I’m looking for health insurance for my family, how should I get started?
UPDATED: Jul 3, 2012
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Asked July 3, 2012
The best place to start looking for health insurance for your family is probably with your employer. Employers with more than 50 employees must make health insurance available, whether they contribute to the premiums or not. Furthermore, purchasing insurance through an employer group plan means that you are guaranteed acceptance regardless of any preexisting conditions you may have. Because many employers pay a portion of the premiums as a job benefit, group health through your employer has the potential to be the cheapest way to get health insurance.
If health insurance is not available through your employer, there are other group plans available. If you are a member of AARP, AAA or other civic organizations, you may be entitled to group coverage for your family through that organization. While you would have to pay the full premiums for this type of group insurance, you would still get lower group rates, receive eligibility regardless of preexisting conditions, and this type of policy could be taken with you from job to job or even home state to home state.
If group insurance is not an option, you could apply for individual health insurance. The problem with private coverage is that the plans often exclude preexisting conditions and have strict medical exams that must be passed before you are accepted. Private insurance is a possibility, but should be considered only after a search for group coverage has been exhausted.
If your income is low enough, you may be able to get health coverage through a government program such as Medicaid. To qualify, you will have to have a low income and no other health care options available. Medicaid is not meant to be a replacement for a health insurance plan, but it will suffice as health coverage for your family if other plans are not currently in your budget.
Answered July 3, 2012 by Anonymous