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Learn About The Benefits Of Community Health Insurance

Edward Neeman | Published: June 14, 2018

Friends park gathering

Community health insurance provides an affordable health insurance alternative to low-income households. Sometimes it may be government-sponsored, but usually functions on the local level in conjunction with a local health provider. They are a common healthcare feature in the US and a growing one in developing countries.

What Are Community Health Insurance Plans?

A community health insurance plan improves access for rural, low-income residents who need affordable health insurance, but don't qualify for, don't have access to, or can't afford formal, private insurance. It also serves those in rural areas who don't have employer-sponsored health coverage.

How Does Community Care Health Insurance Work?

Also called community care health insurance, this form of micro health insurance involves voluntary participation by the recipients. It's normally linked to a specific healthcare provider in the area, usually a hospital or clinic. The mechanism functions as a non-profit and provides sliding scale insurance premiums making it a social health insurance.

How Much Do Community Health Insurance Plans Cost?

Community health insurance plans cost much less than standard insurance. Your actual cost depends on many factors, such as the number of participants, your income, and the organization offering treatment. These plans, a type of social health insurance, use risk pooling to offset costs.

Benefits Of Community Care Health Insurance Plans

Community health insurance offers a range of benefits for those who may need financial assistance with medical services. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Ensure lower-income earners don't fall into poverty due to unforeseen medical expenses.
  • Offers coverage so community members don't need to delay medical treatment or try to self-treat an injury or illness.
  • Offer financial assistance to those who would benefit from it the most.
  • Access to preventive care like check-ups and annual screenings.
  • It can cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Your insurance company can't drop you.

Cons Of Community Care Health Insurance Plans

While community health insurance plans do mostly help, there are some drawbacks that can arise. Some of these drawbacks include the following:

  • Without health qualified health insurance coverage, you may be required to pay a tax penalty if you don't qualify for an exemption.
  • Unless you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare, you'll need to pay monthly premiums to keep your insurance active whether or not you are sick or receiving medical treatment.
  • Community health insurance plans don't cover everything, and if you need an expensive treatment, this still usually comes out-of-pocket.
  • You'll have a limited number of treatment locations. 
  • You may also have a small window of sign up each year if relying on a subsidy to register.
  • You'll have a limited number of treatment centers and doctors from which to choose.

Are Community Health Insurance Plans Available In Your Area?

You can ask a health insurance broker about available social health insurance in your area. If you live in a rural area, you probably have access to a community care program. You also may qualify for Medicaid or Medicare or a low-cost health insurance plan, which you can submit your application through the health insurance marketplace.

Community Care Health Insurance Quotes And More

Determine your coverage needs and budget. Community care health insurance may be the right choice for you. You can use First Quote Health to locate a health insurance broker who is licensed in your area to help you find the type of coverage you need.

Even if you can't afford any plan you find and don't qualify for federally subsidized health insurance programs, you can still obtain low-cost healthcare locally. The US government funds community health centers in rural and urban locations throughout the country. These provide service on a sliding scale and provide a variety of services. These include:

  • Baby shots
  • General primary care
  • Prenatal care

These clinics also provide referrals for special care needs, such as:

  • HIV/AIDS treatment
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse

A community health insurance plan can provide an affordable health insurance option. Although you may have a limited choice of treatment centers, you will have both preventative and urgent care.