The cost of basic healthcare can be expensive if you do not have insurance. For millions of Americans it is the all-to-true reality that healthcare is not affordable or offered by their employer. They avoid the doctors office like the plague and then are forced with extensive medical bills in event of an emergency. If you are unable to get health insurance through your job, it is important to explore state and federal options. Many health insurance companies offer reasonable plans so that you are not obligated to go without and face the high costs of routine exams, prescriptions and doctors visits.
First and foremost, every state offers their own grade of health insurance that is funded by the government. Medicaid is the broad category that offers free health coverage to qualifying patients between the ages of 18 and 65. There are separate programs for children and for families that are also part of Medicaid.
In order to qualify for Medicaid you need to fall below income brackets based on your family size. These vary by state. The best way to obtain information and apply for Medicaid is to visit your local social services office and speak with a healthcare representative. If you are not able to qualify for Medicaid you may be able to qualify for a partially funded health insurance program which requires you to pay a small monthly premium. Medicaid will cover 100% of medical expenses including vision and dental in most states. Partially funded programs typically do not cover vision or dental. Having some healthcare is better than no healthcare no matter what the situation.
Medicare is another state funded option for people over the age of 65. This program is either free or low cost and offers long term care for elderly patients. Senior citizens should always maintain continual health insurance coverage. There are many illnesses and injuries that elevated by age. A trip to the emergency room for a bad cough can easily cost a patient over $10,000 if x-rays or other tests are performed. To apply for medicare you will need to visit your local social security office to find out if you are eligible.
The rates and plans available to families and individuals change regularly. With ongoing healthcare reform laws, companies are forced to further change the details of an insurance policy on their patients. When you are unable to qualify for any form of state funded health coverage, it is time to consider what private options you have. Each state varies on its laws regarding insurance companies. However, here is a list of the top 5 insurance companies in the United States as of 2010.
As one of the largest insurance companies in the country, Untied Healthcare (UHC) offers some of the best health insurance for its patients. To start, UHC opened its doors for the first time in 1977 with a solid plan to offer reasonably priced healthcare to the masses for generations to come. Couple this with their commitment to success and you will find that UHC is a winning machine. Currently UHC manages to supply health coverage to over 18-million people. Plans include disability insurance, life insurance, vision and dental insurance, prescription insurance and basic health insurance. The network of doctors that accept UHC health insurance includes 4,500 hospitals and around 470,000 doctors and physicians.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is one of the few health insurance companies to be offered and accepted all over the world. Currently services are available in 170 countries. To make it simple. BCBS is broken up into 39 regions of insurance companies within the United States. This allows patients the opportunity to find healthcare locally and receive in-person, quality service when they need it most. BCBS boasts that they currently cover over 99-million patients. Their network of doctors and hospitals is constantly expanding. At this time, you will find BCBS accepted by over 90% of all hospitals in the United States. Vistion and dental insurance are also available along with their ever popular Health Savings Account program which allows you to save money for prescriptions, co-pays and other medical needs directly from your earnings.
While only available in 27 states, at the time, Humana is gaining popularity due to its involvement with the PGA Tour. The company was founded by two lawyers in 1961. Since they it has become one of the United States more publically traded companies. It is feasible that within the next decade Humana will reach patients across the country, currently they are confined to the east coast. Humana is one of the few insurance providers to offers government sponsored plans and plans for U.S. Military dependents.
When it comes to dental, vision, family and life insurance, Aetna has remained a pioneer since its start in 1850. It is one of the oldest health insurance providers in the United States and has a long standing track record of being one of the best choices. Currently, Aetna supplies health insurance to employers for their staff in all 50 states. They have over 16-million patients and work with 800,000 doctors and hospitals to provide the best health care available. Aetna created the idea of consumer-directed health care plans and continues to pave the road for new insurance companies with their medical advancements, dedication to patient care and ingenuity.
Founded in New York in 1969, Assurant Health is a small grade insurance company that packs a powerful punch. They offer a variety of affordable insurance plans for their patients and offer coverage in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Denmark and the United Kingdom. Assurant Health is also the premier choice for Canadian residents. Services offered include dental, vision, family, disability and life insurance. Current coverage reaches around one million people in the United States. Assurant Health also offers Health Savings Accounts, in fact it was their idea originally. Members are able to enjoy one-on-one assistance through the 200,000 insurance agents in the country.