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How do I get more affordable health insurance?

Jan 09, 2012 by Beibei from San Diego, CA in  |  Flag
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The most important factor in obtaining low cost insurance is to have an analysis run of all available plans. Whether you are looking for a policy in the individual market or have coverage through your employer it is important to do a thorough comparison of all available choices. Usually the individual market offers a larger selection of options. However, premiums can vary depending on a number of factors including your age, address & health. In the employer based market, your plan availability is usually more limited but you have the advantage of possibly have your premiums tax deductible, no pre-existing conditions waiting period and guaranteed issue.

Working with a broker can help you navigate the many options available.

Greg Levin, CFP® LPL Financial

Due to industry regulations, the advisor may not post additional reply comments. If you would like to contact the author, please email him at Gregory.Levin@LPL.com. Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.

1 Comment   |  Flag   |  Jan 30, 2012 from Cowan Heights, CA
Greg Levin, CFP®

LPL Tracking #1-039800

Flag |  Jan 30, 2012 near Cowan Heights, CA

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The single most important factor in your ability to get and pay for health insurance is your own health.

While I've rarely seen this mentioned by financial advisors, you can impact a big part of your health insurance eligibility and costs by achieving and maintaining healthy habits. This is something you control and you're empowered to do something about it.

And to be clear, health isn't just about losing weight. In my opinion, if you're truly healthy, weight likely won't be a problem, but the idea of health also spans diet, exercise, getting outside, and many more aspects that will have a positive effect on your blood pressure, your blood work, your weight, stress levels and many other areas that impact your overall well-being and your health insurance costs.

Something to think about . . .

1 Comment   |  Flag   |  Jan 31, 2012 from Atlanta, GA

It goes back tot he whole problem of equating health with health insurance in our society. Excellent points.

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Flag |  Jan 31, 2012 near San Diego, CA

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Do you work for an employer or are you self emplyed?

3 Comments   |  Flag   |  Jan 09, 2012 from Port Washington, NY

Thanks Mr. Levine. I work for an employer. But I am also interested in what I can do if I was self-employed.

Flag |  Jan 09, 2012 near San Diego, CA
Evan M. Levine, ChFC

There are numerous ways to go... beyond the scope of what can be shared on this platform. I will say this though: it is unlikely that you will find a more affordable plan than what's offered through your employer because they enjoy a group rate and, I imagine, are sharing part of the cost. Personally, I am self emplyed and found a decent plan at a decent rate through the freelancersunion insurance company. (www.freelancersunion.com) There are also numerous association plans and many carriers do offer plans to individulas, with the benefits and rates differing vastly by carrier and state. Much research needs to be done... it takes time, is not fun and health insurance is very expensive. Sorry, dont kill the messenger!!!

Flag |  Jan 09, 2012 near Port Washington, NY

haha Thanks. I'm now in my employer-provided health insurance plan which is indeed at a group rate. So you mean, I don't have to find an alternative or substitute for it. Right? for it is already the best I can get.

Flag |  Jan 09, 2012 near San Diego, CA

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Another alternative is a high deductible insurance policy combined with a health savings account (HSA). Your fixed premiums will very likely be lower but you must pay the first say $2,500 - $5,000 out of your own pocket (or HSA that you funded). This must be compared to lower deductible alternatives depending on your circumstances but since you are paying the bill, it can have a wonderful behavioral effect on how you view health services and your personal cost/benefit.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 06, 2012 from Western Springs, IL

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Just to reiterate what's been said above, if you have access to an employer-provided policy, that will always be better than an individual or self-employed arrangement due to the leverage of group rates, and in my experience, they are also better than association policies. That being said, insurance is regulated on a statewide basis and the types and access to plans varies widely based on which state you're in. Also, needless to say, in 2014, the market for individuals and small businesses, in particular, is going to be affected by the implementation of the Exchanges under the Health Reform Act.

Comment   |  Flag   |  Oct 07, 2012 from Manhattan, NY

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