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Choosing a Medical Insurance Plan - Part I

Murphy’s Law states: “if anything can go wrong, it will and at the worst possible time.”

This is the first of a three-part series. In Part 1, we will be discussing why you should be covered in a medical insurance plan. Part 2 will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the three most common medical plans and some common put important terminologies, and Part 3 will focus on simple ways to reduce your medical and prescription costs.

It is important for us to not only have medical insurance coverage, but to understand how the plans works. Medical insurance is one of the most important, yet confusing and expensive benefit offered to individuals.

Working in Human Resources for over 20 years and specializing in Benefits Administration for most of those years, I have seen firsthand the confusion and frustration employees face when they do not understand their coverage.

Why Enroll?

Let’s explore the biggest question people ask about medical insurance, “I am healthy, so why should I enroll in medical insurance”?

Health Insurances are for the what ifs, it takes care of the unexpected. It is known fact that one can look healthy but not be completely healthy. Or…you may be healthy but have an accident – maybe cause by a careless driver or by your own carelessness. Regardless of the motives, there is a myriad of reasons why it is important to have health insurance coverage. People insure their home, vehicle, and pets against unexpected events; so, why not their health. Right?

The Research

Back in November 2007, The Urban Institute published an article on the importance of health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) was signed into law on March 23, 2010, and research has demonstrated that the ACA helped more than 20 million non-elderly individuals who were not able to find insurance for many reasons; a few being pre-existing conditions, self-employment, or affordability. Those individuals now had a better chance at life and meeting their health goals. A January 2018 article by the American Hospital Association confirms that health insurance still carries the same importance in 2018 as it did back in 2007 and is still very important today.

Having coverage:

a. Improves access to care which improves health outcomes,

b. Gives better management of chronic conditions, and

c. Reduces financial burden and risks.

Drastic Change in the Healthcare Landscape

2020 changed the healthcare landscape even more when Covid-19 landed on our doorstep without warning. The costs associated with hospitalizations related to Covid-19 were astronomical. Due to job losses, there is now a greater risk of more people losing their insurance.

Further research from the Urban Institute shows that Medicaid enrollment has risen substantially since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic showing a 9 million jump from February 2020 to January 2021. While Medicaid help the under 65, it is still a toss-up as to what will happen once the Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires, since we are still struggling with Covid-19 consequences. This will be a wait and see.

Next month in Part II, we will discuss a few Advantages and Disadvantages of the three most commonly used health insurance coverages and some important terminologies.

Let us know if you have questions.

Paula Hamilton

Copy Editor and Contributor



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