Low Income Health Insurance Options

Low income health insurance is challenging to find, but it is available in many different forms. Choose your options carefully, and you will find affordable insurance that protects you in case you need medical care. To stick within your budget, you may have to sacrifice some small coverage options. Having insurance when you need it, though, is the most important thing.

Government Options

If your income is low, you may qualify for government provided health insurance. You can apply for government sponsored insurance if you have sufficiently limited income and resources. The application process can take three months, but if you qualify, you and your dependents may receive free medical insurance. If you do not qualify, consider your state's options for free health insurance. Most provide basic services, such as treatment if you have a chronic disease or become pregnant. Emergency treatment is also available under these programs. Both the federal government and state governments offer free medical insurance options to very low income individuals. Explore both options to determine which offers you the most benefit.

Non Profit Insurance Companies

One low cost option is to arrange for insurance through a non profit provider. While these providers still cost money, their premiums are not as high as for profit companies. Many participants will find the non profit companies, such as Kaiser Permanente, can reduce insurance costs by 30 percent or more without cutting services. You may be limited to where and when you can receive healthcare. For example, many of these non profit companies operate their own healthcare facilities. You must receive your services at those facilities to be covered. However, ultimately, the savings are worth the additional hassle.

Health Savings Accounts

All Americans are eligible for health savings accounts, even if they do not have insurance. Health savings accounts allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for health related expenses. This can include prescription medication, doctors visits, emergency medical payments or even costs like band aids and lotions. By spending pre-tax dollars on these services, you will save 10 to 25 percent on the average American income. This can lead to several hundred dollars of savings each year through this non tax option.

High Deductible Plans

High deductible plans reduce your health insurance premium. You will have to pay a greater amount out of pocket before your insurance company begins payment. However, you may still be covered for annual physicals, mammograms and other essential services at a fraction of the retail cost.

Catastrophic Coverage

Even if you cannot afford basic coverage through a traditional insurance company, it is in your best interest to choose catastrophic coverage. If you are in a car accident, slip and fall or become suddenly ill, an extended hospital stay can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars without insurance. Through catastrophic coverage, you may still owe a small portion of this cost. However, even with a $5,000 or $10,000 deductible, you will stand to save a large portion of money when compared to having no coverage at all. This is the type of coverage that can save you from debt if you ever experience an emergency.