YOU ASK:

If I buy insurance on my own, will the cost be higher than in the past?

WE ANSWER:

More likely, the costs will be lower than the premiums that you have paid in the past, even if you buy insurance in the individual market. After all, this is one of the primary aims of the bill - to provide more people with more affordable health insurance coverage.

Here are some reasons why insurance premiums are more likely to decrease as a result of the health care reform bill:

  • Consumer protections. There will be more mechanisms put into place that will help ensure that consumer rights are protected. Insurance companies can't underwrite based on the state of your health or a pre-existing condition. They cannot also factor in administrative and non-medical costs into the policy's premiums that are above and beyond the limits set by the state. (This is set at 25% of your premiums.) In fact, the bill will require insurance companies to disclose just how much of your premiums will go to overhead. If the insurance company goes over the set percentage, it will be required to give a refund of the premiums to their customers.
  • More costs savings. The delivery of medical services is projected to be more efficient and will thus result in savings which will in turn produce lower premiums.
  • Tax credits. Those who are eligible can use their premiums as tax deductions or as tax credits.

Another cost of insurance that should also be taken into consideration would be that the bill will help lower the medical expenses you pay out of pocket. This includes co-pays and deductibles that you will normally have to shell out even when you have insurance. The bill has guidelines that help to ensure that you will not pay over a specified percentage of your income on your health insurance premiums.

In addition, you can factor in the added benefits that the new bill will provide, particularly to Medicare recipients. There will be a more comprehensive coverage, where you are able to also enjoy preventive services.

In all, these will help you to enjoy a lower cost of your coverage while having a more comprehensive coverage.

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