Up next in Understanding Insurance (12 videos)
Get the facts on home, auto, car, and health insurance with these videos.
You Will Need
- A high deductible
- A health savings account (optional)
Check state laws
Become familiar with the health insurance laws in your state. Type the name of your state and "health insurance laws" into a search engine to find the appropriate government web site.
Check out group rates
Check out policies that trade associations offer; they often have lower rates. But make sure you're contacting a reputable trade group. Some lure in members with low premiums that jump up in a year or two.
Comparison shop either on your own or with the help of a health insurance broker. Locate the latter through nahu.org.
Read the fine print
Buyer beware: Some policies offer only "limited benefits," a distinction that's not apparent unless you read the fine print.
Go for a high deductible
Consider a high deductible. Depending on the size of your family and your medical situation, it may be cheaper to hold health insurance primarily for a catastrophic illness or injury rather than for regular office visits.
Protect your children
Protect your children by calling 1-877-KIDS-NOW for information on low-cost – or even free – health insurance for children 18 years and younger. Each state has its own program for low-income families, and eligibility rules vary.
Look into Medicaid
If your income is very low, find out if you're eligible for Medicaid by contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Apply for Medicare
If you're 65 years or older, apply for the federal health insurance program known as Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.