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Basic Health Insurance - Low Cost Minimum Essential Coverage Plans

Edward Neeman | Published: January 09, 2019

Doctors and patients

When it comes to health insurance, not everyone has the same needs. So, while it’s important, and always recommended to stay covered, you may not want to shell out the money for a top tier policy, and that’s ok. Some people require comprehensive plans, especially individuals and families with less than stellar medical history, or those who require prescription refills, but some don’t. If you are the latter, then you should definitely explore basic health insurance plans.

What Is Basic Health Insurance?

Basic health insurance is, often called minimum essential coverage refers to medical coverage that offers the fewest amount of benefits required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Rather than being designed to cover all your needs, it is realistically designed to cover your most basic needs. However, under the ACA, even basic health insurance offers more coverage than most plans that aren’t qualified health plans.

When you’re searching for basic health coverage, it’s important to keep in mind not everyone considers minimum essential coverage plans the most basic. If you’re in the private market, you may come across short-term health insurance or even indemnity plans. While these plans will still provide you with health benefits, they will likely be extremely limited. So, make sure you know what you’re signing up for before enrolling.

Who Is It Designed For?

A basic health insurance plan is designed for those people who are relatively healthy, can pay the premiums, and would like to be secured in case of any medical problems. If you have had multiple accidents in the past, or have conditions that put your health at risk more than the average person, then you should speak with an expert to find the health insurance plan that will be best for your situation. You don’t want to be stuck with a basic health plan and come to find out that it won’t cover a certain medical procedure that would have been covered with a different insurance plan.

When They Were Created

Health insurance has been around for quite a while now, dating as far back as the 1920’s. It’s safe to say that there were basic policies available back then, but probably not as comprehensive as modern day plans. If we’re talking about today’s basic health insurance standards, we don’t have to travel back nearly as far, as they were created within the past decade.

In 2010, President Barack Obama and his administration created the Affordable Care Act, which was quickly nicknamed Obamacare. As part of the new healthcare legislation, Obamacare set a new standard for what health insurance companies needed to offer their members. In order for insurance providers to sell their policies through the ever-popular state marketplaces and exchanges, they needed to offer minimum essential benefits. Seeing as the ACA officially went into effect in 2014, that’s when the new standard for basic health insurance was created.

Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) Benefits

The Affordable Care Act put in place by ex-president Barack Obama states that health insurance plans must meet minimum essential coverage standards. This means that the insurance plan must have an Actuarial Value equal to 60% or more, and must also provide/cover the following 10 benefits:

  1. Hospitalization
  2. Chronic Disease Management & Preventive and Wellness Services
  3. Ambulatory Patient Services
  4. Rehab and Habilitative Services and Devices
  5. Pediatric Services which include oral and vision care
  6. Maternity and Newborn Care
  7. Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services
  8. Prescription Drugs
  9. Emergency Services
  10. Laboratory Services

Finding Qualifying Coverage Outside The Marketplace

Some people may not be able to qualify for basic insurance due to their income or some other exception. If this is you, there are other alternatives such as finding private insurance outside of the common marketplace. You can do one of three things in this situation which are

Basic Health Insurance Cost

The cost of a basic medical insurance plan (low-cost health coverage) will vary by state and must be qualifying health insurance, but as of 2016, the national average premium for individual insurance was around $320 per month, while family plans expected to pay around $830 per month. The annual deductibles for an individual plan averaged $4,300 and family plans averaged close to $8,000.

Why It’s Cheaper

Basic insurance is cheaper because you don’t get every single medical coverage. You can compare it to having a Toyota or a BMW. The BMW is more expensive because it is higher quality and has a lot more technological and luxurious features. Comparative to health plans, if you have basic health insurance you may need to upgrade to a more specialized and expensive plan to get other benefits not included with low-cost health coverage.

Find Basic Health Coverage With FirstQuote Health Today

If you’ve been looking to purchase low-cost health coverage, but haven’t made your decision, we can help. At FirstQuote Health, we make sure everyone finds the perfect plan to fit their needs and budgets. That’s why we have experienced agents standing by, and a powerful price comparison tool to help you get started. If you want to compare basic health insurance quotes, simply enter your zip code to get started. You may even find the perfect plan you can enroll in as early as today.