I Can’t Afford Health Insurance! What Are Your Options?

Do you want to purchase health insurance but can’t afford to do so?

While buying health insurance is a sizeable investment, it’s the best way to ensure that you don’t get hit with high medical bills in the event you get sick. But, what should you do if you can’t afford health insurance?

If you’re asking yourself, “I can’t afford health insurance, what should I do now?”, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn what your options are if you can’t afford health insurance.

Ask for Cost Assistance

If you can’t afford health insurance, one of the best things to do is to ask for cost assistance. The Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare offers financial assistance to low and middle-income Americans who need help paying for health insurance.

If your total household income is between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, then you might be eligible to receive a subsidy on your premium to help cover your monthly insurance costs.

If your household income falls between 100 and 250 percent on the federal poverty level, then you may qualify for a plan with cost-sharing benefits. This type of insurance plan offers lower deductibles, lower copays, and lower coinsurance percentages.

Apply for Medicaid

Applying for Medicaid is another option for those who can’t afford health insurance. Medicaid was expanded under Obamacare, and now, you can qualify for Medicaid if your household income is  133 percent or more below the federal poverty level.

But, keep in mind that Medicaid regulations vary by state, and eligibility rules may vary depending on where you live. For example, some states restrict Medicaid access to children, pregnant women, and the disabled. In other states, qualification is solely determined by your earnings threshold.

Also, remember that Medicaid is different from Medicare. You can click here to learn more about qualifying for Medicare during COVID.

Apply for Catastrophic Coverage

Applying for catastrophic coverage is another option for those who can’t afford regular health insurance. You can purchase catastrophic coverage through the healthcare marketplace, but not everyone is eligible.

While catastrophic plans offer a lot of the same medical services as regular plans, they come with very high deductibles. Aside from a few visits to your primary care physician and preventative care, you’ll need to pay out of pocket for all of your other medical expenses until you reach your deductible.

For this reason, catastrophic coverage is only a good choice for healthy individuals.

Consider Short-Term Insurance

Last but not least, you may want to consider short-term insurance. Short-term healthcare plans last anywhere from a few months to a full year.

These plans usually come with lower monthly premiums, and they can help bridge the gap when you’re transferring from one employer to the next. However, a short-term insurance plan only covers the basics, so if you require ongoing medical care, this isn’t the plan for you.

I Can’t Afford Health Insurance: Taking the Next Steps

If you’ve been saying to yourself, “I can’t afford health insurance”, you now know what to do. You can consider a health share program if you’re looking to keep your medical costs low. UHSM (Unite Health Share Ministries) is a health share program that facilitates member-to-member sharing of medical bills, you can learn more by visiting this link. The next step is to do more research into the above options to see which choice is best for you.

And, be sure to check back in with our blog for more budget-friendly tips and tricks.