If you have questions about the new health care bill that the Obama administration passed, you are not the only one. Many people are wondering when they have new health insurance, when the rules will fully go into effect, and how much their rates will go up under the bill. It is possible that insurance rates will go down, but it is unlikely. The legal challenges against the bill and whether it is constitutional have not yet been resolved.
Determine the Adequate Level of Insurance Coverage
The new bill requires people to have an adequate level of insurance or pay a fine. In many cases, paying the fine may be cheaper in the long run. It depends on the individual circumstances. The cheapest level of coverage under the new plan requires you to meet only the minimum requirements. Do not pay for additional heath care coverage features unless you absolutely need them. If you can do so, play insurance companies off against each other. If the new bill becomes law and does not get overturned, the insurance companies will have a flood of new clients that will compete for business against each other. Free market forces will take the prices down for the first couple of months. If you can lock in a rate for a certain period of time, it may help prevent the costs from going up during the term.
While the large health insurance chains, such as the Health Plan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield will run commercials to get as many new clients as possible, a consumer should not assume that these are the cheapest companies to deal with. A local insurance broker or a locally run company can often offer better insurance deals than the big name companies. This typically involves a trade-off with how far-ranging the services reach. If you are a person who does not travel much and is not likely to need health care services while going abroad, a local option can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Quit Bad Habits
This goes without saying, even if Obama’s health care plan gets overturned by the courts or a subsequent Congress. You can save money on your health insurance by losing weight, quitting excessive drinking, quitting smoking and changing to a healthier lifestyle.
by Patrick Attlee