The statistics on health insurance affordability are grim: Since 2000, health insurance costs have spiked 59% while in that same period of time worker's pay has only increased 12%. With the cost of health insurance squeezing the family budget ever tighter, more and more families are dropping the coverage they have because they cannot afford it. Finding low cost health insurance is difficult these days.
Your best bet as far as insuring a family is to try to get employer-sponsored health insurance. Even though you will likely need to contribute to cover the cost of the premiums, employers are able to get far better rates for a group than you would be able to get buying an individual policy. A plus is that employers will pay part of the premium.
If your employer does not offer insurance, or if you are a freelance contract worker or small business owner, see about joining a professional organization or union. Many of them offer access to group health insurance for members. Finally, if you have to consider an individual (private) health insurance plan, a health maintenance organization (HMO) will be the least expensive followed by a preferred provider organization (PPO). While HMOs require cutting through a lot of red tape and will limit your medical care options in terms of where and when you can receive services, most offer fairly robust coverage to families.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|