The point of having insurance is to ensure you can afford to pay bills in the event of an accident, emergency or illness, however finding an appropriate health insurance policy is not always as easy as you might think and when your income isn’t much bigger than your outgoings then insurance premiums are generally the last things you want to pay out for.
Some people simply make the decision to forgo insurance altogether and hope that nothing serious will happen, whilst others cover themselves for only the bare minimum to keep monthly premiums low, and try to supplement it by paying for things that crop up at the time such as dentist bills and prescriptions. If you find yourself in this category then it might be worth looking into a catastrophic insurance plan – read on for more details.
Catastrophic insurance is a policy intended to offer protection against exactly what is says, a catastrophe. This means that general expenditures such as visits to the doctor’s, prescriptions and medication, all have to be paid for yourself, but if anything major happens that involves a hospital stay for example, this is covered. You’ll also hear this type of insurance referred to as a high deductible health plan – monthly premiums are low but the deductible is a lot higher than normal.
If you are in good health and doctor’s and dentist visits are just routine then this can work well as your payments to the insurance company are low and expenses are kept to a minimum – you might even find you actually save money, but then if something serious should happen you are covered for it. However it’s not so good if you need to fill prescriptions on a regular basis or are a frequent visitor to the doctor’s surgery as the deductibles are so high you’ll end up paying for most of the treatments and medication yourself.
Some people prefer the idea of paying for what they need at the time instead of what they might need, as long as you’re able to meet the deductible there shouldn’t be a problem. Find out what this is and tuck it away safely in a savings account where it’s easily accessible when needed.
There are two main categories of health insurance catastrophic coverage – comprehensive and supplemental. The comprehensive plan offers coverage similar to a conventional health care plan but with a higher deductible, and lower monthly premiums. Comprehensive plans cover for emergency services and also if you have to be taken to hospital by ambulance. A supplemental plan on the other hand is to be used in addition to any other insurance plans you may have and can include medical appliances, nursing care and psychiatric care.
Both plans require you to meet the deductible before the insurance company will cover the major medical expenses required that could be anything from a hospital stay or surgery to lab tests and intensive care. Your monthly payment will depend on the catastrophic insurance health policy you take out based on the level of coverage chosen and the size of the deductible. Some premiums are as little as $30 a month, the higher the lifetime maximum benefit and the lower the annual deductible, the higher the monthly premium will be. The age of the person to be insured and the state of their health is taken into account when calculating the premium.
Health insurance catastrophic might be ideal for some people seeking a cut-rate insurance, but it’s certainly not right for everybody. There are lots of aspects that go towards determining whether or not it would suit your lifestyle, anyone looking for a health plan should always look at the pros and cons of each before making such a serious decision. Find out the cost of a plan to suit your needs by getting 3 or 4 quotes online and balance the benefits against the rates.