When it comes to healthcare, women are notorious for putting the needs of others ahead of themselves. Before the Affordable Care Act went into effect in early 2014, one in five women ages 18-64 were uninsured (current statistics are unavailable). While many women assume they will never get sick or injured, the reality is that insurance is a necessary part of life regardless of health.
The Need for Insurance
There is a multitude of reasons why a woman should have health insurance. Check out these tips in this health insurance guide for women to understand why insurance is an important purchase for any woman.
Women need preventative screenings beginning at age 18. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, women need to have preventative screenings taken to monitor their blood pressure, cholesterol, bone mineral density, breast health, cervical health, colorectal health, and to check for diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases.
Having a physical performed annually is also recommended.
Why Women Opt Out of Insurance
So why don’t some women get health insurance? The simplest explanation boils down to cost. Health insurance can be expensive. When it is not offered by an employer or through state-funded programs, many women find the cost to be out of their budget. For instance, some studies show that premiums (the yearly cost insured individuals pay for health insurance coverage) ranges from $4,000 to $10,000).
While those amounts can seem intimidating, bear in mind that insurance premiums can be very affordable, especially for basic or catastrophic coverage only.
Forms of Health Insurance
For anyone confused about what kind of health insurance to get, take a look at the various forms available:
Managed care plans: These plans have contracts with specific health care providers, doctors, and additional providers that can provide care for members. Managed care plans include health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and point of service (POS).
An HMO is a plan that offers care for a fixed monthly premium. The plans require participants to select a primary physician. When participants use the doctors and hospitals that are members of the HMO, out-of-pocket costs should be low.
A PPO plan is similar to an HMO, but participants have more freedom. Many offer participants the ability to choose their doctors and specialists without needed a referral.
A POS plan is like a PPO, but it requires the usage of a third-party for referrals.
In addition to the health maintenance options, those seeking healthcare can also receive plans from their place of employment or purchase a plan independently. Employer-based plans are generally the most cost-efficient.
Public health insurance is another option for low-income individuals and families. These plans vary widely and are based on income, need, and family size. Visit www.healthcare.gov to see what plans you may qualify for in your state.
Safeguard the Future
Health insurance is a necessary part of life. Thankfully, there are many types that are not only available, but affordable. Before purchasing a plan, think about what type of coverage you need, what your budget can handle, and search for plans that best meet your needs.