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Cheap Health Insurance Options

Meredith Miller | Published: June 14, 2018

Doctor and piggy bank

How To Get Health Insurance At An Affordable Price

If you haven't found health coverage for next year, you should start looking for affordable health insurance options right away. Here are some of the ways you can start your search for cheap health insurance and keep more money in your pockets:

Determine If You Qualify For Medicaid

The government offers Medicaid to people who have a low income, and it's often easy to find a health care provider that accepts Medicaid. The income limit for Medicaid depends on what state you live in, and some states have additional requirements to qualify for it. 

Get Medicare If You're Over 65

Medicare is available to most seniors. However, your eligibility depends on the amount of Medicare taxes you paid over your lifetime.

Health Insurance Offered By Regional Governments:

Some states offer health insurance programs. Some cities and counties offer similar programs. If your local government offers a health insurance program, check your eligibility right away. These programs tend to be significantly more affordable than private health insurance. Here are some regions of the country where regional governments offer health insurance:

  • Massachusetts
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Connecticut
  • Maine

Determine If You Qualify For An ACA Subsidy

The ACA offers income-based subsidies to help individuals and families finance the cost of health insurance. These subsidies can bring the cost of insurance down significantly. While there is uncertainty about the future of the law, it appears likely that the subsidies will be offered during 2018. The Affordable Care Act offers several levels of affordable health insurance. Here are the most affordable health insurance options through the Health Insurance Marketplace:

  • Catastrophic Health Insurance Plan - This is the cheapest insurance that the ACA offers, but the coverage is too scant to be a good option for most people who qualify.
  • Bronze Health Insurance Plan - Bronze coverage is a bit more expensive, but it's the most affordable plan through the ACA that's recommended by experts. It's suitable for most young people who don't suffer from chronic health problems.
  • Silver Health Insurance Plan - Silver plans offer coverage that is more comprehensive than Bronze plans, but they are somewhat more expensive.

Open Enrollment

You're likely to have more options for cheap health insurance during the open enrollment period. The open enrollment period is between November 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018.

If You're Buying Insurance On The Private Market, Compare Prices

You will be surprised by some cheap health insurance options available to you through the private sector, but keep in mind you should always get several quotes from providers of health insurance. Many health insurance companies make it possible to get a quote online through mediums like First Quote Health. People pay different rates depending on their location and lifestyle habits, making it difficult to determine what provider is the cheapest for you until you compare quotes. Here are some health insurance companies that you should look into:

  • Humana
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • United Healthcare
  • Molina

Always Consider The Health Insurance Deductible And Co-Pays

If you find a plan with an exceptionally cheap private health insurance, it's likely that there is a high health insurance deductible. Sometimes, a health insurance deductible is as high as $10,000. Therefore, it can sometimes be more affordable to purchase a plan that has a premium that's a bit higher, but lower health insurance deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. Therefore, it's important to estimate what your health care costs are likely to be in the upcoming year to see if you're likely to exceed a health insurance deductible. Also, determine if the coverage will be accepted by a health care provider in your area. Some cheap health insurance plans have a small network of providers.

Consider Benefits When Choosing A Job

If you're currently looking for a new job, check to see if your prospective employer offers health coverage. This is usually the most affordable way to get health insurance. Businesses that employ 50 or more employees are legally required to offer health coverage to their full-time staff members.