Everyone wants to save money on health insurance costs, and there are many ways to do it. But are discount plans really the answer? In our experience, discount health insurance plans might be cheaper, but they also don’t provide the same level of coverage as major medical insurance plans. They’re best as additional or temporary coverage, not as your primary health insurance. Here’s what you should know about discount plans and whether they’re right for you.
Not regulated by the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010 to provide more regulation and accessibility to health insurance for more people in the United States. However, these changes and regulations apply only to major medical insurance plans.
If you’re thinking of using short-term or discount plans for your health insurance, it’s important to be aware that any regulations included in the ACA do not apply. Be sure to read the fine print of any discount plan you’re considering, because it may not be standard compared to many major plans.
No mandatory preventative benefits
One of the major requirements the ACA brought to health insurance plans is mandatory preventative care coverage. Because of the Affordable Care Act, major insurance plans are required to cover certain preventative benefits without additional cost.
However, since discount plans for health insurance don’t fall under the ACA’s regulations, they’re not required to cover any preventative benefits without cost. You may be charged for procedures that would be covered under a major health insurance plan.
More exclusions in their policies
There’s nothing worse than going to the doctors for treatment only to find that your medical treatment isn’t covered. While exclusions exist in major health insurance plans, short-term and discount plans have many more exclusions in their policies. They’re more likely not to cover preexisting conditions or someone who is already pregnant, for example.
Many discount plans required additional processes before they pay out. For example, plans from the Christian Healthcare Ministries require you to ask the doctors for discounts and go through an additional process after treatment before they begin paying for anything.
The last thing you want after undergoing a medical procedure is to jump through hoops to get coverage. With a discount plan, you’re more likely to have to go through additional processes to receive your benefits.
Are discount plans on health insurance a good idea?
At the end of the day, discount plans on health insurance simply aren’t worth the savings. You’ll typically find more exclusions, complicated processes, and no regulation under the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the federal government even advises against the use of discount plans. They’re only suggested as a last resort for temporary coverage until long-term insurance is available.
So where can you find the best mix of affordability and coverage? Talk to the health insurance experts at Health Benefits Associates. We’ll walk you through the options to help you find the perfect plan to fit your needs and budget. Contact us today.