If you are not eligible for COBRA, HIPAA, insurance policy conversion, state continuation, Medicaid, Medicare, or any type of state-sponsored health care program, but are in need of affordable health insurance in New York, you may have to purchase an individual health insurance plan.Most people groan at the thought of purchasing an individual health insurance plan – and for good reason. Individual health insurance plans are usually more expensive than the ideal health care coverage – employer-sponsored group health insurance plans. However, in New York, you can purchase an affordable individual health insurance plan for a couple of reasons.First, when you set out to purchase an individual health insurance plan in New York, you can not be turned down due to your particular health conditions. This is great news because many people with pre-existing health conditions tend to have a difficult time finding health insurance companies that will sell health insurance to them. Health insurance companies view people with pre-existing or serious health conditions as higher risks to insure. They view them as potentially lost money. Yet, in New York, there are health insurance companies that will not turn you down regardless of any pre-existing health conditions you may have, or the severity of the health condition.Second, you will not be charged a higher health insurance rate due to your pre-existing health condition, regardless of the severity of your pre-existing health condition. This is more great news, since people with pre-existing health conditions who do manage to purchase individual health insurance policies do so for a high price. They need health insurance, especially because they need care for their pre-existing health conditions; however, because of their pre-existing health conditions, they pay high prices. It’s a vicious cycle that New York is working toward ending.For more information about the health insurance companies that provide these individual health insurance policies and their contact information, contact the New York Insurance Department.
Getting and keeping affordable health insurance in your state is up to you. With medical insurance market in constant change and increasing cost of healthcare. It is up to us to do our research to understand medical coverage and the ways on how we can control medical insurance costs. Health insurance companies to stay competitive understand the need for affordable health insurance plans. Insurance companies are constantly changing their health plans to make them more affordable. The only real way to make health insurance plans more affordable is to exclude certain benefits. It is a risk that insurance companies are taking. Since most of the time when shopping for the health insurance plan most people do not understand what is exactly covered and what is not covered.We have to agree that medical insurance companies are not going to give away free coverage. With that in mind we have to agree that insurance companies are also not going to have a plan that cost less cover everything exactly the same as the plan that cost more. The cost of health insurance is almost the same across the board not matter which insurance company you go with. It is true that insurance companies that run more efficiently can offer better rates. What makes that largest difference in the cost of the actual plan is what and how it covers medical bills in case of emergency. The great thing is insurance companies are closely regulated by state insurance commissioner. State laws do vary and so do health insurance health plans in every state. For example in some states insurance companies can exclude certain pre existing conditions to offer you a lower rate. If you have some medical issue and it is being covered by workman’s compensation insurance then you would not need to have double coverage. In other states like California you either get approved or you will get a higher rate or you will get declined. Insurance companies in the state of California cannot exclude coverage on pre-existing conditions once you are approved.With all of that in mind let’s look at all the options we have to make our health plans more affordable. First is our deductible, which will give us largest control over health insurance premium we pay to Health Insurance Company. There are three types of plans with deductibles. One is a health plan where you have to meet the deductible to get any benefits, the second one is where everything is covered with small co-pay and deductible applies only for hospital stays and third the most popular and the most dangerous one in no deductible. No deductible plans in most cases are the creative work of the insurance companies. In most cases plans that have no deductible you will be responsible for what’s called daily fee and co-insurance. In most cases you could be more out of pocket with no deductible plans then a plan with a deductible.Second we have more and more insurance companies offer health insurance plans with option of have brand name drug coverage or just generic prescription drug coverage. What does that mean to you? Well the simple way to explain this is that brand name drugs are the drugs that you see on TV commercials. Prescription drugs are regulated by FDA and by FDA rules after the brand name drug has been on the market for over five years over drug companies can copy it. That means that when Drug Company comes out with a new drug they can charge for it as much as they want and no one can copy their formula for that drug for over five years. The reason FDA has that type of rules is because they figure that it takes a lot of money to research new drug. By FDA regulations brand name drugs and generic drugs must have exactly same active ingredient. Basically they are exactly same drug just one cost a lot more. Talk to your doctor before you make any changes. Here is where we are getting with this is if you get a health insurance plans that covers generic drugs only you can save your self a lot of money on your health insurance premiums. With some health plans you can also customize your prescription drug deductible.Third is health insurance plans that give you option of covering your doctor visits or not covering them. This option could save you a lot of money. What that means is some health insurance plans will allow you to pay for your own doctor visits versus having insurance company pay portion and you pay co-pay. You have to ask your self how many time do you really go to a doctor every year? Most regular doctor visit will cost you anywhere from $55 to $75. Therefore you if you go once or twice a year to a doctor and you can just pay out of pocket and save $50 a month on your health insurance, would you do it?Well here you have it with these three options you can get affordable health insurance. There are some other options you can also take a look at like Health Saving Account qualified health insurance plans, which is a different topic. It all just makes sense, why pay for something you do not need and not going to use. With some simple decisions you can get the coverage you want at the premium you can afford.
If you are looking to further your education and are attached to the military in any way, make sure you take full advantage of your military education benefits, specifically the GI Bill. Don’t let it go to waste. Here are some of the basics of what you should know about your military education benefits and what they can do for you.Military education benefits you may be eligible for include:
The Post-9/11 GI Bill (New)
The Montgomery GI Bill (Traditional)
The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)
What exactly is the GI Bill?The GI Bill is actually a variety if bills in place to help active military, veterans and their family members pay for a higher level of education. This involves financial assistance for education-related expenses such as tuition, books, supplies and housing allowances.David MunÃµz from Colorado Springs, former Senior Airman/E4 of the United States Air Force, has this to say about the Post 9/11 GI Bill that he is currently using to pay for a 2 year educational program:”The Government pays my school directly for my tuition and fees, sends me a $500 stipend every semester for books, and gives me a monthly living allowance based on my zip code. All of this allows me to attend school full-time and focus on studies without having to work a full-time job. It’s working out great for me.”Top 5 Benefits of the GI Bill
The money is totally non-taxable.
It works for a variety of educational program types.
There is usually enough money to cover all educational expenses, and depending on the program, living expenses as well.
With the added funds for living, you may be able to go to school full time and not have to work on the side, allowing you to focus on your studies and finish faster.
It’s good for 10 years after you leave the service and will likely cover your entire educational experience.
What can these benefits be used for?
Vocational or occupational training
How do I apply for the GI Bill?You can apply for the GI Bill with the Department of Veterans Affairs by filling out a simple form.When and how do I use my benefits?You can begin using your military benefits after two years of service. Although you can use your educational benefits as an active duty service member, it is advised that you wait until after you have completed your service to get the most out of it.Who do I contact for more information about military education benefits?
The Department of Veterans Affairs
Your commanding officer
A financial advisor at your chosen college campus
1 – The Post-9/11 GI BillThe US Department of Veteran Affairs describes the Post-9/11 GI Bill as “financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.”If this applies to you, check out this list of approved training opportunities and find something that fits your lifestyle. Career-focused training programs are a great way to get started.Approved Training for Post-9/11 GI Bill
Graduate and undergraduate degrees
Vocational, technical trades, or career training
On-the-job training, flight training
Licensing and national testing programs
What might be a little confusing is that they also say training and apprenticeships are not covered under this bill, but are due to be added as of October 1, 2011, along with many other benefits covered under the MGI Bill that were left out of the new bill.2 – The Montgomery GI BillThe US Department of Veteran Affairs describes the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) as “available for those who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces. Under Chapter 30, Active Duty members enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months; and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation. Under Chapter 1606, a reservist must be actively drilling and have a 6-year obligation in the Selected Reserve to be eligible.”This bill will apply to the majority of military seeking financial assistance for education. It can be used for a variety of educational programs ranging from graduate to vocational studies.3 – The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)The US Department of Veterans Affairs explains REAP as a program that “provides educational assistance to members of National Guard and reserve components – Selected Reserve and Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) – who are called or ordered to active duty service in response to a war or national emergency as declared by the President or Congress.”Eligibility depends on active duty served on or after Sept.11, 2001. If you have served at least 90 consecutive days or an accumulated total of three or more years, you may be eligible for these benefits. Eligibility based on continuous service constitutes payments based on the number of continuous days served, while eligibility based on active duty service accumulation of three or more years constitutes the full allowable payment.If you are a reservist in any branch of the military, make sure to look into these benefits and take advantage of what you are eligible for; you won’t regret it.Approved Training for REAP
Undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate courses
State licensure and certification courses
Courses for a certificate or diploma from business, technical or vocational schools
Apprenticeship or on-the-job training
Independent study programs
Remedial, deficiency, or refresher courses needed to complete a program of study
Preparatory courses for tests required or used for admission to an institution of higher learning or graduate school
Contact your local College or Technical School to find out how to use your military benefits and get your education today.Sources
United States Department of Veterans Affairs: GI Bill, http://www.gibill.va.gov