Last Updated on 26 February 2020

Health Insurance on a Budget: Cover for Minor or Major Care?

For tough budgets, health insurance can be a matter of options.  You won’t be able to get the best coverage, with high limits and great deductibles.  In the question of what cover to purchase, there are some points that can help you make the right decision.

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Heath Insurance Cover for Minor Costs

Some individuals or families might be tempted to go with this type of coverage.  After all, it is the one that you use the most often, right?  Some have gone years without needing coverage for “large items,” so to speak.

The small items like prescriptions, decent co-payments during a doctor visit, and so forth represent the category that you’ll use the most.  Obviously during an average year, you may not have any major health issues that require treatment.  Naturally, if you have to choose a limited range of cover to make it work for your budget, you might be drawn to this idea.

However, there is a hugeand obvious drawback: what will you do if you need coverage for large items?  After all, it doesn’t take too long to rack up $10,000 in a hospital room.  According to a survey in 2008, the average trip to the ER cost $1265.  All it takes is one thing to go wrong.

This could potentially work out fine, if you don’t have any unexpected medical needs.  However, it is an extremely large risk to take.  In light of any truly large medical needs that may arise, you could lose all your cash to pay for care – or be desperate for a treatment you can’t afford.

Health Insurance Cover for Major Costs

Getting a policy that focuses on the “large items” can be a better choice.  It might not be right for you– that’s something that you’ll have to decide – but generally speaking, if you cannot afford comprehensive insurance, it’s the major costs that will hit you hardest.

Say you do take out cover for major health treatment costs: what about the lesser expenses?  You will have occasional minor consultations and medications, among other items, that will be difficult to pay for on a tight budget.  However, that’s where creativity can come into play.

You might be able to use programs, such as those offered by insurance companies and pharmacies, to get discounts on medications and health care.  There may be options for cheaper health care – you may be eligible for Medicaid as well, of course.

Look at Your Budget

Let your budget guide you to the right type of health insurance policy.

Struggling to afford any health insurance at all? It may be wise to look at policies that cover larger items; look into public health care as well.  There are plenty of inexpensive options to make medications and other items more affordable.

Health insurance is not cheap.  When you must decide between one type of cover and another, avoid significantly undermining your budget.  Take a look at your options to see if you can come up with something to cover you – whether it’s a discount program, a minimal policy, or likely some type of combination.


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