Compare Health Insurance with Limited Coverage

It really may not be worth the cost to carry limited health coverage plans once you compare health insurance costs with the coverage you receive.  Consumer Reports’ advice columnist Nancy Metcalf answered the question “Should I buy a low-priced limited benefit health insurance plan just in case something happens?”  A reader wrote in because their COBRA insurance would no longer be available and they were worried about not having health insurance.  They had researched costs associated with plans from well-known companies like Aetna and Blue Cross as well as less expensive, more limited coverage from a company like Lands Health.

These indemnity plans with limited benefits clearly state that they are not major medical insurance plans.  While they may cover some doctors visits and decrease your co-pay or prescription costs, the main point of the inquirer’s question was what to do “in case something happens.”  Metcalf gave an example for this scenario regarding breast cancer and how much you would pay out of pocket with and without a major health plan.  If you were diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy, chemo & radiation therapy, you would pay an average of $70,000 out of pocket with a limited benefit plan.  On the other hand, with a full coverage plan from a company like Aultcare, Aetna, or Blue Cross, you would pay around $4,000 depending on your particular benefits.

It would be much more beneficial to research into the most affordable comprehensive health insurance plan when you are most concerned with “in case something happens.”  Depending on the state in which you live, your age, gender, and medical history, you can find a plan around $400 per month.  That number changes based on those factors, but is the average for a 50-year-old non-smoking woman living in Indiana.  Once the health care reform fully goes into effect in 2014, state health insurance exchanges will offer more affordable health insurance coverage and yours may even be subsidized by the government.  Some states are already offering the heath insurance exchanges.

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