Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Obtaining Medical Care With Alternatives To Health Insurance

By Shawna Trujillo

Coverage is lost for a number of reasons, such as loss of a job, or cutbacks by employers. For those carrying family coverage, the birth of an ill child may make company rates go to high that it is no longer affordable. Alternatives to health insurance mean you can still get help with medical expenses.

There are options you can explore when you find you can no longer get or afford a regular policy. Costs and quality varies with the different options. Research well to discover what is available and at what price in order to get the best option. If you omit coverage for some things, such as maternity coverage, can help you save money. Just be sure it is something you know you won't need in the future.

Sometimes, for millions of Americans who are not adequately insured, medical care is just out of the question. These people got without important medical services because they can't pay for it. Finding other means to pay for it is essential for these people. Rising medical costs, tighter qualifications, preexisting conditions, and the high cost of coverage making it impossible for some makes obtaining affordable medical services very difficult for some.

One option for affordable medical services is medical sharing programs, sometimes called direct-care medical homes. In this arrangement, there is a monthly standard fee that qualifies the family for certain medical services that are covered. These services include routine medical care, including blood tests, women's medical care, pediatric services, and treatment for certain chronic conditions.

With these programs, routine care is received with no co-pay required. The fees for this service is so low as to make it possible to get a high deductible policy at a very low premium rate, to enable the person to have coverage for emergencies and hospitalization. This policy is affordable, and with the low fee, both options are available to the person.

Healthcare cooperatives work much as any other cooperative. The members pool their resources and either provide free services to their members, or pool their funds and obtain low-cost coverage for the members. Co-ops can be consumer based, producer or provider based, or employee owned. Each type co-op provides discounts in a different way, but the pooling of resources means a lower-cost alternative. Insurance for things not covered by the co-op is a good idea.

For those with very low incomes, there are state and federal programs to provide medical assistance. There are state-sponsored free medical clinics for certain conditions. These are usually restricted to conditions such as HIV/AIDS patients or for the homeless. However, there are services that serve those who are below poverty level. They usually charge a very low fee.

For the elderly, there is Medicare services that help with some expenses. In addition, there is Medicaid, a combined state and federal program, that provides medical assistance to the extremely poor. The income and assets must fall within certain limits. Each state has unique regulations about qualification and what is covered. The person needs to check with their state's Medicaid department to see if they qualify.

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