With the cost of traditional health insurance rising, people are continually looking for other alternatives to traditional health insurance that protect people without busting the monthly income. With the onset of the novel Coronavirus, Health insurance has become more critical than ever.
Health insurance policies are the traditional way to protect oneself from the financial bust that we may encounter during the unfortunate medical problems. But it is a life-long commitment, which some people do not desire. Although traditional health insurance is a go-to plan for medical coverage, these have been encountering lots of problems in recent years. Health insurance is a big bump in everybody’s finances. As a result, people have been looking for various other alternatives that may not have such a great impact on people’s pockets.
Many people are working as freelancers and do not have fixed monthly incomes; thus, for them, it becomes difficult to commit monthly expenses. Hence, people have started looking for various alternatives to traditional health insurance. The various substitutes to Health Care Insurance include Primary Care membership plans, Medical Cost-Sharing Programs, Health Savings Account, Medical services discount cards, and high deductible policies.
5 Top Alternatives to Traditional Health Insurance
#1: Primary Care Memberships
Many physicians provide primary care memberships to individuals and their families. These memberships include essential services for a flat monthly fee, just like the way in a gym membership. The individual can access unlimited virtual doctor consultations and essential examinations like blood tests, pediatric care, and other services provided by the doctor.
These memberships do not include the cost of some significant injury or illness. It does not cover the costs of surgery as well. This is a premium membership to a healthcare facility, for which one does not have to pay for each service taken. But just the monthly fee. We also know this type of membership as direct primary care. This is an excellent alternative to premium health insurance plans, where one does not have to worry about the finances every time.
Concluding, it is a financial arrangement between the patients and the health care provider, eliminating the agencies in between.
#2: Medical Cost Sharing Programs
The Medical Cost Sharing Programs are somewhat similar to traditional insurance premiums but at a little cost. In these programs, the members pool in their resources together and share each others’ medical expenses when they arise. When there is a need to utilize this service, the patient gives a small fee in terms of a co-pay to use these resources.
These are faith-based programs. They encourage their members to not get involved in some substance abuse and to take care of themselves. The fees vary according to the status of a person, i.e., if they are a youngster or an unmarried adult or looking for family coverage.
These programs negotiate with the hospitals and other medical care service providers for a discount to keep the costs down. The monthly fee for these programs is much less than the insurance premiums. Also, these cost-sharing programs cover particular services. Thus the patients need to study the contract carefully and understand what all illnesses it includes.
#3: Health Savings Account (HSA)
Health Savings Account is a savings account where one can deposit money and withdraw it to get health treatment. One prerequisite for having an HSA is that one should be enrolled in a high-deductible health care insurance plan. Yes, the Health Savings Account has to be combined with High-deductible Health Plans. Plus these savings do not imply taxes. Thus, making it more profitable for the patients. These are mainly present in the USA.
Concluding, these are tax-advantage medical savings accounts from which a patient can benefit from the casualty.
#4: Medical Services Discount Cards
This alternative to traditional health insurance is for those people who wish to operate on a cash-only basis. These discount cards can be used up to 80% of the expenses during the hospital services and physician’s consultation, prescriptions, or a combination of these. The card subscriptions vary as some come with a one-time subscription fee, and some might come up with a monthly fee. These cards cover a variety of medical services but not severe and surgical illnesses.
Also, you cannot use these cards at every palace. Thus, it depends on the terms and conditions of the discount cards and card providers. Hence, one should read the fine print of the contract before engaging in one. One of the significant advantages of these cards is that you can widely use them for dental services. These services are limited but expensive, making it a perfect example of medical services discount cards.
#5: Association Health Plans
These days almost every industry has its particular associations where one can interact and get along with the industry connections. Association Health Plans cover groups of small businesses and individuals. Writers, Artists, Musicians, and Self Employed people are some industry people who engage in this kind of healthcare policy. The professionals join the industry-specific associations and which help them in medical coverage.
These associations buy health coverage for all their members. Ideally, the rates of these plans are much lower than those patients would be taking from the open market. Although these are also the insurance plans only, they are much cheaper as to what multinational insurance companies provide. These plans are not as tightly regulated as the traditional health insurance plans. Also, these are subjected to much fewer risks.
Healthcare is expensive and is expected to rise more than ever in the post-pandemic world. Although one might be in an excellent health condition in the present, one cannot predict the future. Also, worldwide poverty is no new news. People who cannot afford the insurance policies can utilize these alternatives to traditional health insurance without taking a significant bump in their finances. But if you still want to go for traditional health insurance, then United Healthcare, Anthem, etc. are some good companies.
Although traditional health insurance is the go-to for many people, these alternatives to health insurance plans can be of great help. There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of health insurance plan, and one should accurately read the fine prints and terms and conditions for every policy.
So, this was all about the alternatives to traditional health insurance. We hope you found the article useful and it gave you some ideas. Also, if you some more alternatives up your sleeve, please share them with us through the comments box below.