As if being a single mom isn’t hard enough, there is the added pressure of finding affordable health insurance to cover your family’s medical needs. Many health insurance companies offer policies to single mothers however, depending on your situation, it can be a struggle choosing the best policy for your family.
With any one-income household, trying to make ends meet is a daily pressure and having the financial responsibility for children can be overwhelming at times. Young children need a lot of medical care and costly co-pays and deductibles can add up. Finding the right health insurance that is cost effective can take a little bit of the stress away.
About Health Insurance Premiums
Premiums for health insurance are the monthly amount you pay for the coverage. Your premium’s overall cost depends on several things including where you live, your health, number of dependants and more.
For the single moms out there, it’s gets even tougher. Women tend to pay more in premiums then men. This is in correlation to the number of health visits per year women receive. Because of the female ability to birth children and the medical expenses that can incur, they are seen as more of a risk then men when it comes to medical costs.
How Health Insurance Deductibles work
The person who is insured pays a certain percentage of medical expenses before the insurance company takes over and starts payments. When considering the cost of premiums, health insurance companies will take into account how low or how high the deductible should be. A typical health insurance deductible can be anywhere from $500 to $2500, depending on how many are insured and the cost of the premium.
Deductibles are not the same as co-pays. Deductibles are paid first. Co-pays apply after the deductible has been fulfilled.
Let’s say a deductible is $1000 and co-pays are $30 per doctor visit. The insured mom will pay all doctor’s visits and medical expenses until they’ve reached $1000 in bills. After that, the insured mom will pay only the $30 co-pay for the rest of the doctor’s visits for that year.
Some plans have deductibles for different types of coverage. For example, you may have a deductible for prescription medication and a different deductible for hospital visits. It all depends on the company and the policy.
How health insurance co-pays work
Co-pays are different from deductibles. This is a flat, out of pocket expense the insured have to pay whenever they receive medical treatment or even prescription medication. You can pay 20, 30, or even 40 percent of the total cost with your co-pay. The idea behind a co-pay is to cut some of the costs so health insurance companies don’t need to shoulder all the expenses.
Another reason behind co-pays is to keep individuals from seeking medical treatment for every minor cold or scrap. Those who have to pay some out of pocket expenses are less likely to seek out medical attention that is not really necessary.
Co-payments are usually broken up by types of medical treatment. You might have different co-pays for a doctor’s visit versus a trip to the eye doctor or chiropractor. They even have different co-pays for emergency room visits.
Co-pay versus Co-insurance
Co-insurance is different from both co-payments and deductibles. Co-insurance is an annual responsibility, which can run anywhere between 20 to 30 percent of medical expenses after a deductible has been met.
Co-insurance works with a maximum out of pocket limit, which is the most a member will need to pay before the plan takes over the expenses 100 percent. Co-pays usually don’t count towards out of pocket expenses and are just required by the insurance plan to be covered.
Additional low cost health insurance options for single moms and their children
For those moms who are looking to get their children on health insurance there are programs that can help. The two options that are well known are State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Medicaid.
Medicaid can help families that are struggling financially. You can go to your state’s health insurance website to see if you do qualify. Medicaid does cover children who are under 18 and pregnant women and their babies. In some states, Medicaid covers those children under 21.
SCHIP is for those children who do not qualify for Medicaid, but still qualify for federal insurance. SCHIP is funded by the government and is state run. Each state, therefore, has different criteria for eligibility.
Before committing to one policy, it’s important to research all of your options. Knowing what you’re monthly budget is and what you can afford for coverage will be beneficial when researching health insurance companies.
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