As expected, the Arizona State Legislature passed the governor’s proposed $8.9 billion spending plan last week, ending an Arizona health insurance program for 47,000 low income children. The measure also cut 310,000 adults from the state’s low-income health coverage in a vote that largely fell upon party lines.
According to the article that appeared in the Arizona Republic (Arizona budget passes; cuts total $1.1 billion, March 12, 2011), Republicans said the cuts were necessary to bring the state in line with sagging revenues. Other spending cuts were also recommended to close the state’s $2.6 billion deficit for 2011. But state Democrats were not in favor of the spending cuts, saying that Governor Brewer rushed through the budget and ignored available alternatives that might have kept low-income residents insured.
One of the scariest things about losing a job is enduring a period of time without health insurance coverage. Even if you are offered COBRA by a former employer, the cost is usually out of reach; so many Americans try to go without health insurance until they get another job. Unfortunately, illness can strike at any time, and it doesn’t take long for medical bills to become unmanageable. That’s why it is so important to purchase a temporary health insurance plan.
According to an article that appeared in the Arizona Republic (Feb. 2, 2011), the Arizona Senate Appropriations Committee has reviewed Governor Brewer’s proposal to make $1 billion in 2012 by eliminating state-funded Arizona health insurance coverage for about 280,000 Arizonans.
Republican lawmakers have long supported these proposed cuts to the state’s budget, saying that the bottom line is “people have to shoulder more responsibility for themselves…” (Sen. Rick Murphy, R-Peoria)
The commonly held belief, that health insurance for the self-employed has to be expensive, is not entirely true. Sure, if you are shopping for low co-pay/low-deductible plans, they can cost more than a group plan. But, there are some ways to make health insurance less expensive for the self-employed.
Below are three ways that Arizonans have been successful in getting affordable health insurance for the self-employed.
Pay your high deductibles with the money saved in a tax-deferred HSA. An HSA stands for Health Savings Account, and an Arizona health insurance broker can help you find a compatible health plan. With this type of plan, you contribute tax-deferred money to an interest-earning HSA account, which will issue you a debit card or checks just like a regular bank account. You then use the funds you save in the account to pay for high deductibles, co-pays or co-insurance, as well as other approved health-related expenses.
With the Arizona unemployment rate currently at 9.3%, health insurance brokers in the Grand Canyon state have spent a lot of time helping newly unemployed clients determine the best choice for their health insurance coverage – COBRA or temporary health insurance.
Are you recently unemployed and looking for an insurance policy that is affordable? It may seem easier to pay for COBRA, since it doesn’t require a change in policies, but this is usually the most expensive option.
There are some obvious differences between the two, but it is important to make an educated decision because the type of plan you choose could have a serious impact on your financial future. The best way to figure out which temporary health insurance plans will best meet your needs is to have an Arizona health insurance broker pull some quotes for you. Not only will this save an enormous amount of time and money, but a good broker will know enough about the plans to make sure you buy the right one.
Are you in between jobs, or waiting for a new health insurance policy to take effect? If so, then you may find yourself in the market for short-term Arizona health insurance policy. For many Arizonans, the prospect of buying an individual policy – even for a short time - may seem impossible; especially if you are living on a limited budget. But the truth is that most Arizona health insurance companies offer affordable options for temporary health insurance.
Larger companies like Assurant, United HealthCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona’s IHC offer an affordable temporary health plan. These AZ health plans can be paid for on a monthly basis and kept active for six to twelve months. Surprisingly, the rates for these plans are a lot lower than long term Arizona health insurance, and they can take effect on the same day the plan is purchased.
As a health insurance broker in Arizona, I am often asked how the recent Health Care Reform laws will affect the residents of this state and their ability to find affordable coverage. While the provisions of the law are long overdue, I like to remind people that the reform package is being enacted in “stages.” This means the whole law will not be in effect until the year 2014.
Some parts of Health Care reform are already in place, such as the law prohibiting insurers from denying children health insurance due to a pre-existing condition. Another portion of the law, which took effect in September, is the ability to keep a son or daughter on their parent’s health plan until they reach the age of 26. But the “meat” of the bill will take a few more years to be fully implemented.
There are currently 1.3 million Arizona residents without health insurance and over 280,000 who are self-insured. For these people, Health Care Reform will allow them to get affordable coverage through a more competitive “health insurance exchange.”
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