It's Time To Budget For Health Insurance Coverage

A lot of people would rather not think about illness - it is natural. But in the United States in the twenty first century you really do need to think about what might happen if you or a member of your family falls ill. If you do not have adequate insurance cover, or if you have no cover at all, you could be in deep trouble.

First of all we need to understand the whole health insurance idea. Health care is not funded in this way everywhere in the world. In Germany and France for example they have a system called an insurance scheme, but it is really very different. You pay money like in the States, but everyone in society gets a similar level of coverage. In the United Kingdom there is a tax based system that also means everyone gets the same coverage. But this is not the system we have in the US. Here there is a basic level of coverage for those on low and moderate incomes and the elderly without their own schemes. Apart from this, you get what you pay for - pay more and you get better services and more coverage.

US health insurance is not so different from auto or home insurance policies. The policy providers are businesses that need to turn a profit. For this reason people with a current medical condition may have problems getting an insurance company to offer them cover against the condition worsening. Though it might sound callous, an insurance company has to consider a person with heart problems a poor risk just like they would if you were a driver with a string of accidents looking to get a powerful car insured. This is the key incentive for getting your HMO or insurance policy on a firm footing when you are in good health. A further incentive is that HMOs often have a period at the beginning of your membership when your cover is limited - it is best that this passes when you are healthy.

Health insurance is different from automobile cover in some ways. For a start the inability to secure cover for your car would mean not driving for a while, which would be a serious inconvenience, but manageable. But not getting health care when it is needed can lead to death. The US, the wealthiest country in the world, will not just stand by as it's citizens keel over from things that can be cured. For this reason the US introduced Medicaid and Medicare - they are like fall-back cover, offering the basics. And in many states there are legally-enforceable basics that each and every insurance scheme must include. Screening in order to capture early breast cancer is an example of must-do service in most states. Take the time to find out what services are always included in your region.

The employed will normally have a company sponsored health care scheme. Problem is that the scheme often goes with the job, so a new job or the loss of the current job can mean that your family is no longer covered. Take time to understand your scheme; the inclusions, exclusions and all that. Work out a back-up plan to put in place if the scheme disappears. It's worth the time because at the end of the day our health is everything.

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