Cheap vs Affordable - The Health Insurance Balancing Beam

Cheap affordable health insurance is something that everyone is seeking. Take this example: Last year, a young married couple with no children had health insurance, but was still forced to pay over $4,000 in medical expenses. The wife of this couple developed a stomach condition that required multiple diagnostic tests to be run. After a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, a small-bowel mapping, and several other tests the issue was not solved at years end. Because of the high cost of medical care, the couple basically paid out all that money for the doctors to say, “We still do not know what is going on.”
 
Out of Pocket Expenses

Sometimes cheap personal health insurance ends up biting you in the long run. This couple had a plan that did not cost a lot up front, but because of deductibles that were owed on nearly every single procedure that was performed costs quickly rose. Many cheap health insurance plans work this way. They are very affordable, as long as you don’t get sick. They do a good job of covering annual appointments and taking care of preventative healthcare. Even if you have a minor illness and need a prescription they are good. Unfortunately, if a major issue develops you could end up paying quite a bit of cash out of pocket. 

Student Health Plans

Another issue is cheap student health insurance. If you are full time student it is very difficult to find a health care plan that will cover all of your needs. For some graduate students, especially those that also hold down jobs for the University they are studying at, there can be good compromise plans through the University itself. If said University has a medical school they often present a plan that helps both the school and the student. Students who are in need of health care services can then visit the medical school at that university for often a much lower cost. For the medical school, it gives the students who are studying to become doctors a chance to study and practice on live cases under the supervision of licensed professionals. It can be a win-win situation in the end for all parties involved.
 
When looking at health insurance plans, especially those provided by your employers, it is always important to ask the question of how much you would owe if you do get sick. For the couple in the story above, they ended up switching health insurance plans to an HMO that was a little farther away from their home, but it meant bigger savings in the end. The deductible was much lower, even though the cost of insurance from their weekly paychecks was a little bit higher than an alternative plan. Though they are still fighting the same health issue, the stress of financial burdens are much lower.

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