Do not Confuse a Medical Discount Plan With Cheap Medical Insurance
In the struggle for working class Americans to find affordable medical coverage many are turning to discount health plans.
You may have heard of these programs. They are becoming increasingly popular, and are being heavily advertised. And while the may be the only alternative for some, it is important that you do not confuse these plans with actual affordable health insurance. They are not, and some of the less reputable discount health plans have been known to capitalize on this confusion.
Several years ago the Consumers Heath Alliance was formed as a trade association to oversee companies that offer discount Health plans. Reputable discount plans that can and do help many Americans who cannot otherwise afford medical insurance.
With a paid membership, discount medical cards can be obtained from the companies that are affiliated with the Consumer Health Alliance. Again the CHA wants to make it very clear that its affiliated organizations are not insurance companies, and do not offer low cost medical insurance, but they are filling a consumer need. According to the CHA, these discount cards can be the best fit for consumers with medical conditions that preclude them from obtaining traditional affordable medical insurance, or are in that middle ground where they earn too much to qualify for state and federal low cost health insurance programs, but just can’t seem to afford individual healthcare insurance. The cards are also popular because they allow consumers to obtain health services and treatments without the limitations, and paperwork typically associated with traditional health insurance. You usually can sign up right away; there are no lengthy application fees, and no medical exams. You have access to the discount plan providers immediately after enrolling and usually, the monthly membership fee is nominal.
Even those who have affordable medical insurance are turning to discount plans to help defray the costs of out of pocket medical expenses that may not be covered by their regular medical insurance, such as vision, dental or chiropractic care. And payments made to health providers on the discount plan, may be made from a Health Savings Account (HSA) and may qualify against the deductible of the regular insurance policy.
Still health insurance professionals agree that before you sign up for any medical discount plan, check to see if you can get the same discounts from the local providers in your area, often you can without the necessity of joining the discount plan.