What are my alternatives for health insurance if denied coverage?
The good news is that with the health care reform bill, you will not be denied coverage on the basis of your health condition, but it may take a while for this to be put into practice. While the bill is on its way to being implemented, the government will establish high risk pools that will provide coverage for you in case you are denied coverage.
Having said that, let's also take a look at the other alternatives you have if you can't or won't get health insurance coverage:
- Discount Medical Programs. This can replace or supplement your insurance coverage. With this program, you pay a "membership" fee in order to avail of discounts with a provider. However, unlike health insurance, you will be paying for each and every procedure you avail of.
- Public Health Insurance. The federal government, as well as the state, may and have established insurance for those who may otherwise not qualify or not afford insurance from other sources. The most popular and widely used of these would be Medicare and Medicaid.
- Self-insurance. Here, instead of paying premiums to the insurance companies, you put aside that money and use it when you avail of a medical procedure. The risk here is that in the case of a catastrophic event (such as an accident that involves a lot of surgeries or a condition that requires a heart bypass), your savings may prove to be too little for the expenses you face.
- "Free services to the Uninsured". Institutions, such as hospitals and insurance companies, sometimes provide health care benefits to those who are not covered. This is especially true for public hospitals and charity clinics.
Please note that when the health care reform bill becomes fully implemented, you will be required to get insurance of some form at the same time that insurance companies will not be allowed to deny coverage to anyone on the basis of their health condition.
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