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Affordable Alternative Health Insurance - Some Alternatives That Could Save You Money

Health insurance costs have risen dramatically in the past few years � whether you�re insuring only yourself or your family, you have most likely experienced this yourself. There are some alternatives to the traditional employer sponsored health plans that may be able to save you money.

First, there are what are known as �Medical Savings Accounts,� which allow you to put money into an account specifically for health related expenses, tax free. You also use it tax free, which means � you pay no taxes on that money at all! There are downsides, though. You have to �predict� how much money you�ll need to put away, and you have to use it all up by the end of the year, otherwise that money is gone for good. It is typically distributed to everyone else who has medical savings accounts at your employer, so I advise only using these accounts if you know you will incur medical costs in the next year, and know the approximate amount of money you�ll be spending on medical expenses.

In addition to this, there are now being plans introduced in certain states which allow you, the patient, access to prices that only insurance companies had access to. See, hospitals and doctors charge certain prices to insurance companies, and different prices to individuals without insurance.
Of course, the insurance companies are charged a fraction of what someone without insurance is. Under these new plans, you can access the same prices without having to go through your insurer. There is a �monthly access fee� that applies, but it is usually much cheaper than the monthly premiums charged by an insurance company.

Finally, an individual always has the option to take the cheapest option available on their health insurance. This means, of course, that you are �gambling� on the fact that you or your family will not get sick or need care. This usually involves taking the highest possible deductible and selecting the plan with the least freedom in choosing your doctors. When selecting this option, a person is �self-insuring,� or choosing to take the responsibility of most of the charges on him or herself, instead of shifting the responsibility to the insurance company. This may be the cheapest way, but it�s not recommended for someone who needs to visit the doctor often or families with children.

Submitted by:

Greg Haehl

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