No one wants to gamble on his or her health, but over the past few years many Americans have decided to do just that. However, there is another way.
With the tight economy and high unemployment, many people have been skimping on health care. While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims to make health care more affordable, most of the recommended changes are still being discussed, and many significant ones won’t take effect until 2014.
People with lower incomes and the self-employed, as well as those whose jobs don’t provide health insurance, are increasingly opting for a less expensive way to protect themselves by purchasing catastrophic insurance.
This form of insurance effectively lowers monthly premiums and raises out-of-pocket costs while offering complete coverage in the event the insured experiences a catastrophic health issue, such as a stroke, heart attack or cancer.
Considered a high-deductable health plan, catastrophic insurance is available as either comprehensive (with lower monthly premiums, higher out-of-pocket costs but emergency coverage) or supplemental plans (also with lower premiums and higher outside costs but providing coverage in the case of a health catastrophe that wouldn’t be covered under another plan).
Do you need catastrophic coverage? To get the most from this type of insurance, you should be a basically healthy person – not one with many prescriptions or regular doctors’ visits. These are the high-cost areas. You’ll pay high out-of-pocket costs for them, and it’s best to keep them to a minimum. Older people also will find catastrophic insurance provides them with peace of mind at a lower cost.
If you do develop a catastrophic illness – at any age – you can be assured that after you pay your deductable all the major medical expenses that your insurance company considers necessary will be covered, including surgery and intensive care, although not elective surgeries.