Finding Health Insurance for Children
Getting health insurance for your children is very important and should be done early on. As with any family health insurance, the easiest way to get access to health insurance for your children is to have it provided through an employer's group plan. This is, however, not always possible. For any number of reasons you may be unable to provide group coverage for your children.
If you find yourself lacking group health insurance for your children, do not allow this lapse in coverage to become permanent. Children can incur serious medical bills just like anyone else, and these bills can weigh down your financial foundation. Lapses in health insurance can come from a variety of problems, such as loss of a job or divorce. It is very important that you avoid long lapses in coverage, as any kind of accident or serious illness can produce medical bills that will take years to pay off.
Depending on your situation, there are several possible avenues to finding a solution for the health insurance problem. If you and your children lost health insurance because of a job, then you are probably eligible for government COBRA benefits. COBRA allows you to maintain your old health insurance benefits for as long as 36 months while you work to secure a new source of coverage. COBRA can help you whether the insurance came from your job or that of an ex-spouse.
You may find that adding your child to an employer's health insurance plan is quite expensive. If this is the case, or if no such plan is available to you, don't let the child go uninsured. There may be cheaper individual health insurance plans out there that will cover your child, but be aware of any stipulations or restrictions that exist with the plan. As with any health insurance plan, cheap does not necessarily mean good. Low premiums may result in extremely high deductibles or in situations where the insurer may refuse to cover the expenses. For this reason, think twice about opting for an individual plan for your child if adding them to your employer's plan is a possibility.
If acquiring health insurance seems entirely too expensive for your family, remember that assistance programs exist in many states to help lower the cost of insuring children. State assistance programs for children exist to support a wider range of families than you may think, so be sure to check out these programs. The State Children's Health Insurance Program can provide low cost coverage for children ages 18 or younger. Although there are income regulations, SCHIP is available even if one or more people in the household have jobs.
It is crucial that your children have access to health insurance. Through a program like SCHIPS, your children can have access to the benefits they need to grow up healthy. Children usually require several visits to the doctor, and this can grow very expensive if you are uninsured. Among the many needs a child has, they will require an array of immunizations and will often acquire ear infections and other illnesses.
It is a fact that insured children are healthier and miss less school than uninsured children. When your child is insured you can also see the same doctor for all your child's medical needs, leading to better care. You also do not have to worry about spending hours and hours in the emergency room if your child comes down with an illness that could be treated by a normal doctor's visit.
Going without health insurance is a big risk and could potentially land your family in serious financial trouble. Do not wait until problems occur to start looking for health insurance either, as many plans have a waiting period before the benefits will kick in. It is simply best to look early and explore all your options indepth before any serious issues arise.
Even if you find health insurance for your children too expensive, it is often attainable through government assistance programs, whether that is through SCHIPS or medicaid. Above all, insure your children, even if it turns out to be rather expensive, as it can be a real disaster later on if you don't.