About one in five women between the ages of 18 and 64 are not insured in the United States. That’s close to 17 million American women. With more and more women deciding to leave the traditional workforce and start their own businesses, these numbers could easily increase even more.
Having adequate health care coverage is necessary for women, whether working for a company or running their own business out of the home. Understanding the need for health insurance is important and explained clearly in the health insurance guide for women. Mothers, in particular, would love to be able to stay home and spend more time with their children, but also want to contribute to the family financially. In fact, 62 percent of working mothers wish they could work part time or from home, according to Pew Research Center.
I’m a work-from-home mom of two little girls. My husband used to work for himself, too, so we had to have our own family health insurance plan. Now, my husband works for a large corporation that provides health insurance for us. If something were to happen to his job, though, we would need to find a way to be insured. Quite frankly, health insurance is just too important to miss out on. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, followed closely by cancer. Having health insurance just might save your life, as you may be more likely to catch it sooner.
Why Women Need Health Insurance
Having health insurance allows you to get regular check-ups with your doctor for little or no cost. Those already paying for health insurance are more likely to go to the doctor when they’re both healthy and sick than those who do not have health insurance. Women should get mammograms, Pap smears and other screenings regularly. Health insurance also allows sexually active women to pay less money for birth control and be screened for sexually transmitted diseases.
How to Save on Individual Health Insurance Plans
While employee plans are typically less expensive and provide better coverage, they’re not the only option women have. Individual plans can be just as effective and don’t have to cost and arm and a leg. A friend of mine recently switched from her husband’s employee plan to their own private family plan. As a family of six, they’re now able to save $150 per month on health insurance. Ways to save on private plans include:
High-deductible plans. If you and your family are generally in good health, a high-deductible plan is one option to consider. High deductibles mean low monthly premiums, or payments. In the event of an emergency, though, you will have to cover your deductible, so make sure this is something you’re able to do before agreeing to this type of plan.
Minimum coverage. Again, if you and your family are healthy, you may want to consider looking into basic health insurance plans. This way, you’re covered in case a serious illness or injury were to occur, but for routine visits, you can just pay out of pocket.
Shopping around. When choosing a health insurance plan, do your research and get quotes from multiple companies. The website ehealthinsurance.com is a database of thousands of health insurance companies throughout the U.S. This will give you a general idea as to what your options are and which companies you want to pursue.
Staying healthy. Seems obvious, but staying healthy is the best way you’ll save on healthcare costs. You’ll have fewer doctor visits, fewer prescriptions to fill, a lesser chance of developing a serious illness, and so on and so forth. Get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week, eat a diet rich in fruits, veggies and lean meats, quit smoking, get enough rest and live a less stressful life. The best way to relieve stress is by exercising, which leads to better health, which leads to cheaper insurance.
With Obamacare in place, health insurance companies can no longer deny women, or anyone, with pre-existing conditions. The act also forces people who choose not to have health insurance to pay a yearly fine. So shop around, get healthy and make the decision to get yourself insured.