Those who live with pre-existing conditions often have a difficult time getting affordable health insurance.
“I’ve heard this said many times over: that people with pre-existing medical conditions have a hard time getting health insurance that is reasonably priced. It is not impossible to find affordable health insurance, but it can be a challenge. That will change in 2014,” added Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, and president of Benepath in Pennsylvania.
If health care reform stays the course, what will happen in 2014 is insurance providers will be banned from excluding people with pre-existing conditions from getting insurance. However, that is still a full two years away, and does nothing to help the millions of Americans that are deemed uninsurable now.
“To fill in the gap between now and then, the government set up the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan in all 50 states,” explained Green. “In simplified terms, the plan offers health insurance to those who have difficulties getting health insurance. The plans offer hospital care, specialty care and primary care, and prescription drugs. This plan with lower premiums would be ideal for many of the almost 57 million going without health insurance. But the odd thing is that less than 19,000 people have opted for this plan.”
In an economy that makes even putting bread on the table questionable some months, one would think those who are uninsurable because of a pre-existing health condition would welcome the opportunity to have reasonably priced coverage. However, while this sounds like a great plan at first glance, the stumbling block is the waiting period.
People wanting to switch to this plan must face being without any insurance coverage for at least six months before they apply and that includes COBRA. “Six months is a long time to wait if you have diabetes or a heart condition and need daily medications. Many feel it is too big a risk to take, even if it means they’d be paying less after their waiting period was over,” Green pointed out.
There is an option that those caught between a rock and a hard place may find attractive if they want to join the government program. It is referred to as non-insurance health plans. These plans typically market health services to large groups of people and when those who do join officially become members, they have a great deal of buying clout that allows the company to obtain discounted prices for medical services. “In some cases,” demonstrated Green, “the discounts can range from 25 percent to 80 percent on vision, dental and medical service, drugs and medical supplies. Some people find that very attractive.”
When it comes to costs for going to the hospital, discount companies either pre-negotiate cost reductions for hospital procedures or assign an advocate to negotiate lower costs. “The advocate may also apply for financial assistance to pay the hospital balance off on your behalf, if that is suitable under the circumstances,” Green said.
More often than not, the discount medical programs are very affordable, coming in at less than $50 per month for the whole family. Many outfits do not require contracts, and benefits are available on sign up. “You just need to keep in mind that this option is not traditional health insurance. While it may not be for some people, others may find it attractive enough to wait the six month period until they can get the regular health insurance. Ultimately, the choices are yours and you do what you need to do for your health,” added Green.
To learn more, visit http://www.benepath.com.