Is Term Health Insurance Worthwhile?

Choosing a health insurance plan is one of the most important decisions you can make in your life. A good health insurance plan can relieve you of significant financial burdens during time of need and really improve the quality of your life. A badly chosen insurance plan, on the other hand, or a plan that does not suit your needs, can actually cost you more money in the long run than if you had no insurance at all. There are many different kinds of insurance plans, each plan suited to different types of individuals.

What is Term Health Insurance?

Term health insurance is a type of insurance that covers you for a finite period of time, as opposed to permanent health insurance, which is not subject to such a limitation. Term health insurance may be short-term, which can provide coverage for a few months up to a year, or long-term, which may involve policies that provide coverage for several years. Regardless of if your insurance is short-term or long-term, your coverage will stop once your policy expires.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of term insurance?

Short-term or long term insurance is generally cheaper than permanent insurance. In some cases, the money spent on premiums for lifetime health insurance may be up to 10 times as much as the costs for short-term insurance. However, with term insurance, if you get sick or even suffer symptoms, your policy may not get renewed, or your premiums may go up. Short-term insurance is not a long-term solution. However, short-term insurance is good for those who may not be in a financially capable position to take out a permanent health insurance policy.

A permanent health insurance policy, on the other hand, cannot be ended by the insurer, regardless of how many claims you make. You will continue to receive benefits, which will be a huge financial relief if you suffer a serious illness or a debilitating injury or accident.

Who should consider getting term health Insurance?

If you are in between jobs, or are a new employee, short-term health insurance may be right for you while you lack a suitable alternative, or while waiting for the coverage for your new policy kicks in. Many short-term insurance policies can be applied for and approved in a matter of days. You may think it doesn’t really matter to spend a few days or weeks without insurance, but remember: hindsight is 20/20. However, if you have the means to do so, you may want to invest in lifetime health insurance. Although you may pay more initially, there will be less hassle involved, and you will have the peace of mind that comes from the stability of a permanent health insurance policy.

How to Choose Your Health Insurance?

Acquiring health insurance is one of the best things you can do for your family. A good health insurance plan will give you peace of mind, and provide relief in times of need. When you or a family member is sick, you are under enough stress as it is; the last thing you need has to agonize over medical bills and healthcare costs. For these reasons, it is imperative that you get health insurance if possible.

Most employers have at least one health plan for their employees. It is often cheaper to purchase insurance policies in bulk, which is why getting health insurance from your employer is usually the right choice. If you’re lucky enough to have an employer who gives you several options, you should weigh each of them before choosing a plan. Here are some pointers on how to choose the plan that’s right for you:

  • Assess and compare deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance. The deductible is the amount that you will have to spend before insurance starts covering you. The co-payment, or co-pay, is the amount that you will have to pay upfront if you require medical attention. Coinsurance, on the other hand, is the percentage of the bill you will be footing. Look at the three of these values in health care plans you are considering.
  • Inquire whether your doctor or doctors accept insurance plans. If they do, ask them which insurance plans they accept. If all of your doctors and health-care providers accept a certain plan, you may want to consider it (provided it’s also a decent plan in and of itself). If many of your doctors do not accept any type of insurance whatsoever, you may want to make sure the plan you choose allows for reimbursement of costs when you go to other doctors; these plans are called preferred provider organizations, or PPOs.
  • Perform realistic simulations on paper. List down some of the worst health-problem scenarios you can imagine. Research to get a general idea of what these scenarios would cost you financially. It should be fairly easy to gather this data on the internet. Finally, “play out” your worst case scenarios on paper, looking how much you eventually end up paying with each plan.

All of this may sound like a lot of work, especially the last step, but it’s worth it. With some statistics reporting that 62 percent of personal bankruptcies were directly or indirectly related to health care, choosing an insurance plan may be one of the most important decisions of your life, so choose wisely.