Low Cost Health Insurance > FAQ > How much is Health Insurance per month?
How much is Health Insurance per month?
Many people considering buying health insurance ask the most important question of all: “How much does health insurance cost per month?”
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question, due to the fact that so many factors which affect the cost of health insurance. Your age and personal habits, your location, and the company you work for all have a bearing on how much your health insurance premiums will be, as well as how many people you are insuring and the factors pertaining to them. However, it is possible to make some general statements about the cost of health insurance, as well as give some examples of premiums. Only an agent or your employer, however, can give you real figures for your individual health insurance cost.
What is the average cost of health insurance in America?
According to the Kaiser Foundation, the average single premium was $420.17 per month in 2010, with the average family premium running $1,147 per month. Obviously, these figures do not apply to all situations, but are averages compiled from reviewing various workplace and individual policy premiums.
How can I save money on health insurance premiums?
There are several ways you can pay far less than the average for your health insurance coverage. First, your workplace will probably be the cheapest place you can get health insurance, although this is not always true. Most workplaces have group plans which combine the strength of many members to keep prices low. In fact, some large corporations offer such inexpensive rates for their healthcare that it is considered a drawing-card to recruit employees. For example, some employees working at schools or hospitals work part time almost exclusively for benefits, as the pay is very minimal.
Another thing that will greatly affect your health insurance costs is the type of insurance you choose. There are essentially three types of health insurance plans available, although there are variations on each.
HMO Health Insurance Plans
An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization, is usually the least expensive healthcare insurance option. This is because HMO health insurance plans tend to be very restrictive on the care offered, doctors you can visit, and the types of tests and procedures which will be covered. However, HMOs also usually offer very low co-pays and deductibles, making them a smart choice for budget-conscious consumers.
PPO Health Insurance Plans
A PPO, or preferred provider network, is the next-cheapest option, in most cases, when you are considering health insurance policies. A PPO health insurance does not limit the patient quite as severely as an HMO when choosing providers, as most PPOs allow you to visit an
out-of-network provider, generally for a lower coverage amount or higher co-pay. PPOs also have restrictions, however, about the types of procedures covered and often require pre-approval for tests and other types of treatments.
Traditional Health Insurance Plans
Finally, traditional insurance is usually the most expensive option. Most traditional insurance plans require the patient to pay a portion of the costs, in the form of a deductible. For example, if your insurance requires a $500 deductible per person, you will have to pay the first $500 of your costs for yourself and for each family member before the insurance company will pay any of the bill. Once the deductible is reached, your health insurance policy will pay a percentage of the costs from then on, usually 80 or 90% of covered expenses. Some expenses may not be covered, and the insurance company may refuse to pay for certain treatments or procedures it deems medically unnecessary. It is important to understand the limitations of your policy before you agree to any expensive medical care.
Major Medical Health Insurance Plans
Most health insurance policies cover common medical expenses, including doctor’s visits and out-patient procedures, although how much is covered will depend on the particular plan. If your health insurance plan has a pharmacy option, prescription drugs may be covered as well. It is possible, however, to get a health insurance policy which only covers hospitalization and trauma. These policies are known as “major medical” and are generally far less expensive than regular health insurance. Of course, they only pay if you are hospitalized or suffer an accident which requires emergency trauma treatment. All other medical bills must be paid out-of-pocket by the patient.
Low Income Health Insurance Plans
If your income is low, you may qualify for assistance with your medical insurance needs. While Medicaid limits are very low, and most working people do not qualify, many states now provide state-subsidized health insurance for working people and families that do not have such strict income limits. These policies are designed to help lower-income families have basic health coverage even if their companies do not offer group plans. You can check with your state’s Health and Human Services Division to see if your state has such a plan. Most premiums on those basic types of plans are very affordable, and may be graduated based on income.
The cost of health insurance will ultimately depend on the type of health insurance plan, the particular health insurance company, your policy limits, deductibles, health profile and more. While many people obtain insurance through their company health plan finding health insurance outside of group coverage can be a little more complicated and this is why health insurance comparison is critical. Get started and compare health insurance companies today by entering your ZIP code above.