HomeTrendingWhat If I Cannot Afford Health Insurance

What If I Cannot Afford Health Insurance

The Coverage Offered By My Employer Doesnt Cover My Spouse What Can I Do

The U.S. Health Insurance System is Broken I I Can’t Afford Health Insurance and I’m Not Alone

If you spouse still needs health insurance coverage, they can shop on the Marketplace for an Obamacare plan. And if they dont have insurance through their job or your job, they might be able to qualify for a subsidy. If your spouse has a subsidized Marketplace plan and you have insurance through your employer, that might be the most cost effective.

Even if your spouse is eligible for coverage through your employer, they still can elect to shop on the Marketplace. And even if they dont qualify for subsidies, they still might be able to find more affordable coverage for just themselves when compared to coverage through your employer-provided plan.

Take Care Of Yourself

We?re told relentlessly by healthcare providers to take better care of ourselves, but that advice becomes critical if you can not afford health insurance. It goes beyond the standard eat-better-and-exercise-more advice. That?s important if you have no coverage, but perhaps even more so is avoiding dangerous behaviors.

Playing tackle football with your buddies on the weekend might help you blow off steam but it?s an accident waiting to happen. Alcohol consumption brings all kinds of potential for disaster, as does climbing a ladder to clean your gutters. And reckless driving is a complete no-go. Slow down and be more aware of what could go wrong, because now there?s no back up plan if it does.

The Americans Dying Because They Can’t Afford Medical Care

Millions of Americans as many as 25% of the population are delaying getting medical help because of skyrocketing costs

Susan Finley returned to her job at a Walmart retail store in Grand Junction, Colorado, after having to call in sick because she was recovering from pneumonia.

The day she returned, the 53-year-old received her ten year associate award and was simultaneously laid off, according to her family. She had taken off one day beyond what is permitted by Walmarts attendance policy.

After losing her job in May 2016, Finley also lost her health insurance coverage and struggled to find a new job. Three months later, Finley was found dead in her apartment after avoiding going to see a doctor for flu-like symptoms.

My grandparents went by to check on her, and they couldnt get into her apartment, her son Cameron Finley told the Guardian. They got the landlord to open it up, went in and found she had passed away. It came as a complete surprise to everybody. It just came out of nowhere.

She was barely scraping by and trying not to get evicted. She gets what appears to her as a basic cold or flu, didnt go to the doctor and risk spending money she didnt have, and as a consequence she passed away.

Asked about Finley losing her job, Walmart declined to comment, saying personnel files from 2016 had been moved offsite.

Finley is one of millions of Americans who avoid medical treatment due to the costs every year.

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Do I Qualify For Medicaid

Medicaid is a government program that provides public health coverage to children and adults who have low incomes or disabilities. In Missouri, Medicaid is run by the Department of Social Services and is called MO HealthNet.

Most Missourians who get MO HealthNet coverage are people with low incomes, 65 or older, blind or disabled, or children from families with low incomes. If you qualify depends on how much money you make and how many people are in your family. Children, their parents, people with disabilities, and people age 65 or older are covered by Medicaid at different income levels. When you fill out your Marketplace application, you will see if you qualify for Medicaid.

See If Youre Eligible For Medicaid For Free Therapy


If you dont have insurance coverage, check to see if you qualify for Medicaid .

If a person does not have commercial insurance but has medical assistance , then they need to look for someone who is in their network, says Dr. Jesse Matthews, a licensed psychologist.

Most providers who take Medicaid work at clinics or community mental health centers. Sometimes these are affiliated with universities and are used as training sites for graduate students. If a person has Medicaid, they should be able to access mental health care free of charge.

Dr. Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist, suggests contacting your local Psychoanalytic Training Institute.

“They generally require the patient to commit to three to five times a week psychoanalytic therapy sessions over a period of at least one to two years in duration in exchange for free therapy,” she tells NBC News BETTER. “The patient is assured to receive treatment from the same singular qualified M.D. who is getting supervision and advanced specific training in intensive long-term treatment.”

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If Youre Really Hurting Check Into A Clinic And/or Call For Help

If youre desperately in need of immediate mental health services, visit a community mental health clinic. As Matthews points out, they often offer low-cost treatment through use of interns or because they receive supplemental funding from places like the United Way.

You should also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK if youre in danger of self-harm. It’s free, open 24/7 and totally confidential.

Absence Of Medical Services

Contrary to popular belief, health providers are not required by law to provide medical services to individuals without insurance. Only emergency departments are legally bound to provide care.

The Transamerica Center for Health Studies released a report revealing that 62% of Americans have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being overweight or obese. The study also found that only 56% of uninsured Americans could afford to pay for their routine health expenses.

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Worried About Whether You Can Afford Insurance

The good news is that most families who apply will qualify for financial help.

There are 3 ways you may save on health care coverage:

  • You may be able to lower the cost of your monthly premium when you enroll in a private health insurance plan through The Marketplace.
  • You may qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs for copayments, coinsurance and deductibles through The Marketplace.
  • You may qualify for Medicaid, or AHCCCS in Arizona.
  • Most people who apply will qualify for lower costs of some kind. In fact, if you as an individual make less than $45,960 or your family of four makes under $94,200, you could get a real break on insurance.

    AHCCCS has been expanded to cover childless adults and now will be available to individuals making under $20,000 and for families of eight making up to $95,500.

    The best way to find out what help is available is to set up an appointment with one of our trained specialists so we can walk through the application and your particular situation and find out what you qualify for. Call 1.877.809.5092 to set up your appointment.

    See If You Can Get A Hardship Exemption

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    If you do decide to go without health insurance, you may be able to qualify for a hardship exemption. The penalty is waived if you dont qualify for financial help and would have to pay more than 8.16 percent of your household income for coverage from either your employer or the cheapest ACA Bronze plan available in your area. Heres how to know if you have an exemption to the penalty.

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    Healthmore Teens Are Attempting Suicide It’s Not Clear Why

    Why aren’t people getting the help they need? The answer is complicated. On one hand there’s the lingering stigma around mental illness that may hinder people from seeking care , but there’s also the fact that our health care system has yet to treat mental health as comprehensively as it does physical health. There’s no such thing as an insurance-covered annual mental health exam for instance, and therapists who do accept insurance are often working twice as hard just to get reimbursed by providers.

    Having been through the ringer trying to not only find a therapist who accepts my insurance, but is also taking new clients, I’d just about given up on my personal quest for affordable services. Fortunately, after talking with a number of experts in the field, I’ve learned there a multiple ways to get the care I need without going broke in the process.

    Your Options Depend On Your Household Income

    When you apply for Marketplace coverage youll estimate your income for the current calendar year.

    How to estimate your income if youre unemployed

    Its hard to predict your annual income if youre unemployed. Still, its important to make your best estimate based on all current or expected sources of income for the year.

    Types of income to include on your application:

    • Unemployment compensation that you receive from your state. Visit CareerOneStop’s Unemployment Benefits Finder for more information about unemployment in your state.
    • All household members income
    • Additional types of income, including interest income, capital gains, and alimony
    • Most withdrawals from traditional IRAs and 401ks. for information on non-deductible contributions, and IRS Publication 590-B for information on Roth accounts.)

    Note: Its very important to immediatelyupdate your income information with the Marketplace if your income changes during the year. This will ensure you get the right amount of savings based on your new annual income estimate.

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    Your Employer’s Family Coverage Is Too Expensive

    Work-based coverage is considered “affordable” if the employee’s share of the annual premium for the lowest-priced individual plan costs no more than 9.5% of annual household income. For that reason, premiums for your entire family can total more than 9.5% of your income, yet you still won’t qualify for tax credits to buy insurance through a health insurance marketplace.

    If this is true, it’s smart to shop around for options, including provided by your employer and available on the private market, to determine where you can land the best coverage for your family at an affordable price.

    What If I Dontqualify For Subsidies

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    While the ARPA has expanded subsidies to make health insurance more affordable for millions of Americans, there are still people that may not be able to afford a marketplace plan because they are not eligible for financial assistance. These individuals and families may find other affordable coverage options in their area that will provide necessary health insurance at a lower rate.

    To have the minimum essential coverage guaranteed by the ACA, you must buy an ACA-compliant plan. One low-cost option is to enroll in the lowest-priced bronze individual or family plan available in your area. However, this is not your only choice.

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    Shop For Doctors Urgent Cares And Hospitals

    Different hospitals and doctors charge different fees for a visit. Call around and find out the average fee for an appointment before you get sick, so you know which place is the least expensive. For example, one urgent care facility charges just $65 for an appointment, which is much less than the other urgent cares and less than what most doctors charge for a regular visit. The hospitals have different prices for procedures as well. If you are not tied down to a network, then it is worth making the calls before you get sick so you know where to go to save money.

    What Percentage Of Health Insurance Do Employers Typically Pay

    Most employees who are covered through employer-sponsored plan make some kind of contribution to the cost of their monthly premiums. Employees contributed an average of $104 per month to their employer-sponsored insurance in 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Employees at small businesses typically contribute a higher percentage of the premium for family coverage than employees at larger companies. And on average, employees who work for companies with a larger amount of lower-wage workers contribute more towards their monthly premiums for both single coverage and family coverage than employees do at companies with fewer low-wage workers.

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    Consider Coverage Options That Aren’t Aca

    For some people, there simply won’t be a way to get ACA-compliant coverage with a premium that could be considered a reasonable percentage of their income. The threshold of what can be considered affordable will obviously vary from one person to another. The IRS considers coverage to be unaffordable if the premiums for the cheapest plan in your area would cost you more than 8.27% of your income in 2021.

    But some people who don’t qualify for premium subsidies might be willing to pay more than thatit generally depends on the circumstances, including income and medical conditions.

    Premiums in the ACA-compliant market have been fairly stable in most areas since 2019. But they are quite a bit higher than they were in 2014 and 2015, when the ACA’s rules were first being implemented. As premiums grew in the ACA-compliant individual market, people who don’t qualify for premium subsidies became increasingly less likely to purchase coverage, due in large part to the premiums consuming an ever-increasing percentage of their income.

    But for some people, even catastrophic health plans are too expensive. If you find yourself unable to afford ACA-compliant coverage, you’ll want to consider some of the alternatives. These include:

    In Tennessee, Iowa, Indiana, and Kansas, Farm Bureau plans that aren’t regulated by the ACAor by the state insurance departmentsare available to healthy enrollees who can meet the medical underwriting requirements.

    Can I Enroll In Marketplace Health Insurance If My Employer Offers Insurance

    What If You Can t Afford Medicare Or Medicaid Video 2

    The Affordable Care Act ensures that almost all Americans can buy individual and family health insurance from the online Marketplace. To qualify to shop on the Marketplace, there are just a few general requirements. You need to live in the U.S., not be incarcerated, and be a U.S. citizen or hold a number ofpermitted immigration statuses that include being a refugee, a green card holder, a survivor of domestic violence, and more. If you meet these general criteria, you can shop for Obamacare plans during the annual Open Enrollment Period . You can also shop on the Marketplace during aSpecial Enrollment Period if you have aqualifying life event like a marriage, birth, or move.

    Many people like to shop on the health insurance Marketplace for its comprehensive, affordable health insurance plans. Want to compare prices to see if Marketplace coverage might be less expensive than opting into your employer-provided plan? Youll need to consider a few things, especially when it comes to your bottom-line costs.

    To see plans and prices in your area, enter your zip code below.

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    Health Insurance Through The Health Insurance Marketplace

    What help is available?

    HealthCare.gov helps you find insurance options, compare care, learn about preventive services, and more. If your employer does not offer insurance, you’re self-employed, or you want to buy your own insurance, you can get it through the Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace offers health, vision, and dental insurance for you and your family.

    Am I eligible?

    Everyone is eligible for health insurance through the Marketplace. You may also qualify for subsidies to help pay your premiums. If youve experienced a life change like childbirth or loss of a job, you may be able to make changes to your insurance in a special enrollment period.

    How do I apply?

    How you apply for a plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace depends on what plan you choose. Learn more about applying.

    How do I complain or where do I call for extra help?

    Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace’s top questions section for more help with finding or applying for health care. To file a complaint, call .

    Is there anything else I need to know?

    If you need more help getting or paying for medical care, try these resources:

    If you are uninsured or underinsured and must seek emergency medical treatment:

    If I Decide To Enroll In A Marketplace Plan Will I Be Eligible For Subsidies/savings

    First, your employer may contribute to your health insurance costs when you enroll in an employer-sponsored plan. Sometimes they even contribute 100%. But if you opt-out of your employer-sponsored plan for an Obamacare plan, they wont. Want to opt-out of an employers plan? Youll be handling the costs of your monthly premiums on your own and paying full price.

    Second, if you turn down an employer plan and enroll in an Obamacare plan, you probably wont get any subsidies/savings. The only ways you can qualify for a subsidies are:

  • The plan doesnt meet the minimum value standard: the employer-sponsored plan is required to pay at least 60% of the total cost of medical services for a standard population and offer substantial coverage of hospital and doctor services. If the plan doesnt meet this standard, then youll qualify for a Marketplace subsidy. You can find out if your employer-sponsored plan meets the minimum requirements by asking your employer to complete this Employer Coverage Tool.
  • More on these minimum standards here.

    To make this process a little easier, weve created a free guide you can save and refer back to later.

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