Your Health, In Your Hands
The Internet can be a great place to find health information, but because health is a serious topic ... read more »
The Web is host to a substantial number of reliable, comprehensive health sites. If you know what ... read more »
Anyone not covered by an employer's insurance policy appreciates what a luxury health care can be. In this section we'll lay out your health insurance options as clearly as possible and direct you to sites that effectively describe your insurance choices.
- A good place to start is at the Webby Award-winning health insurance site eHealthInsurance.com. The site’s help center has an extensive list of frequently asked questions accompanied by helpful, authoritative answers. It covers the basics of individual and family insurance, small business health insurance, short-term health insurance, student health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance and health savings accounts.
- If you're unemployed or uninsured, you have a variety of options for obtaining health care coverage. Here are a few concepts and suggestions to get you started.
- The most basic option for the unemployed is to explore different types of individual or family health insurance. Learn what different plans are available, how they work and what they'll cost. Most introductory questions are answered in the eHealthInsurance.com site mentioned above.
- Medicaid is a federal program that provides medical care and health services to certain low-income individuals. If you're over the age of 65, pregnant or disabled, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
- Insurance laws and policies, including COBRA and Medicaid coverage, differ between states. After familiarizing yourself with the basics of insurance, consult a state-specific insurance guide. These can be found at Healthinsuranceinfo.net. For additional questions or clarification on any issues, speak with a state insurance agent. Use this directory to find the official home of your state's department of insurance. Once there, use the resources on the site, or use the contact information provided to get in touch with someone who can be of more help.
- If you're not covered by COBRA, Medicaid or any other special program, and you're strapped financially, you might want to consider purchasing a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). An HDHP, sometimes referred to as "catastrophic" health insurance, will protect the insured against costs associated with extreme illness or injury, but won't cover minor doctor visits or expenses, due to the high deductible. Read this article from Insurance.com to learn about the pros and cons of "catastrophic" health insurance.
- Another cost-effective option to consider is opening a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs function similarly to IRAs in that the money directed into them is nontaxable and is earmarked for a specific purpose—in this case, paying for health insurance. Of course there is flexibility, and should you need the cash, it can be withdrawn from the account (under the condition that it then becomes taxable).
- For information on how to obtain free or discounted prescription drugs, see the “Learning About Medicines” section of this guide.
It's important to have a good relationship with your doctor, and it's doubly important to select ... read more »
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