A growing number of these self employed people are
turning to 'limited benefit medical insurance plans'. These
increasingly popular and often controversial plans are sold on the
basis of affordability but may provide a false sense of security.
The limited benefit policies cost far less than
major medical health insurance
plans. The reduced premiums come at a cost to the insured however.
Some limited benefit medical plans cap what the insurer will pay
toward the medical bills. Some of the cheapest plans may cover as
little as $1000.00 annually and others may pay just a few hundred
dollars per day if you are admitted to the hospital. Major medical
in contrast, generally covers most medical expenses in a given year
plan deductibles and co-payments are satisfied.
The limited benefit medical plans are gaining
favor with employers with contract workers, part time workers and
lower paid hourly employees. Some limited benefit medical plans cost
a young single male between $9 and $15 a week.
Problems most often arise when the insured
individuals find out their 'medical plans' are not true health insurance.
It may be too late at that point -- the realization will set in that
the insured might have already amassed thousands of dollars in
health care costs that are not covered by the limited benefit plan.
Our own research into the limited benefit medical
plans drew immediate red flags when we saw them being aggressively
marketed as 'quality health insurance you can afford'. Any web
page that pairs that statement with 'you cannot be turned down for
any reason.' is NOT selling true major medical health insurance
and is most likely violation insurance laws in any state where they
are doing business.
The deceptive marketing is not relegated solely to
the companies selling the plans. Many employers take advantage of an
employee when they recruit them and promise company sponsored health
care benefits. Most people do not take the time to read the
documents and provisions and restrictions that comprise a limited
benefit medical plan and are shocked when it comes up short the
first time they use it.
Are the limited benefit medical plans worth it?
A qualified 'perhaps'. The limited benefit plans may be better
than having no health insurance
at all. However, it is critically important that the person
acquiring the limited benefit medical plan understand what they are
buying -- that it is not major medical health insurance
and may come with severe restrictions as to what is covered and the amounts
due the insured. .
If you find yourself newly self employed
and requiring individual health insurance or if you are just looking to replace
existing self employed health insurance, we would strongly recommend checking
out the online offerings of
eHealthInsurance. They are the leader in online
health insurance sales
since 1997 and offer you the ability to compare benefits of different policies
side by side to make your informed buying decision easier. In many cases, it
takes about 10 minutes and most policy documents can be signed online using
their eSign technology. They have licensed agents available should you have
questions. No insurance agents will call or solicit you directly!