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On Your Own for Health Coverage?

Whether you have lost your job, are trying to start a new business, recently graduated from college, or retired early, your life has taken a dramatic turn. If you are now on your own for health care coverage, here are a few things to consider as you make this important decision:

Weigh the costs of leaving your health up to chance versus paying for health coverage.
Consider if you can afford to pay the full cost of medications or an ER visit. The cost of one seemingly minor accident like breaking your arm during a slip on the ice can set you back thousands of dollars and take you years to pay.

Make a list: Estimate how many times you saw a physician in the last year. Consider your lifestyle – are you accident-prone? Do you currently use any prescription medications? Are you due for a refill soon? Do you have allergies? Do you see a dermatologist for a skin condition? When was the last time you had a vision exam? Can you afford the full cost of these services?

Learn the basic language of health care.
Do you know the difference between a copay and coinsurance? HMO and PPO plans? Urgent and emergency care? If not, don't worry – you're not alone. The language of health care can be complicated, but help is available.

HAP offers a free, online tool called "Wise Health Care Consumer" that anyone can use to learn more about common terms and services, as well as the basics of health coverage.

Do your research and shop around, just like you would for other major purchases.
Start by talking with friends and family who may have been in your position at one time. You can also call a local health insurance carrier directly or visit an insurance agent near you. You can even shop online and compare plans in your area.

When comparing plans, decide what's important to you in addition to your benefits, such as online enrollment, online bill pay or extra perks like discounts at health clubs or on LASIK services.

Worried about long-term contracts?
If you are putting off purchasing health coverage because you're sure you'll get a job and benefits soon, don't worry about getting locked-in to a long-term contract. In most cases, you can get  and pay for individual health coverage only until you no longer need it. 

HAP's Coverage Options:

Experience peace of mind, knowing that you'll be covered if an unexpected illness occurs. You'll also have access to preventive care to keep you and your family healthy.
HAP offers health coverage options that:

  • Are affordable 
  • Incorporate prevention and wellness services, and excellent customer service 
  • Offer a comprehensive network of physicians and hospitals

SOLOINDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES:
SOLO offers health plans for individuals and families not covered by employer health insurance. SOLO is affordable health insurance with flexible plan designs that include preventive care, emergency coverage and optional prescription benefits. SOLO also offers optional Health Savings Accounts, which allow you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis, similar to a 401(k). Online enrollment can take less than 30 minutes. Coverage can begin as soon as the first day of the following month. Learn more about SOLO plan options, get a free quote and apply online.

Medicare SolutionsMEDICARE BENEFICIARIES:
For more than 20 years, Medicare Beneficiaries have chosen HAP's Medicare Solutions for additional coverage beyond Original Medicare. HAP offers a broad choice of health and prescription drug plans for people with Medicare, including Medicare Advantage plans, Part D plans and Medicare Supplement plans. You choose the plan that's right for you. See more information.

STUDENTS & UNINSURED WORKERS IN WAYNE COUNTY: 
Four Star Health is a community based nonprofit organization developed to provide affordable health coverage.

Wayne County Four StarStudents: If you live in Wayne County and are enrolled in at least six credit hours or equivalent in an area school – and are between 18 and 64 – chances are you qualify. Whether you are back at school for a new career, or right out of high school, Wayne County Four Star Health is perfect for older students that are coping without coverage or younger students no longer eligible for coverage by a parent. It can cover you, your spouse plus qualifying children. Wayne County Four Star teamed up with the four leading hospitals in the area to offer full featured local health coverage to students from 18 to 64 – for only $96.00 a month from the student – while Four Star pays the other half of the premium. Learn more.

Small businesses with 2-100 employees: Wayne County Four Star is an employer sponsored program for low and moderate income uninsured employees in Wayne County. In this 3-share model, the premium cost is shared between the employer, the employee, and the county – each paying $60.00 per month. Wayne County Four Star is available exclusively to Wayne County small businesses with two to 100 employees. Businesses must have over 50% of their employees residing in Wayne County and have employees who have not participated in an employer sponsored health plan in the last twelve months. At least half of the employees of the group must earn $16.00 or less per hour. See more information.

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