Is There an Affordable Health Insurance Crisis in America?
With more than 47 million Americans currently uninsured and premiums for those that have coverage sky-rocketing many would say yes, that finding affordable Health Insurance is probably one of the greatest challenges facing individual Americans and families today. With mid-term elections rapidly approaching affordable health insurance is likely to be on the minds of many voters come November. Phil Maymin a Libertarian candidate in the race for congress in Connecticut was asked about affordable healthcare in a recent debate and had this to say "The more we can do to get the federal government out of health care, the cheaper it will be."He went on to say that without the bureaucracy, "more people also would be able to become doctors, offering consumers more choice and lowering costs." While debate surely will continue about solutions, right now for those not covered at work, there are ways to obtain good quality affordable health insurance - however finding them can be a bit of challenge.
There are basic insurance plans that are open to everyone, even those with an existing medical condition. These affordable health insurance plans do not include major medical coverage, but are designed to give families access to reduced fees on the most common and basic health care problems. Another option for affordable health insurance for the uninsured individual or small business are plans that are offered as part of a larger group – the individual or small business joins the group or organization, and then has access to usually good insurance coverage at affordable rates due to the strength of the group. In this type of a plan, once you join the group, as a member you have access to their benefit program so benefits are also usually guaranteed. There are membership fees to join the group but family coverage can be had for as little as 299.00 by signing on for this type of affordable health insurance. These plans usually carry the additional benefits of no deductibles and no claim forms.
One of the other areas of concern to many Americans when it comes to affordable health insurance is a prescription drugs. Even those that have medical insurance coverage from work often are not covered for prescription drugs. While the availability of more and more generic drugs as patents run out, and the commitment by many large retailers such as Wal-Mart to lower the cost of their prescriptions has certainly helped, the high costs of prescription medication continues to plague many. There are several discount prescription card plans available that can help. These plans are usually low cost or no cost, and simply require one to sign up and receive the card, the card can then be used for discounts - sometimes as high as 60% at participating pharmacies and retailers.
And finally for many without access to affordable health insurance there is the option of the Health Saving Account (HSA). While still somewhat controversial health savings accounts are proving to be a viable option for the uninsured or underinsured, especially the younger, healthier members of the workforce. Of course this is only a brief overview of the options available your can find a lot more information about affordable health insurance and other health care concerns at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (www.ahrq.gov)