How to navigate unaffordable health insurance costs
In 2017, the average annual cost of health insurance premiums was $6,690 for single coverage and $18,764 for family coverage. The bottom border of the middle-class earns a yearly income of $44,000. Assuming you’re single without a family, that’s over 15% of your income going to something you may not even use. Here are a couple of things to try if you feel you can’t afford health insurance.
Premium Tax Credit To The Rescue
Do you get your insurance plan through Obamacare? If you buy health insurance in one of the state marketplaces that are part of Obamacare, you may be eligible for premium tax credits. These credits may cover the monthly premiums and even give you money in advance for deductibles and copayments.
Tax credits are available to those with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal property level. For single individuals, that’s an annual income between $11,770 and $47,080, or between $24,250 and $97,000 for a family of four. If your income is under $29,425, you may also qualify for a discount on copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance. The catch is that to be eligible you have to at least be on a silver plan (a step above bronze, the most basic).
The Insurance Version Of Off-Grid
Since Trump decreased funding for Obamacare programs, it may be more affordable in some situations to buy off-exchange. This refers to purchasing your health insurance directly from the insurance broker or insurance provider.
This year, the Trump administration has cut off funding to insurance companies that used to help lower costs to low-income consumers. In response, some insurers have increased premiums to avoid losing profits.
Avoid The Temptation To Go Uninsured
With insurance logistics as tight as they are today, it can be tempting to go without insurance. After all, if you’re strong as an ox and healthy as a clam, chances are you’ll make it through the year without needing it.
It’s a roll of the dice, but if you fall ill, the costs can bury you in debt. Annual premiums average around $6,000. One serious injury can quickly rack up over $10,000 in medical bills. The dice are in your hands, roll carefully.