With the rapid increase of health care costs, many people are ardently seeking alternatives to traditional health insurance.
They’re looking for some sort of safety net to assist with potential medical bills without straining their monthly budgets or getting bankrupt. If you’re looking for some alternative health care cover, consider the following options and figure out what might suite your personal health care needs and budget.
1. Get A Primary Care Membership
Medical practices or individual primary care physicians often offer services based on a flat monthly fee, — that’s pretty much like a fitness club membership. For a monthly fee, you’ll receive virtually unlimited routine medical care that may include doctor visits, blood tests, child care and other usual services provided by a primary care physician. However, such arrangements don’t cover surgery, hospital stays or major injury treatment.
If you want to have cover for such unforeseen catastrophic illness or injury, you can supplement your primary care membership with a high-deductible, low premium health insurance policy.
2. Join A Medical Cost-Sharing Program
This increasingly popular option allows members who pay monthly fees, just like insurance premiums, to pool their resources and share each others’ medical costs when they arise. Instead of a deductible, an incident fee is charged for every medical event, which is pretty much like a co-pay, that a member must shoulder, after which the remaining incurred medical costs are covered by the pooled fees paid by the program’s other members. In order to keep costs down, such programs often negotiate discounts with primary care physicians as well as medical facilities including hospitals.
Monthly fees for these programs are typically less than what you’ll pay for traditional health insurance while providing the same level of reimbursement cover of medical costs.
3. Open A Health Savings Account
This type of account offers a tax-advantaged way of covering more ordinary medical expenses, including doctors visit and medications. Like with primary care membership, this option is usually backed up by a high-deductible insurance cover for catastrophic illness and injury. Payments are generally pretax deductions and there are no penalty charges as long as you spend and withdraw money to cover medical expenses.
4. Acquire A Medical Services Discount Card
If you want to pay your medical bills on a “cash only” basis and don’t mind paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge, then a medical discount card might be for you. Some discount cards can be used for the physician or hospital services, while others for prescriptions, and some for both. There are cards that require a one-time membership fee, there are some that have a small monthly fee on top of the membership fee, and there are others offered for free.
Though there are restrictions on where such cards can be used, a notable advantage of discount cards is that they can be used for major dental services which can be restricted or very expensive under traditional health insurance policies.
5. Get A High-Deductible Policy
This is a good option for younger adults who are fit and healthy and don’t expect to incur much in terms of medical costs during the year. A low-premium, a high-deductible policy is designed to provide cover for unexpected, major injury or illness. A good example is a catastrophic health insurance policy that provides cover in the event of unforeseen medical expenses while keeping your insurance costs to a minimum.