YOU ASK:

How much does private health insurance cost?

WE ANSWER:

The ballpark figure would be around $120 to $150 for an individual plan with a deductible of $1000.

However, we recommend that you get quotes from several health insurance providers to get an accurate idea of how much private health insurance will cost for you, specifically. We don't like to give even a rough estimate since the premiums will really vary per company, type of insurance (whether it's an HMO or a Preferred provider organization), as well as the benefits and maximum limits covered by the various plans.

Now, to help you, we have listed down the different factors that affect the cost of private health insurance:

  • Premiums. This is the fee paid in order for the health insurance company to provide you with coverage for your health needs. With the new health care insurance reforms, insurance companies may only charge a maximum of 25% of the premiums for administrative and other non-medical expenses.
  • Co-payment. This may be a specified amount that you will pay for a given health-related service. For example, you will pay $20 for every covered visit you have with a doctor in the network. This is commonly used for drug plans (like Medicare Part D) and managed care plans.
  • Deductible. This is similar to the co-payment. However, this is something you pay annually. You will pay this first before the insurance starts to kick in.
  • Co-insurance. This is usually a percentage of health services that are covered by insurance. This is considered your "share" of the expenses.

It is important for you to find the right combination of premiums versus out-of-pocket costs. Don't be tempted to scrimp on premium payments and agree to deductibles and co-insurance percentages that are very high. You may be "saving" on premiums at the onset but find that you virtually have to shell out a considerable amount of money before your insurance will start to kick in. If your claims are very small, then you may not be able to claim from your insurance at all.

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