People working in non-traditional jobs, such as those who are contract employees or the owners of small businesses, join with those who hold more traditional jobs without benefits in needing Group health insurance. To cover them, insurance companies offer privately purchased plans. The problem with these plans, though, is that the insurance company decides whether to cover you or not, thus excluding those who need it the most.
The new health care bill that was signed in early 2010 in the United States will make sweeping changes across the field of health insurance. But until the changes go into effect, Group insurance is still sometimes difficult to get, and hard to understand. For those who need it, choosing their plan can be a major headache.
For healthy people who don't smoke and aren't over a certain age, Group insurance is easily available. Unfortunately, if you don't meet those qualifications, insurance is suddenly nearly completely unavailable. If you have had trouble getting coverage for a long period of time because of a pre-existing condition, some states and now the federal government, as part of the health care act, provide plans. But these plans are expensive and come with requirements, such as having been uninsured for six months or more.
If you're one of the lucky ones who can qualify for Group insurance, the question changes to which plan do you need. Plans come in all prices on the spectrum, from incredibly expensive to fairly cheap. Cheap plans are sometimes not very good plans, but other times, they just have sky-high deductibles. The difference is quite important.
High-deductible plans sometimes offer good coverage for people who can't afford a higher monthly rate, and probably won't use their insurance. For those who anticipate needing extensive medical care, a plan with a higher monthly rate but a lower deductible will often cost less in the long run. As high deductibles run up into the thousands, the savings can be considerable.
Be cautious on the point of high deductibles. If you never use your plan, your out-of-pocket cost is just the monthly fee, which is lower in a high deductible plan. But if you use the coverage, then spending twice as much a month but much less in deductibles might make financial sense. It's nearly impossible to make an accurate prediction about your future health, but you'll need to try.
Health insurance is not a fun subject to spend your time trying to understand. But if you put aside enough time to research the options, you won't later have to worry if your injury or illness is going to bankrupt you. That Saturday that you spend going through the fine print on Group health insurance plans might be less than fun at the time, but later, you'll be grateful.