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Having the right health insurance policy in place before a major accident or illness strikes is critical. You need to strike a balance between a quality health plan that does what you want it to do and a plan that is affordable.
The good news is there are viable health insurance choices for every income level, and with the help of an experienced health insurance agent, you can find a policy that is affordable to you.
Best Options For Low Income Health Insurance
If your income ranges from 100% to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, you can qualify for a subsidy to reduce the cost of buying health insurance. This goes off of your "modified adjusted gross income" rather than off the raw number.
Income is the single biggest factor by far in determining if you qualify for a subsidy, and if so, for how big of a subsidy. However, there are other important factors. Family size and number of dependents matters since it determines how many people your income must support. Also, you have to file jointly (if married) since subsidies go off of household rather than individual income.
Finally, there are further variations based on the cost of living where you live and on state-specific rules. Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT have to be a US citizen to qualify - though you must be a legal resident.
Your best option will be a subsidized, marketplace plan if you can get one. How big of a subsidy you get and how much insurance you need will determine whether a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum plan is right for you.
Middle Income Health Plan Options
Many in the middle-income brackets have a good enough job that they might have access to work-based health insurance. If so, this is normally your best overall option since employer-based plans get group discounts that save both employers and employees alike money, while sending more business the insurance company's way in bulk quantities.
Depending on how high your income level is, you might still qualify for at least some subsidies with a marketplace plan. This could be the best option for some mid-level income earners with a large family and who don't have employer-based insurance as a possibility.
Using a health savings account and a high-deductible plan, relying on temporary health insurance or on secondary types like accident and catastrophic illness insurance could also work if you don't need a lot of coverage, if your life is in transition, or if you fall into the cracks where you don't get many discounts but can't afford a low or no deductible plan.
What About Upper Income Health Plans?
Other than, perhaps, the absolute most wealthy people in the country, most people do better to have a good insurance plan than to try to pay for everything 100% out of pocket.
If you can afford it, it makes sense to get the fullest possible coverage - which argues for a low deductible plan. On the other hand, those with bigger savings may be able to pay a bigger deductible without a real problem - which argues for a high deductible plan.
Thus, it still comes down to your estimated healthcare expenses for the year ahead when those at upper-income levels choose a health plan.
For expert assistance at assessing your likely health insurance needs and finding a plan you can afford, contact Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!