Not everyone qualifies for the Obamacare tax credits and the cost sharing because the credits are based on the number of people in your household and your household income. This means that if your income is greater than those limits, you'll have to pay the full marketplace rates. And depending upon your age and the number of people in your household, the rates can be pretty high. We have seen many people having to pay as much as $2,000 a month for a basic health plan with high deductibles and high max out of pockets, and that's like having a second mortgage.
But there are a couple of alternatives that might be worth considering. First option is to look at some short-term catastrophic plans. These plans are, in general, best suited for people who are in good health and do not have any serious preexisting health conditions because these plans may not cover those preexisting conditions or may have limited coverage for them.
Back in 2019, we had opted for the short-term medical plans for our family because the premiums for the marketplace plan was around $1,300 per month, whereas the short-term plans were around 500 per month. That's a huge savings, but it also meant that we had to take care of our own routine physicals and occasional office visits. But hey, if I was going to save over $700 per month, I really didn't mind.
But then, the following year, I got diagnosed with diabetes and that kicked me out of eligibility for those plans. So now I get to pay the full rates. Lucky me. But I do have an option to keep my wife and son on the short-term plans if I choose to.
In general, you can take a short-term medical plan from one month to one year, but there are some companies that allow multiple years. So check with your insurance agent on what is available in your state. And keep in mind, some of these rules do vary from state to state, as well as insurance company to insurance company.
Some insurance companies also give a huge discount, or 20 to 24%, for single premium payments instead of monthly payments, which can be a huge savings. But if you have some health conditions that would keep you from qualifying for the short-term plans, check to see if there are some off exchange plans in your area that may be cheaper than the marketplace plans that are offered through the health insurance marketplace and healthcare.gov.
We live in Georgia. And over the last couple of years, there have been some insurance companies that have been offering a discount of up to 20% cheaper than what the marketplace plans or almost identical type of plans. And when you're paying $1,500 to $2,000 a month for premium, that can be a huge savings.
Now there are many other types of health insurance plans that are also available in Georgia other than the short term medical plans and the marketplace plans, but like with anything, you have to take the time to understand the benefits and the limitations, and you have to be careful because what you don't know can hurt you.
It's a good idea to work with an insurance agent or broker, who represents many different companies on and off the exchanges and can guide you thru this complicated process.
Now, we live in Georgia and if we can help you with your insurance needs, please feel to reach out to us.
Checkout our other articles and videos on:
The Dangers of Shopping for Health Insurance Online.
What's New with Medicare in GA for 2023