February 3, 2008

Affordable Healthcare when sales are slow

A career in sales is tough. Look around your office and count the number of people that are no longer with your firm. Especially hit hard has been the Real Estate Industry. For those of you that have survived, watching your expenses and cutting costs whenever possible is important.

When it comes to reviewing your family's budget, you probably don't consider Health Insurance as a starting point. After all, you need coverage and the media would make you believe that you have few choices, when in fact; Individual Health Insurance remains very affordable.

Individual insurance plans change often. Insurance companies are constantly competing for your business. There seems to always be a "flavor of the month". For the past several years insurance companies have "unbundled" their products. This means that individuals and families now have the choice to select a plan that fit's their lifestyle and budget. Why pay for a plan with maternity, especially if you don't plan on having children. Plans now allow you to design a personal plan based on what services are most important to you. Select from PPO's, HMO's and Health Savings Accounts. Or maybe you just want catastrophic coverage - which is actually cheap to buy. Pick your own Deductible, Name Brand or Generic Rx, Office Co-pay, unlimited or limited number of doctors visits per year and more. You get the picture. Also don't forget to compare these plans against your association rates. If you are healthy, there is a 90% chance that you can save money - lot's of it. You most likely are paying the same association rates as individuals with serious medical problems. Association plans are often over priced, offer few plan options and usually offer one PPO carrier and another HMO provider. There several private health insurance providers offering hundreds of plan designs.

Another cost cutting strategy is to stagger your plan design. Lets assume that you and your spouse are in reasonably good health and you don't see the doctor very often, but your young child(ren) need well baby care, vacinations and visit the doctor frequently. You can have a higher deductible for the adults, with well woman's exams and annual physicals for both included. The children can be on a separate plan with a low or no deductible plan. As a general rule, this can result in significant savings for the family.
If you have children, don't be too proud to look at the state programs for kids. For example, in California the Healthy Families Plan is available to children from newborn to age 19. All major California Insures participate, offering coverage between $7 per child, or $45 for all the kids. You don't have to be poor to qualify, although some income, citizenship and plan rule requirements must be met.

Start saving today. Pull your current plan documents and instantly compare plans in your city at QuoteBroker (California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas) or HealthCareRates (All other states). Both providers offer free instant plan comparisons of insurance carriers offering coverage in your city.