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The cost of not having health insurance can be extraordinary with the cost of healthcare being so great and ultimately the chance of you needing some kind of treatment just as great.
Health cover normally comes in two guises, group and individual . Group insurance is normally offered by your employer. The costs are covered by your employer but the cover isn't usually as comprehensive as individual cover. Individual insurance is a private health policy held by you and can be as basic or as comprehensive as you wish.
Who is a potential candidate?
Unless you are independently wealthy, the cost of medical treatment and cost of ongoing medical care is so high that you can be bankrupted even if a small incident occurs. A health policy can mean much or all those exorbitant costs are covered by someone else.
What typically does it cover?
Policies vary massively in cost and total coverage. Hospitalization is normally included in even the most basic of plans. This is good as hospitalization is perhaps one of the most costly factors in healthcare. Health policies will cover you for a range of specialist treatments, regular out-patient treatment, surgery, x-rays and testing and maternity care. This should all be covered by even the most basic of policies. Comprehensive health coverage will give you generous allowances in all specialist areas, physio treatment, as well as alternative and complementary health treatments.
What typically does it not cover?
Health cover can be as comprehensive as you like it to be. However, servicing long-term illness and disability is not part of a health insurance policy. Medication is also not covered by health insurance in many instances. There are some plans that cover this but generally it is an optional extra. In many instances, dental cover is not included as standard.
Additional coverage that policy holders might take out in this area
A disability policy gives you an income stream beyond regular healthcare in the event of disability or long term illness. Health policies only covers short-term and critical treatment.
Basic plans are commonplace but only give you the minimal benefits. By extending or increasing your premium, you also extend your coverage. You can even encompass your spouse and your dependents as part of your health insurance plan if you wish.
What will it typically cost?
Health insurance plans differ massively between insurers. Shopping for the most competitive rate available will end up costing you more money in the long run as your plan may be very limited. You can spend a nominal amount and get a hospital indemnity policy which will only provide basic hospital care and for a limited time or you can get a comprehensive insurance that covers each conceivable circumstance. This can cost you many hundreds of dollars per year. If your health insurance is part of an employer group insurance policy then your employer bears the full cost of the plan.
Where Can I Find Health Insurers?
You can find a wide selection of health insurance businesses, brokers and agents at Start Local.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all available health insurers in the marketplace.