According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American worker contributes $779 for an individual health plan and $3,515 for a family health plan. Since this is an average, some employees may be paying much more.
Shop Online for a Better Health Insurance Premium
Shop around online and see if you can find a private Arizona Health Insurance policy that provides you with the coverage you need but is less expensive than the premium you pay at work.
A great place to seek information for Arizona Health Insurance options in your area is through this very website. Our website provides information and access to hundreds of health insurance plans. Even if you don’t buy insurance iHealthBrokers.com is a great place to get a sense of how many plans are available in your state and how much they cost.
Planning on Switching? Be Careful!
Even if it is less expensive, dropping your job-based coverage and switching to a private Arizona Health Insurance plan that you buy may not be the best option for you. Health insurance you get from your employer has some very important protections that may not be available (depending on the state you live in) if you buy private insurance.
- Guaranteed issue – If your employer offers health insurance, you (along with all employees) must be accepted for coverage, regardless of your health status.
- Guaranteed renewability – Your employer (or health plan) cannot cancel your insurance if you become sick.
- Portability – If you had health insurance (either private or from another employer) before enrolling in your current job-based coverage, your new health insurer must reduce any preexisting condition waiting times by the amount of time that you were covered on your previous plan.
For example, if your new health plan has a 6-month waiting period before covering your treatment of high blood pressure and you had health insurance coverage for the past 12 months, you would be fully covered for your high blood pressure when you start your new plan.
- COBRA – If you are laid off from your job and your former employer has more than 20 employees, the company is required by a 1986 federal law (known as COBRA) to offer you the option to pay for an extension of your health insurance coverage for at least 18 months. COBRA is not available if you have a private health insurance plan.
Health Care Reform Changes
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010 addresses access to health insurance coverage and assures that all Americans who need coverage will be able to get health insurance. It is not clear how the legislation will impact the cost of Arizona health insurance, especially premiums and out-of-pocket expenses. It is likely the costs will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.
Starting in 2014, you will be able to purchase health insurance in a health insurance exchange that will be available in all states. At that time, health insurance companies will not be allowed to impose any pre-existing condition limitations. However, until 2014, the recommendations above will continue to be valid.
Understand Your Options
You also need to make sure that you fully understand the benefits and limitations of the private Arizona Health Insurance compared to your employer-based plan. Are the benefits the same? If the private health insurance is a managed care plan(such as a PPO or HMO), are your doctors in the network?
Jesse Smedley is the Principal Broker for iHealthBrokers and the founder, president, and CEO of Smedley Insurance Group, Inc. and iHealthBrokers.com. Since the inception of SIG in 2007, Jesse has been dedicated to helping people save money on their health insurance by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their health insurance options, both under age 65 and Medicare beneficiaries. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for expert columns regarding health insurance and Medicare.