Health Care Insurance Options when You Leave Your Day Job Dalton GA
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MBA - Financial Services; Lipscomb University; Nashville, TN
Major: Accounting; Lipscomb University
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Company: North Georgia Investment Planning LLC
Georgia State University/BS PUblic and Urban Affairs
Georgia State University/MBA in Finance
Years Experience: 5
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Company: Lundy Insurance Group, Inc.
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Health Care Insurance Options when You Leave Your Day Job
Insurance Options to Consider When You’re On Your Own for Health Care
By Steve Trattner, President & CMO of Cinergy Health
People need to insure their health at all times for different reasons. Experiencing a reduction in income is the most important time to protect oneself from spikes in expenses. American bankruptcies are climbing as a result of both unemployment and medical debt. When a person is out of work, he or she operates on a tighter budget. Being faced with a major medical expense without insurance and no income to cover the care is only part of the problem.
An extended illness or disability brings added expenses, such as physical therapy and expensive prescriptions, and it might even cause the other spouse to take a leave of absence from work. Additionally, without even basic insurance, people tend to put off important preventive care and are less likely to detect an illness at its earliest stages. The consequence is that when an illness strikes, it may be more serious, which may even prevent the person from returning to work. We have to invest in ourselves at all times to open up the best possible health insurance options.
If you lose job-based group coverage, you only have a short window of opportunity to make decisions that affect your health insurance options. Whether you choose to pursue private health insurance or COBRA, you only have 60 days from the point of losing your group health coverage to make a decision. Your employer may be eligible for subsidies that will significantly reduce your premiums for COBRA through December 2009.
Three Options to Consider
When you’re financially strapped, consider three options that can provide a temporary solution to the employment “gap”: 1. High-deductible major medical plans (HDHP); 2. Short term major medical insurance; and 3. Limited medical benefit plans.
HDHPs allow you to get the catastrophic protection that you expect from a major medical plan, but with a very high deductible, say $7,500. You’ll have to pay for most of the care you receive until you reach the deductible, but the premiums are much lower.
Short Term Major Medical Plans
Short term major medical plans are plans that cover you for a short duration of time, such as 6 or 12 months. If you’re out of work at the end of the term, you’ll typically have to re-apply. However, these plans provide a broad range of coverage at a low price by limiting the insurance company’s long-term exposure.
Limited Medical Benefit Plans
Limited medical benefit plans represent a growing segment of the health insurance market and are generally more affordable than traditional major medical plans. These plans reduce or even eliminate your deductibles and shorten pre-existing waiting periods. They are designed to pay for more routine and predictable medical expenses. Without deductibles, you are encouraged to seek care at the first sign of illness rather than putting it off until your situation worsens.