Health insurance is expensive and getting more so every year. It should hardly come as a surprise that increasing numbers of people are simply going without coverage of any kind. They simply cannot afford health insurance. According to some statistics, the number of people in the US who don’t have health insurance hovers around 50 million, which works out to approximately one out of every six people.
Since the wealthy can easily afford health insurance, and those officially designated as poor can usually qualify for some form of government assisted care, we can assume that the vast majority of those 50 million souls sit somewhere in the middle class.Are you one of them? If so, here are three ways you can afford health insurance. See if one of them can work for you.
Part-time jobs with health insurance
In the best of all worlds your health insurance comes from a group plan with an employer. This has the advantages of (usually) being at least partially paid by your employer and, since it’s group coverage, you can’t be refused entry due to pre-existing conditions.
This kind of coverage typically comes from a full-time job, but what if you’re self-employed, or you don’t have a full-time job, or if your job doesn’t offer health insurance?
You still might be able to work a similar arrangement with a part-time job!
If you’re interested in getting health insurance through a part-time job, I’ve written a post to get you started, 20 Part-time Jobs With Health Insurance. The list includes mostly nation-wide employers (or employer sources) and it provides companies that may be of interest to you. If not, you can fan out from there. There are probably dozens more employers who provide health insurance to their part-timers, and though you’ll have to do some research, it is most definitely one way that you can afford health insurance.
Catastrophic can be the best way anyone can afford health insurance
Private insurance is expensive, not the least of which since there’s no employer subsidy—you’re on the hook for the entire premium. For this reason it’s not unusual for individuals to pay monthly premiums in an amount comparable to a large car payment, or for families to pay one that’s the size of a modest house payment.
The solution, if you have to use private insurance, is to use a high deductible plan—also known as catastrophic health insurance. There are no hard and fast rules as to how high a deductible has to be in order to categorize the plan as catastrophic, but suffice it to say that it’s usually a figure just above your comfort zone.
People often shy away from catastrophic coverage because it doesn’t cover the type of medical costs that are typically included under employer group plans. They conclude that because it didn’t pay for their $150 doctor visit or their $2,000 medical test, its lousy insurance and not worth having.
But there are two reasons for having catastrophic coverage and the combination of the two is strong enough to merit consideration. The first is price. A health insurance plan with a $5,000 (or higher) deductible can cost hundreds per month less than one with a $1,000 deductible. It’s often a matter of raising the deductible to the point of affordability. You’re far better off having this kind of coverage then none at all!
The other reason is coverage for true medical disasters. While it’s true that catastrophic isn’t much help with routine medical costs, it will cover you for the gigantic healthcare events that are becoming more common. If your catastrophic plan covers only one six-figure medical disaster in your life, it will have done its job. It may even save your life if the alternative is to go without health insurance all together!
Never dismiss catastrophic coverage out of hand. It’s one of the best ways for most people to afford health insurance.
Create an income stream dedicated to cover health insurance
The reason most people go without health insurance is cost, or better put–insufficient income to afford that cost. The solution to your health insurance problem then could be to increase your income.
You can do this by creating a dedicated income stream that will specifically cover your health insurance. If you don’t want to work a part-time job, you can do this through some kind of self-employment or freelance work. Three that I personally recommend are:
I’m doing the first two, and one of my best friends is doing the third. It’s fairly easy to earn the extra $500 to $1,000 per month you need to cover your health insurance premium (less if you use catastrophic), and though it will take a few months to reach that income level, it is very doable. You can do these from home, at your own pace and even grow them beyond paying just for health insurance.
But if you begin any of these—or any other income venture—be sure to dedicate it specifically to pay for your health insurance premiums. If you don’t, you’ll just fold the income into your regular budget, paying for everything else, and you’ll still be without coverage.
Are you going without health insurance? Do you think any of the above can help you afford it? What else have you tried to get affordable health insurance coverage?