Health insurance is an absolute must in the United States. Without it, the cost of medical care would be exhaustive; in fact, it could be downright crippling. Even something as seeing a doctor to for a routine exam could cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. Health insurance helps to minimize the expense because the company that issues your policy agrees to cover a certain amount of the cost of the care that you receive. In turn, you agree to pay a specific amount of your care, too; and that’s where things get tricky.
While it’s true that if you’re insured, you won’t have to pay the full cost of your medical care, you do have to pay a specific amount; that amount varies, depending on the plan. Due to the constant increase in the price of medical care, even if have good coverage, you could still end up paying an exorbitant amount in out-of-pocket expenses. In fact, health insurance can be so expensive that many people forego it all together simply because they can’t afford it.
While sure, not having to pay monthly premiums, deductibles, and co-pays or coinsurance can certainly help you save some cash in the short-term; in the long run, the cost isn’t going to amount to much when you do end up needing treatment. You never know when an emergency is going to happen. If you aren’t insured, a single trip to the ER for something simple, like a broken bone, could set you back a few thousand dollars; the cost of a surgical procedure and a hospital stay could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, the amount you’ll save in deductibles, premiums, and other out-of-pocket expenses aren’t going to add up when you actually do need health care.
With all that said, it’s easy to see why having health insurance is vital for your overall health and well-being; however, that doesn’t mean that you want to pay an excessive amount for your coverage. In an effort to save money, you may be wondering if discounts are available for health insurance like there are for so many other things. Read on to learn more.
Discounts and Health Insurance
If you’re shopping around for affordable health insurance, you may be enticed by so-called “discount” plans. These plants may sound appealing, mainly because the word “discount” implies that they offer coverage at a more affordable rate; however, in reality, that may not necessarily be true. In fact, you could end up spending more on a discount health plan than you would on a standard policy.
What is a Medical Discount Health Plan?
Medical discount plans require a monthly payment. In exchange for that payment, you’ll receive particular products or services from a collection of health care providers and facilities that participate in the plan. Regardless of what the name implies, discounted medical plans do not cover the cost of your health care; rather, they provide you with supposed discounts on specific services and products, like medications, that you may need.
Be Wary of Medical Discount Plans
There are some legitimate medical discount plans out there, and they do provide discounted rates for certain services and products with providers and facilities that participate with the plan. However, and unfortunately, it seems that there are more scams than there are legitimate discount plans. If you’re taken by one of these scam plans, you’ll likely end up paying a monthly fee and receiving nothing in return; they’ll either not offer the discounts that they advertised, or they’ll quite literally take your money and run.
Things to Consider
If you are interested in looking into discounted rates for health care services and products (who can blame you!), there are some things that you’re going to want to consider in order to protect yourself.
- Steer clear of “up to”. If you see anything that advertises an “up to” discount; for example, “a discount of up to 80 percent”, stay away. While sure, they may say that they’ll offer you “up to 80 percent off”, in reality, you’ll probably never see that much in savings. In fact, you’ll probably see a much lower discounted rate; if any discount at all.
- Read the fine print. Make sure that you read the details of any discount plan you are considering before you sign on the dotted line. It’s important that you have a thorough understanding of what’s the plan entails, including the monthly fee that you’ll be required to pay, what products and services are discounted, and how the discount plan works.
- Discount plans aren’t health insurance. Lastly, it’s important that you understand that discount medical plans are not health insurance; rather, they provide discounts for specific services and products (at least the legitimate ones do). Therefore, you still need to have health insurance coverage. Don’t be tricked into thinking that these plans will provide you with the coverage that you need because they won’t.
While the point of discount health care programs or plans is to provide you with savings on certain things that your health insurance may not cover, they do not replace health insurance. You will need to invest in the coverage of a legitimate health insurance plan.
Summing It Up
While there are real health insurance discount plans, before you sign on the dotted line, be wary and do your due diligence. Also, contact your health insurance carrier, as many companies automatically offer discounts for the people that they insure.
If you’re shopping for health insurance and you want to find the most affordable option, consider contacting a reputable agent that specializes in health insurance. An agent will be able to direct you to affordable options that will provide you with the coverage you need; and maybe some discounts, too.