Medical and Health Insurance

5 Alternatives to Traditional Health Insurance

As the cost of traditional health insurance increases, several Americans are looking for alternatives that offer some kind of protection without spending their monthly budgets. Here are some practical options that are worth considering.

1. Primary Care Memberships

Some independent medical and primary care practices provide services for a fixed monthly charge, such as a gym membership. This is generally known as a medical concierge service.

A person or family can obtain the usual services given by a primary care physician, including blood tests and pediatric care, virtually unlimited medical visits, all without a copayment. Certainly, such an arrangement does not cover surgery, hospitalization, treatment of major injuries or specialized care.

2. Medical Cost-Sharing Programs

Participants in programs pay monthly rates like insurance premiums. By grouping their resources, they share the medical costs of others as they arise. Each member who wants medical services pays an incident fee, like a copayment. The rest of the medical costs are covered by the grouped rates.

If you are looking for a medical cost-sharing program, make sure to read the fine print. Some of these programs do not guarantee that you will be reimbursed for any invoice (it can be “voluntary”), and several have very limited limits per-incident and for life. Click here!

3. Health Savings Accounts

While offering tax benefits, a Health Savings Account can help cover medical costs. A Health Savings Account must be together with a High Deductible Health Plan to cover catastrophic illness or injury.

Health Savings Accounts are available through many employers, but they can also be created by individuals. Payments made in a health savings account are pre-tax deductions, and there is no tax penalty for spending money whenever it is used to pay medical costs.

4. Discount Cards for Medical Services

There are a variety of medical discount cards available for those who prefer to operate cash-only for medical expenses. Some medical services discount cards can be used for hospital services, prescription or a combination of these. Discounts can be considerable, up to 80% or more.

Some cards come with a single membership bill, although others may have a small monthly bill. Remember that these are discounted pay-per-service programs, not health insurance plans. And the services you need may not be covered, so make sure to check the fine print.

5. High Deductible Policies

Generally, younger adults with good health who do not expect to incur medical expenses during the year can usually settle for a low premium and high deductible policy that covers just unexpected illnesses or serious injuries. While keeping insurance costs to a minimum, a catastrophic health insurance policy makes sure coverage in case of such unforeseen medical costs.

If you have a health plan with high deductibles, it makes sense to open a health savings account. This allows you to reserve money before taxes to pay for medical costs, which efficiently provides you an automatic “discount” on each bill you pay.

Summary

Medical care is expensive and expenses are expected to continue to rise. Even if you are in proper health now, you cannot count on avoiding injuries or staying healthy. These options can help if you cannot afford a traditional health insurance policy. Remember that these are not proper solutions and that the advantages vary. It is very important that you check the fine print so that you know accurately what type of coverage you will have. For more information, visit: https://www.investopedia.com/health-insurance-4427714

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