Healthcare costs to put it mildly are these days an anchor around the necks of families, tie that in with a mortgage and car payment and we have real issues. You can’t pay for everything, something has to give and more often than not it is your health insurance forms. A family of four can have annual premiums up in the thousands, not to mention co-pays deductibles and the pharmacy bills thrown in. What if your job does not offer you health insurance, or you own your own business, what then? You might have to get a private market plan, but then how can anyone realistically afford it? Disappointed? Truth is not many people can. I know a guy who has a real successful car dealership but he has no health insurance, maybe too expensive right? There might be some alternatives to the private market that may just get the bill for health care low enough so you and your family can afford coverage.
There are a couple of strategies to go about this- you need to ask yourself some questions about what you do, what groups you associate with and how your family is structured.
Do I belong to any groups or have a membership some place? Does my field have an association I can join? Do I belong to a chamber of commerce? Do I make too much for Medicaid but too little for a private health plan?
We will answer the last question first. Many states like NY offer the Family Health Plus plans which allow a person or family to make some multiple of income above the poverty line and still qualify for subsidized health care. Here is the link for Family Health Plus in NY, but do a search with your own state, or head to your states government website where you may be able to find the link there under the Department of Health and Human Services. Are you a student still, many college students under 25 can still be covered under their families health plan, but what if your over 25? Many colleges offer some type of health plan of their own, however many do not advertise it so well. Here is a good example of a health plan from NYU found right on their web site. Many colleges offer healthcare for International Students. One example is from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh
Are you a small business? Do you belong to a local Chamber of Commerce- if you do good news, they offer group health insurance! Here is an example from the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, NY and another from the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce
Belong to a Sorority, Fraternity or an Alumni? You may be in luck because they may offer health options you did not know about. Here are some examples:
Maybe you belong to a professional organization, an example from The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and also from the Writers Guild of America which has the Writers Guild-Industry Health Fund Finally, one last one from the National Association for the Self-Employed has offers health insurance through, “Assurant, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, UnitedHealthOne, Humana, and others” Maybe health insurance companies can offer double coupon days so we can save more when we go shopping (sigh…)