Locate Good Cheap Health Insurance In 5 Steps

Good, cheap health insurance is not easy to come by, especially if you are unemployed or have a medical condition. The truth of the matter is that insurance companies prefer to spend as little of their money as possible, which means that they are less likely to offer their insurance to people who need it most. That said, finding affordable insurance isn’t impossible, so long as you follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1 - Getting Your Bearings

First and foremost,  to get some advice and get a sense of what kind of options are on the table. There are a number of organizations that are dedicated to finding affordable health insurance and free care for anyone who needs it. They include:

  • Healthcare Advocacy–This professional consulting firm evaluates clients' needs and suggests affordable healthcare options that fit their situation. The organization charges a fee for its services, either a flat fee or an hour-based fee.
  • Patient Advocate Foundation–An organization dedicated to aiding cancer patients. It offers a variety of services, which include consulting, referrals and various forms of financial support.
  • Patient Services Incorporated–A non-profit organization dedicated to finding suitable health insurance coverage for its clients and helping them with payments. The extent of their services depends on the client’s condition, but their options are varied.
Step 2 - Checking Your Options

Use the advice from above sources to find and sign up for the health insurance that’s right for you. Make sure that the progam you ultimately choose covers your medical conditions. You should be especially careful if you have vision, hearing and dental problems.

Once you narrowed down your insurance options, cross-reference their rates. Use a price comparison resource such as ehealthinsurance.com to find a program you can afford. Keep in mind that your age plays a role in what kind of rates you will be offered - the older you are, the pricier they will be. You must also remember that many of the insurance programs that look very cheap usually come with strings attached. The heathcare organizations listed in the firsr section should be able to steer you away from some of the worst offenders, but if you have any doubts, have a lawyer look over the contract they are offering and look them their records at Better Business Bureau.

Step 3 - Considering the Government Programs

An addition to private insurance programs, there are also several government-run programs that you might want to look into. They include:
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)–This state-run program is designed to provide benefits to those who are recently fired. In essence, it offers the same program you had with your latest employer, except the payments are structured differently. It isn’t the cheapest option, but it is an option worth considering.
  • Medicaid–A federal healthcare plan for lower-income families and individuals. Different states have different definitions of “low-income” for the purpose of Medicaid, so you should check your state laws to see if you qualify. For the most part, you are allowed to apply for Medicaid whether you work or not.
  • Medicare–A federal healthcare plan geared towards senior citizens using the funds generated through Social Security. If you are 65 years or older and paid into Social Security, you automatically qualify for Medicare. The program also offers disability benefits.
  • State High Risk Health Insurance Pool–A state-run program geared toward people with medical conditions that put their health at risk. The plan is meant to provide aid when private health insurance providers refuse coverage. This may not necessary be cheaper then private insurance, but, depending on your situation, it may be the only viable option.
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)–This state-run program provides insurance for the children of those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to cover their children’s health expenses on their own.
Step 4 - Get Help With Prescription Drugs

Many affordable insurance options don’t ihave good prescription drug benefits and other don’t include prescription drugs at all. You have several options, which include:
  • Generic Drugs–Drugs based on patented brand-name drugs and produced after the patent is expired. In other words, they tend to be older, more common drugs. They are usually cheaper than brand-name counterparts.
  • Discount Drugs Programs–State-run programs that allow patients to get drugs at reduced prices. The program is only available in some states, and the benefits they offer differ between states.
  • Private Groups–Groups that help patients to buy drugs at reduced rates. Many of them specialize in specific illnesses or types of illnesses.
Step 5 - Find a Free Clinic

One great way to further reduce healthcare costs is to use free clinics. They are available in most urban and rural locations. Most of them require you to wait your turn to be treated, and they may not have more advanced medical equipment, but they will take care of your basic health problems free of charge.

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