Cheap Health Insurance
Health insurance premiums in California have been on the rise for many years. The escalation has been significant, outpacing average household wage and income inflation for most individuals and families. More and more employers and individuals are pursuing health insurance policies that offer adequate coverage at affordable rates. Cheap health insurance is available - if you know how and where to look for it.
High Deductible Health Plans
A health insurance deductible is a pre-determined amount of money an insured individual must pay before insurance will begin paying benefits. Higher demand for these types of plans has made high deductible policies more widely available. Many consumers are gravitating towards these types of plans because they allow for lower upfront costs and greater tax benefits. Higher deductibles usually translate to lower premiums, and HDHPs qualify policy-holders to open a health savings account, which allows for tax-free distributions when used to pay for a qualified medical expense. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2012 Survey of Health Insurance Agents, health insurance deductibles are rising fast. Half of those surveyed report that the majority of individual insurance deductibles has reached $2,000 - a value that only applied to 20 percent of policies in 2009.
Small Business Group Plans
Small business group plans make health insurance more affordable and accessible - especially for those with pre-existing health conditions. Employer-sponsored health insurance may seem like a big cost for small businesses, but federal legislation has made it easier than ever for businesses with fewer than 25 employees to acquire and pay for employee health insurance benefits. In group plans, the employer and employees share costs and risks, and they also enjoy certain federal health insurance protections outlined by HIPAA. Furthermore, the Affordable Care Act grants small businesses a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the employer's portion of employee premiums paid each tax year. According to the Internal Revenue Service, this credit applies to small businesses with 25 or fewer full time equivalent employees who have average salaries less than $50,000 annually. The maximum credit will increase to 50 percent in 2014.
Temporary Health Plans
Temporary health insurance is another way to acquire affordable premiums without sacrificing a lot of coverage. With a temporary policy, coverage is not continual, but rather guaranteed for a period of up to 12 months. Furthermore, major medical costs are covered, but preventive care and prescriptions may not be. Premiums for temporary coverage are payable in a single one-time payment or equal monthly premiums, and they are generally much lower than traditional coverage because policies expire at the end of the coverage period. Temporary health plans are good choices for individuals who are waiting for employer coverage to begin or who have recently become ineligible to continue coverage on a parent's health insurance policy.
Perhaps the easiest way of finding cheap health insurance is by shopping and comparing the rates of various insurers. California legislation requires that all policy rates be fixed and consistent between agents, which means that an Aetna quote from an independent health insurance agent will be the same as one from an Aetna health insurance agent. In other words, there is no need to acquire quotes from each of the leading health insurance companies individually, when you can get rates from each of them at once using our one-stop health insurance quotes at CaliforniaHealthPlans.com. You enter your information one time to receive policy and rate information for individual and family plans, dental plans, child-only plans and Medicare plans from leading companies like Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net, Aetna and Kaiser.