Health care reform: why buy insurance now?

The bill signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, brought many Americans to a halt in considering next steps in health insurance. There are so many unknowns about policy limits, pre-existing conditions and individual premiums that many insurance shoppers feel paralyzed in the process. Why buy insurance now with so much uncertainty?

First, the  bill will not be in full effect until 2014. A lot can happen before that date. Insurance networks can make a thousand dollar difference in the cost of a broken arm. If a critical illness were to develop in the family, very few families can afford to front the cost of that care for the next three years.

Second, if you are healthy and rarely visit the doctor, there are low premium, high-deductible plans that will provide a financial buffer in the event of an unexpected emergency. For more on creative budgeting with your HSA, see our post on creating vacation cash.

Third, most premiums will increase every year, so waiting until next year will not guarantee any better results. Our suggestion is to work with a third party who will show you how all the plans in the state stack up and give you the information you  need to make a well thought-out decision. How will the health reform legislation affect your application? Is it more economical to pay Cobra or buy short term insurance? Is my group plan really the best deal for me?

Don’t put off what you don’t know. You can’t afford to buy health insurance? You can’t afford not to. Check out this complete Guide to Healthcare Reform.

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