Health Insurance is one of smartest financial moves an individual or a family can make. It means the difference between being financially ruined in the event that a sickness or injury hits or being able to come out financially sound after the ordeal. With the rising cost of medical care, many people are finding it increasingly expensive to keep up with doctor’s visits. That is sad to note that despite the risk associated with having inadequate or no insurance, many people still continue to live without insurance either because they are ignorant of how it works and how to get it or they simply cannot afford it.
There are millions of people who understand the benefits of health insurance and acknowledge that it is indeed a smart financial move that hedges against risks in times of sickness or even death but they still lack insurance because they cannot afford it. In the United States, there about 800,000 people who live below the poverty line and cannot afford health insurance let alone enough food clothing and shelter. Then there are also families who may not necessarily be living in absolute poverty but nevertheless have no health insurance because they cannot afford it. There are thus thousands of low income households which cannot afford health insurance.
The easiest way to acquire health insurance for low income families is through group insurance. Many companies participate in health care plans that allow them to offer group policies for their employees. The reason these plans are reasonably affordable even to low income households is because the group aspect of the insurance causes it to be cheap and the insurance companies and health care providers are therefore able to offer it at a discounted rate. If one has a large family, all he or she needs to do is find a job with a company that offers health insurance. Adding the rest of the family is as easy as calling the human resources department and making the request. Even though adding the other family members may cause the monthly premium payments to increase slightly, group health insurance through an employer is the most cost-effective and convenient way for low income households to acquire health insurance.
Another way for low income households to acquire affordable health insurance is through state-sponsored program. The Government-initiated States Children Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is geared towards low income families. The SCHIP insurance packages are extremely helpful but they have a limittion; the applying family cannot be having existing coverage through another group insurance.This essentially targets families that have existing health insurance through an employer.
Medicaid is another government-sponsored program geared to offer health insurance to low income households who do not work and have no assets. This was enacted bu the US Congress mostly with retired seniors in mind and other poor households. The money to fund for medicaid comes from taxation of families who are already working. Despite some alleged abuses, medicaid and SCHIP remain the top two health insurance programs for low income households.