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The high cost of health insurance is one of the most discussed topics in our country. You've heard of high deductibles, steep copays and expensive prescriptions, leaving you wondering if health insurance is really worth the cost. On the other hand, you can now be penalized by not having health insurance.
The good news is, if you're unemployed or don't earn a high income, you can actually get free or discounted health insurance. Do you want to know more about these affordable health insurance options? This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about free individual health insurance.
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The best free or discounted health insurance:
Is Health Insurance Really Free?
There are some types of health insurance options available to you and your family if you are unemployed, uninsured and pregnant, if you earn low to moderate income or if you are disabled. Medicaid, the childhood health insurance program (CHIP) and government-subsidized market health care plans are all options to explore if they fit into these categories.
Medicaid: This health insurance is a national government-provided health insurance program that helps low-income or disabled Americans and their families better afford health care. Medicaid is a national program but is funded by each state. Sometimes Medicaid pays for healthcare costs directly, but other forms require choosing a Medicaid plan offered through private insurance companies.
Medicaid coverage, guidelines and costs may vary from state to state. Medicaid is often free for eligible candidates, but it can also offer discounted insurance if you are in the higher or more moderate income brackets. It will also cover your children if they are not insured.
For more information on specific Medicaid options and requirements in your state, visit healthcare.gov.
CHIP: if you earn too much money to benefit from Medicaid but you cannot afford health insurance for your family, your children can benefit from CHIP. CHIP offers affordable insurance options for children under the age of 19. Even if you are eligible for Medicaid, your children may be enrolled in a CHIP insurance plan. The CHIP can also cover pregnant women.
Requirements and costs for CHIP vary from state to state. You can learn more about healthcare.gov.
Government subsidies for the market plan: the market is the place where you can buy insurance coverage if you don't like the business plan, if you don't get insurance while at work or if you are unemployed. Although there are many low cost plans available on the market, you may not be able to pay copays or deductibles on most major plans.
To help, the government can offer tax credits, pay part of the premiums or provide savings on copays, deductibles and other health care expenses depending on the income and size of the family.
You can find out how eligible you could be to save on a market plan by entering your status, family size and income on healthcare.gov.
Other health insurance options for the unemployed recently
If you've just lost your job or know that layoffs are on the horizon but you are doing too much to qualify for government subsidies or Medicaid, there is another option that you should look into.
COBRA: Many workplaces offer employees coverage of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) in the event that they lose their job or are no longer eligible for health insurance at the workplace. COBRA allows you to extend your health insurance for a certain period of time (typically 18 months). This gives you time to find a new job at health insurance or to find a different long-term health plan during the transition period. The amount to be paid varies according to the terms and location of the coverage.
Who qualifies for free or reduced health insurance?
There are several qualifications that you must meet to be eligible for free or reduced health insurance for Medicaid, CHIP or a market plan. For one of these plans, you must meet one of the following factors to qualify.
You will need to be:
Unemployed A low-income worker Disabled Pregnant
The income limits and discounts are determined by the state for each type of insurance. If you exceed your state's income limits, your children may still be eligible for CHIP insurance. Other factors may apply depending on the type of coverage you choose and where you live.
Factors that determine free or low cost health insurance
When determining health premiums, insurance providers typically consider 5 main factors: age, location, tobacco use, individual or family plan selection and category (or level of service). All of these factors help determine how much your health premium will be.
These factors are still relevant when determining whether you are eligible for a free or low-cost insurance, but additional factors including your employment status, pregnancy status and income level will also determine your eligibility.
How to apply for a free or discounted health insurance
Do you think you can benefit from free or reduced health care but are not sure where to start? You can easily find out your status for discounted health insurance for Medicaid, CHIP or a market plan by completing a market demand.
You can learn more about applying for health insurance on the Marketplace at healthcare.gov.
5 best health insurance companies
Now that you understand more about free and reduced health insurance and how to qualify, you may be wondering which health care professional is the best. Although providers may vary based on the coverage you are looking for and your location, we have collected 5 of the best health insurance companies and grouped them into categories to help you make an informed decision.
1. The best for customer satisfaction: Aetna Medicaid
Aetna is an important name in the health insurance sector, but it also has a Medicaid sector. Aetna Medicaid offers access to a wider care network as well as wellness programs.
It offers low cost health plans to qualified members with a high degree of customer satisfaction. It currently provides Medicaid services in California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
2. The best choice for service providers: Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield ensures that you don't fall behind with its vast network of suppliers who accept Medicaid. With one of the largest networks of doctors and care providers in the country, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a convenient choice for many Medicaid applicants.
Its HIP Basic plan offers inexpensive hospital stays, appointments and prescriptions, while HIP Plus offers $ 0 costs for hospital visits, medical appointments, prescriptions, dentist appointments, eye care or chiropractic services.
3. Ideal for additional functionality: permanent Kaiser
Kaiser Permanente offers a range of affordable health insurance options, including the supply of Medicaid. If you qualify for Medicaid through Kaiser Permanente, you will also receive access to their mobile app, wellness programs (at discounted rates), training center and experienced staff.
It offers a good selection of doctors on the net to choose from at low or no cost. You can receive Medicaid through Kaiser Permanente in California, Colorado, DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia and Washington.
4. The best for online convenience: UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is another leading name in the healthcare sector, which offers Medicaid services if they qualify. The UnitedHealthcare community plan will help you find the most suitable low-income program for your family.
If you qualify, you will get access to its online platform that allows you to quickly schedule appointments without interrupting the day. You can also request prescriptions online, speak with a nurse or take part in one of her online wellness programs.
5. Ideal for low costs and commissions: Molina Healthcare
Molina is one of the main Medicaid suppliers in the country. Work closely with state governments to ensure the best possible coverage at the lowest price. You cannot expect copays and full coverage for most medical services through this provider.
Low or absent copays for prescription drugs are also the norm for Molina Medicaid. You can receive Medicaid through Molina in California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Stay protected for less
Health insurance doesn't have to be a burden, especially if you're entitled to discounts or free coverage. You should review all the options before selecting a free or reduced health plan, to make sure it has the coverage you and your family need. If you want to get a quote on a discounted health plan, Benzinga can help you. All we need is your zip code and we will show you some plans for which you may be eligible.
1) Q: Is health insurance required?
1) Q: Is health insurance required?
The federal mandate that required health insurance has been revoked but some states have issued state-level mandates requiring residents to have health insurance. Even where not required, health insurance can protect your family from catastrophic healthcare costs and help make routine medical bills more predictable. Get your cheapest quote through our best suppliers today.
2) Q: What does health insurance cover?
2) Q: What does health insurance cover?
Most health insurance plans provide the 10 essential health benefits that were part of Obamacare's requirements. Coverage includes prevention and wellness services, prescription drug coverage, emergency services, outpatient services, laboratory services, pediatric services and more. Many plans cover a wider range of health care costs, but may cost more than the basic plans or may have higher immediate costs for some services. Request a personalized health insurance quote to cover you and your family today.
3) Q: How can I save on health insurance?
3) Q: How can I save on health insurance?
For Affordable Care Act-compliant healthcare plans, only a handful of assessment factors affect the premium. These include age and location, at least one of which cannot be changed. Smokers will pay more in most cases and choosing the floor level can also affect premiums. Choosing a highly deductible health insurance plan can reduce the cost of premiums. These plans can be combined with a healthcare savings account to take advantage of tax-free savings for healthcare expenses. Get the cheapest health insurance premium from the best suppliers.
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