Have you recently lost your job and need to find health insurance coverage on your own?
Are you newly self-employed and wondering how much it cost to buy health insurance on your own?
Did you recently lose Medicaid coverage and need to know how to buy health insurance on your own?
Buying health insurance on your own can be an intimidating process – from technical terminology to extensive coverage documents, it can almost feel like it was designed to stress you out.
This blog covers how to buy health insurance on your own and how much it costs to buy health insurance on your own. You’ll also learn about ways to save money on your health insurance costs.
How to Buy Health Insurance on Your Own
The first thing to know about buying health insurance on your own is that you’ll likely want to use the health care market place to see if you qualify for any additional savings. The health care market place application is the only way to see if you qualify for premium tax credits.
Unless you’ve had a recent qualifying event opening a Special Enrollment Period, you will be eligible to apply for a health care market pace plan when open enrollment begins. Open enrollment for 2020 is from November 1, 2019, to December 15, 2019.
During open enrollment, you can fill out your application, submit any appropriate documents to verify income, citizenship, or dependent status. You can compare plans and coverage options before choosing the best plan for your family.
The Cost to Buy Health Insurance on Your Own
When buying health insurance on your own, there are some monetary terms you need to know that will help you compare costs accurately.
One of the most important things you need to know about the cost of buying health insurance on your own is how much your deductible is. Your deductible is what you pay for health care services before your insurance begins paying claims.
Certain things are covered before meeting your deductible, like annuals, physicals, and preventive services. You may have a separate deductible for your prescription coverage, so check that when comparing health insurance plans.
Your premiums, which are made directly to the insurance company and not the health insurance market place, are what you pay each month for your health insurance policy. Like with auto insurance, premiums are in addition to other costs like deductibles and copayments.
Monthly premiums in Florida for an individual can start at around $320 for a bronze plan – this is the lowest level of coverage and will have higher deductibles and copayments than some of the more expensive plans. The plans top out at around $940 per month.
3. Copayments or Coinsurance
After you’ve met your deductible, you’ll have either a copayment or coinsurance due at the time you receive health care services. Copayments are fixed amounts due at the time of service, where coinsurance is a percentage of the amount due at the time of service.
As with deductibles, typically you’ll have lower copayments when you have higher monthly premiums, and you’ll have higher copayments or coinsurance when you have lower monthly premiums. If you visit the doctor frequently, this is an important cost consideration.
How to Save Money on Health Care
Regardless of your health or financial situation, everyone wants to save money on their health care. There are ways to do that, both in the market place and outside of the market place.
Here are some tips on secret ways to save money on your medical expenses:
- Preventive Care: It’s almost cliché at this point, but the best way to save money on health care is to stay healthy through prevention. Get all of your annuals and physicals, typically covered with no additional copayments, so your doctor can spot any potential health issues before they become a problem.
- Wellness Programs: Like preventive care, wellness programs are designed to keep you in the best shape possible to avoid having serious health complications. Many health insurance companies offer incentives – like points-based rewards systems – for people to subscribe to their proprietary wellness programs.
- Prescription Drug Cards: Even if you have a prescription drug plan with your health insurance, you may look into alternative prescription drug cards. Some prescription drug cards can be used with your insurance, giving you a slight discount on your out-of-pocket costs. Most, though, can only be used as a standalone. They may, however, save you more money than your insurance.
- Premium Tax Credits: Applying for health insurance on your own through the health care market place is the only way to find out if you qualify for premium tax credits. Premium tax credits can be applied to your monthly premium payments to help offset those costs. This helps save you money while potentially giving you better coverage options.
Don’t forget to take advantage of any prescription drug coupons that are offered by your doctor’s office or pharmacy. These savings can add up over time and significantly reduce how much it costs to buy health insurance on your own.
Health Insurance Market Place: Buying Insurance on Your Own
It doesn’t have to be intimidating to buy health insurance on your own. Compare copayments or coinsurance, deductibles, and premiums carefully so you know what your expected costs will be. Overestimate your expected medical expenses. Remember these tips for buying insurance on your own:
- Apply to the health insurance market place before December 15, 2019, so you can qualify for coverage beginning January 1, 2020.
- Submit all documents requested to see if you qualify for premium tax credits that can offset your monthly premium costs.
If you feel like buying insurance on your own is a bit too complicated or overwhelming, work with an insurance agency or broker – they can help you find the best plan for your budget.
Need help figuring out how much it cost to buy health insurance on your own? Contact Fiorella Insurance Agency and we can help you select the best coverage for your needs.