- With co-insurance and co-payment health insurance plans, your premiums are decreased. The higher the percentage out of your own pocket ratio (80:20 plans), the less your premium is.
Alternative Health Insurance Plans
Despite some of the ways your health insurance rates and premiums can be reduced, it still may be difficult to afford a health insurance plan. Thankfully, there are some alternative health insurance policies that you may be eligible for. For example, if you qualify as "low income," the Medicaid program in your state may be able to help you out. The specific requirements for eligibility differ in every state, however you can go to the local division of Family Services in your state to get further information and pick up an application.
Another source for finding affordable health insurance plans is through the Internet. Although you may think that it’s hard to find reputable health insurance companies online, you never know until you really do your research. That being said, make sure you check out potential companies you are considering thoroughly before making any sort of commitment. After confirming credibility, ask for quotes from several different companies to ensure you can get the best deal possible.