Health Care – The Middle Class Nightmare

It’s hard trying to keep your job, afford new and increasing taxes, pay your bills on time, and constantly combat the ever inflating price of health insura…

Imagine that you are an average middle class Joe. Wait, most of you don’t have to because you are one. Because of that, you’ll understand what I have to say here. It’s hard trying to keep your job, afford new and increasing taxes, pay your bills on time, and constantly combat the ever inflating price of health insurance.

In order for businesses to survive in the current economy, they need to take steps to reduce costs any way they can. Unfortunately for many of us this means layoffs, plant closings, and benefits being cut. So the people that are now looking for new employment are forced to pay for a supplementary health insurance plan. Meanwhile, those lucky enough to keep their jobs are forced to pay more for new health insurance plans that have fewer benefits or have no benefits available to them anymore. The question you need to be asking yourself at this point is:

How much health insurance do I need?

Take a little time and go back through your medical bills from the last year. I’m guessing that more than 80% of you spent at least twice as much on your health insurance premiums than you did in actual medical bills. So ask yourself again. How much health insurance do I need?

At this point I want to say that I realize everyone’s situation is different and that some people are stuck with what they have for many reasons. The following are a few ideas I had on comparison shopping to survive.

1.  Most people see the doctor 2-3 times a year and have maybe 1 daily prescription. Those are the people that are going to be in that 80% I talked about earlier. If you are one of those people, a good way to save some money is taking a health plan with a higher deductable and co-pay. There is more out of pocket expense this way but lower premiums and you still have coverage in the case of a serious illness or injury.  Insurance companies make most their money off the people in that 80% group, which is why they have office buildings roughly the size of Rhode Island.  By comparing what you currently have you could save some money to help pay other bills or find a plan that is affordable if you have none at all.

Don’t assume what your employer gives you for options is all you have to pick from. Due to company down sizing’s and new plans offering fewer benefits, group health insurance isn’t what it used to be. There are hundreds of company’s on the internet that are desperately looking for your business. Take the time to comparison shop. Even for those of you not in the 80%, what’s the harm in taking a few minutes to get a few free quotes? You might be pleasantly surprised.  Again, I realize that different people have different situations. So you need to do what you’re most comfortable with.

2.  Another way to save money is to buy your prescription drugs from an online service. This is especially beneficial to those who cannot afford any health insurance and also ties into the above method of having a high co-pay or no co-pay on prescriptions. Buy using an online prescription company you are saving on the inflated prices of your local pharmacy and effectively cutting out the middle man. Many of the online services have free shipping standard or free shipping on orders over “x” dollar amount and you can order three months supply at a time to get the free shipping. They ship right to your door saving you time and gas money.

3.  There are several holistic (natural) home remedies for common ailments on the web. I realize many of you may see this as a stretch, but there are quite a few of these that have been seen on various morning shows, newspapers, and other media sources as of late. Obviously these are for non serious, more annoying type of ailments people have such as eczema, acne, athlete’s foot, ect.  From what I have seen you can save some money here though because they cost about as much as your average co-pay to see the doctor and there’s no drugs or cremes to buy afterwards. The best part is, most of the ones I’ve seen come with a  30 to 60  day money back guarantee. So there’s really no risk in trying them.

4.  I have recently read that 65% of American’s do not have a dental plan of any kind. I don’t know whether this is due to the current economy, the rising cost of health insurance, or the common belief that dental plans are expensive. In any case, preventative maintenance for your teeth is vital. Take it from some one who after years of neglect now needs thousands of dollars of painful work done. Bi-yearly cleanings and early prevention are the key to saving money on dental care. There are some basic dental plans out there that are surprisingly inexpensive that can help you get the basic preventative dental care you need.

In summary: Being in the middle class is no easy task. With poverty always nipping at your heels and wealth so far out of reach, you need to be diligent and practical to survive. Comparing health insurance, ordering meds from presciption rx medication websites, looking into holistic health remedies, and preventative maintenance via an inexpensive dental plan are just a few ways to save money.

We all need to stand back and look at what we really need to get by right now. For most of us that means giving up the small luxuries we have come to forget we even have and saving every penny we can. I hope this article was helpful and to all you people out there just trying to survive, I wish you the very best of luck!