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Affordable health insurance for low income families

By Elizabeth Newberry

As health insurance costs continue to skyrocket, more and more low income families are finding it a struggle to find suitable cover at a cost which they can afford. The good news is that, for most families, it is still possible to find a suitable policy to meet the budget, but it does take a little bit of work. The first step is to do some comparison shopping.

The best place to start your comparison shopping is on the Internet which provides you with quick and easy access to a wide range of insurance companies. Here you can select a number of companies and ask them for a low cost health insurance quote online. For this you will need to fill out a simple application form and it's a good idea to jot down some basic information about yourself and your family's medical history before you start so that you don't have to stop and hunt around for it later.

Once you have a number of quotes, select a handful that look as though they might fit the bill and then look carefully at the cover that each company is offering and compare the plans to determine which plan provides you with the cover that you need at a price you can afford.

While you're looking at various plans, don't forget to take a look at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, as this is often an excellent way to obtain low cost health cover. Blue Cross provides coverage for hospital fees, while Blue Shield will meet the costs of physician treatment. Often you will find that together they provide a very competitive quote, but do look carefully at just what is covered to ensure that you're getting the insurance you need.

In doing your search be careful that you don't fall into some of the common traps.

For example, you'll find that there are numerous great deals being offered with extremely reasonable premiums. However, you'll also often find that these very low premiums are only being offered for the first year of cover and that, thereafter, the premiums rise considerably. You'll also find many companies offering very low premiums until you make a claim, after which your premiums on renewal will again rise considerably.

Another problem with many plans offering low premiums is that the health insurance company will either require you to meet a substantial number of your medical bills before your insurance kicks in, or will pay a relatively low percentage of each bill. In nearly all cases you will be required to pay something towards you medical costs and this is quite typically about 10% or 20%. Be careful therefore that you don't opt for the benefit of a low premium only to find that you are paying 30% or every bill.

Perhaps the biggest secret of all though is to look at what you really need. If you're in pretty good health and haven't had to visit your doctor for some considerable time then you might consider just opting for a plan that covers you for hospital and surgical treatment.

Look for the policy that suits you and your needs and not simply the package that appears to be the biggest and best. Reduce your costs by taking out the insurance that you need and protecting yourself against emergencies. When finances allow you can always increase your cover at a later date.

Beginning your search on the Internet will yield results when it comes to finding affordable health insurance for low income families and indeed any form of affordable family health insurance plan.

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