Archive for the ‘General Healthcare’ category

Getting Insurance: Tips for Uninsured Californians

September 11th, 2013

Perhaps you’ve never had it. Perhaps you just ended your policy. Perhaps you lost it and don’t think you can afford a new policy. No matter what your situation may be, you are not alone – millions of Californians are currently without health insurance, but the state is working on this issue to make health insurance more accessible.

What you should know is that your situation isn’t helpless. Affordable insurance is an option for nearly everyone in the state of California; it’s all a matter of shopping smart. If you’re in the market for health insurance – and no one should be going without doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, emergency care, and more – take these tips into consideration.

Seek Help First

Did you know that there are plenty of professionals from organizations such as the Patient Advocate Foundation that can assess your unique situation and provide you with advice that’s personalized for you? It’s never a bad idea to have someone with experience and knowledge to provide you with information about your options to ensure you end up with a policy that’s sufficient in terms of both coverage and affordability.

Begin the Search

After you’ve got the proper guidance, begin searching for health insurance. You could potentially go through your employer, but sometimes it’s more affordable to get your own policy. To see if this is the case in your situation, make use of a website that offers California health insurance quotes so you can do a coverage and cost comparison on policies from a number of different providers.

Consider your Kids

A lot of families think that since they don’t quite qualify for Medicaid, they won’t be able to afford getting health insurance for their children. This isn’t the case. Even in the event that you do make too much money to qualify, your kids might qualify for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or one of the many other government programs. Read about what it takes to qualify for SCHIP in the State of California.

Consider your Needs

If you’re affected by a specific disease, you probably spend more on average on healthcare costs than many other California residents. However, this also means that you could qualify for financial assistance. There are many charities and foundations that offer assistance to sufferers of specific diseases, such as Heart Support of America and Empowered Patient. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of one of these foundations if you find that your health insurance policy simply isn’t getting the job done.

Finding The Right Plan

May 16th, 2013

In California, there are many options when it comes to health insurance.  Many carriers are trying to sell you their insurance plans based on the strength of their network, coverage and affordable prices.  However, recently, it has been more and more difficult for consumers to find affordable health insurance plans.  This does not just apply to California health insurance plans, many people across the country are dealing with high price insurance options.  This is part of the main reason Obama passed the health care reform laws over three years ago.  His ultimate goal is to make health insurance more affordable for all Americans.

In 2014, no one can be denied health insurance, regardless of your pre-existing condition.  So this is a really good thing.  However, no one really knows the true impact that will have to prices.  Keeping the cost constant for a bit, then it will come down to coverage and carrier.  When shopping for individual health insurance in the near future, it will be important to understand everything you are getting when making a decision.  Research if your doctors are covered with the carrier.  Know what is the difference between out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.  Figure out which coinsurance limit will be best suited for you and your health history.  We will find out real soon how the health insurance industry will evolve because of the health care reform.

Health Care Changes In 2014

April 22nd, 2013

The major provisions from the health care reform are less than a year away.  The main one being that all Americans must have health insurance starting in 2014 or they will face a penalty.  The penalty will actually be in form of a tax.  If you do not have health insurance in 2014, then you will either pay $95 at the time of taxes or 1% of your income, which ever is higher.  For the majority of working Americans, they will face expensive penalties if they do not get health insurance.  In California, there are currently about 8 million uninsured.  So it is safe to assume that a large pool of people will be entering the insurance market in California.  However, it might not be as easy as it seems.  Meaning, it will actually cost a pretty penny to get health insurance.  Especially if you were one of those people that never needed it, are younger and did not want to pay monthly to have it.  Health insurance carriers are forecasting that individual premiums will increase 30% to 100% in 2014.  So, why will health reform make it more expensive to get health insurance?  Well, many of us are asking the same question.

In addition to the price increase, the plans will be redesigned as well.  There will be different levels of coverage options.  The goal is to simplify the options for consumers and also to make the benefits more rich in nature.  For people that are looking to get a subsidy from the government, that will also have its requirements.  First, you will have to apply for health insurance through the state exchanges that are scheduled to be operational by 2014.  Also, there is an income hurdle to qualify.  To get a subsidy, you can not make more than 400% of the poverty income level.  So that means that many of the 8 million Californians without coverage right now might not even qualify for a discount.  As we get closer to 2014, we will release more information about the changes coming about.

Health Care Reform Needs The Right Leaders

January 21st, 2013

As the exchange era approaches and the reform bills take affect, many are still wondering what the overall result will be.  As of late, many have seen there health insurance premiums double with no explanation.  Also, many are still without health insurance because it is still way too expensive.  It is estimated that there are still over 40 million Americans without health insurance today.  That number is obviously why President Obama is trying to overhaul the system with his laws that were passed over two years ago.  In California, there are currently over 8 million uninsured, one of the highest figures in the country.  So, how will the exchanges get these millions of Americans insurance?  How long will it take for everyone to get health insurance?  5 Years?  20 years?  Another question, will people simply pay the fees associated with not having insurance because that it is still much cheaper than actual health insurance premiums.

Many people who make $10 dollars an hour, trying to make a living, do not have and can’t afford to get health insurance.  America needs quality leaders to oversee the health care system and the implementation of it coming next year.  Most are predicting that the healthy will pay for the poor, just like the rich pay for the poor when it comes to government programs, etc.  Next year everything takes affect, we will find out soon.

Higher Health Insurance Premiums On The Way

January 7th, 2013

Obamacare has been at the forefront the last three years and has been one of the most important issues the Obama administration has handled in their term.  As Obama’s four year term is coming to an end and the new term is starting, many consumers are wondering why insurance premiums are continuing to rise.  Also, many are now questioning how it will all of sudden start to decrease starting in 2014.  Aetna, one of the largest insurers in the United States, says health insurance premiums may go up as much as 20 to 50 percent in 2014.  Blue Shield mentioned that some markets may even double by the time the health care reform really starts in 2014.  So why is this really happening?  Many critics of the health care reform saw this coming from a mile away.  This is because, starting in 2014, no one can be denied health insurance coverage.  Anyone can apply through the health insurance exchanges, or direct, and get approved for health insurance even if they have a pre-existing condition.

From a care standpoint, this is obviously a great thing because everyone should have access to care.  However, from a pocket book standpoint, everyone will pay the price.  The main reason for this is because the healthy will have to pay for the sick.  There are 8 million uninsured in California alone that might be entering the market starting in 2014 when its required to have health insurance.  The sick pool will need the most money to pay for their claims, and that will only come from the healthy.

The health care laws also state that the premiums can not vary too much based on age and that it will be a community rating.  This will probably benefit the older more than it will the younger.  Since the older population have higher health costs, the younger segment will pay for this difference.  So what do we do at this point?  Well, there actually is no easy answer to that.  We have to all hope that the reform rules and regulations will not effect the market as much as all these top insurance carriers do.

Why Health Insurance Premiums Will Increase In 2014

September 21st, 2012

President Obama passed the health care reform over two years ago.  The law has been debated for just as long and will continue to be.  The Supreme Court ruled to upheld the law and kept most of it intact.  The biggest part being debated was the individual mandate.  After all was said and done, everyone will be required to have health insurance starting in 2014.  Only with a few exceptions, most will have to purchase health insurance by that date or they will face a fine.  More importantly, there is no pre-existing clause.  Meaning, no one can be denied health insurance because of their current health status.  So, if someone has terminal cancer, they will still be able to get health insurance to help pay for medical bills.  Now, there are two ways to think about this.  Of course, it is a great thing that those that are sick will not be denied health insurance.  One of the leading causes of bankruptcy is unpaid health insurance bills.  However, this benefit does not come without its consequences.

So, if no one can be denied health insurance; then what will stop the problem of adverse selection.  Meaning, carriers will draw more sick people than anticipated and this will drive up the cost of insurance…..for the healthy people as well.  Here is an example, someone just found out that they have cancer and they do not have health insurance.  Once they hear the news, they go and purchase the gaurenteed insurance and start to use it.  One year later, the cancer is gone and now the individual cancels their insurance policy because they would rather pay the fine on a yearly basis then the high monthly premium costs.  This example shows that the cost of the medical services to treat the cancer (surgery, radiation, etc.) was probably in the millions, and the premium collected by the carrier was probably in the low thousands.  So the math does not add up.  Who will make up the difference?  The answer is the healthy people.  This is the problem we will face in 2014, and why health insurance premiums will continue to rise in the coming future.

Receiving Medical Care Without The Stress

September 13th, 2012

Many people today worry that they might not have the right insurance plan in place.  There are many moving parts and many things to know when you buy health insurance.  For instance, you must know the difference between things like deductible, out of pocket maximums, carriers, etc.  Many questions we get are about these benefits and what really is the difference.  Well, the answer is straight forward but not very easy to decide on.  Usually, the higher the deductible you choose, the less expensive the insurance plan will be.  That being said, the benefits are not as rich and it might cost you in your pocket book if you start to utilize medical services a lot.

Healthier people choose higher deductible plans because they obviously use the doctors less, so they will and can take the risk.  If you are approaching higher age brackets, it might make sense to choose a plan with a lower deductible.  Yes, this plan may be more expensive than the average plan, but you will save money in the long run if you start to use medical services.  The main thing is to know your health history and choose accordingly.  That way, when you do receive care you know that you have the right coverage in place.

Adding Maternity Coverage To Your Plan

September 5th, 2012

In California, all individual and family health insurance plans added maternity coverage starting in July.  That is great news for a lot of people.  This is because, before, many plans did not offer coverage and the ones that did were very expensive.  Additionally, many individuals would wait until they were expecting a child and then apply for coverage.  Health insurance carriers viewed this as a pre-existing condition and many would deny coverage to the applicant.

Now, because of the health care reform, maternity coverage is included on the health insurance plans.  And the coverage is good because it covers the doctor visits, ultra-scans, and hospital stays.  An interesting fact about hospitals stays though, is that some hospital charges will actually be accessed on the child.  So its important that you add the new born quickly to the plan.  In California, most carriers give you 10-30 days to add the child to the health insurance plan.

What Is Not Covered Under Health Insurance

August 15th, 2012

Individual health insurance plans are different than health insurance plans you might of had while working for a company.  Individual plans do not include all types of coverages so it is important to read the benefit details before choosing a plan.

For instance, many people do not know that maternity if not covered under most individual health insurance plans.  This is very important to know.  In fact, it is very difficult to add health insurance coverage after you find out your pregnant.  Many people want to try to get health insurance once they realize of the cost associated with the pregnancy.  Health insurance carriers
are well aware of these high costs and will usually decline coverage if you apply after the fact.

Other types of services usually not covered by health insurance are physical therapy, fertility treatment, cosmetic or elective surgery, weight control services and many other things.  It is extremely important to know what types of services you need based on your current health.  And also, to read the benefit details before making a final decision on the health insurance plan.

Adding Coverage For A Dependent

July 27th, 2012

If you are currently on a health insurance plan, there are options to expand your coverage for your family.  Many plans have great health insurance coverage for families.  For instance, if you want to add your new born child to your insurance, most carriers give you about 30 days to do so.  However, one important thing to note, it is usually more expensive to add a dependent then to insure yourself.

Family plans come in both PPO and HMO formats.  In the individual health insurance market, PPO plans are more popular and usually less expensive.  This gives the flexibility to the consumer to visit any doctor they choose and most likely have coverage for it.  One draw back of PPOs is that the benefits are usually less rich than HMOs.

Physical Inactivity Just As Deadly As Smoking

July 18th, 2012

A recent report suggests that about one-third of adults worldwide are not doing enough physical activity on a daily basis.  And this inactivity has lead to many illnesses and death.  The study actually shows that it accounts for over 5 million deaths per year.  The researchers are saying that the death toll is so high that the problem should be treated as a pandemic.

The study also showed that nations where people have higher incomes actually do exercise more.  This was forecasted by the researchers because these people have the means to do more physical activity.  Pedro Hallal, one of the lead researchers in the study, is hoping that the upcoming Olympics will help encourage people to do more physical activity on a daily basis.  If the government makes it a public health priority, then it will definitely improve the health of the adults around the world.

Deductibles Versus Out-Of-Pocket Maximum

July 12th, 2012

The deductible is the amount that must be met before the insurance company starts to cover expenses.  For many routine visits like seeing a doctor, the deductible is waived.  Meaning, make sure you check and see when your deductible will apply.  The out-of-pocket maximum is the most you will have to pay per year.  Once you meet this maximum, the plan covers 100% of all bills for the rest of the year.  This number resets every January so be careful.  It is important before you decide which health insurance plan is right for you, that you know the difference between these two benefits.  Sometimes a very high deductible only makes sense if you are on the healthier side because it can be quite costly if you start to use medical services.  The maximum is basically your cap for the year.  So if a catastrophic event happens, the out-of-pocket maximum amount will be the most you will be charged.  Each January that figure will reset.

Record Year For Whooping Cough

July 10th, 2012

The United States is on a record year, but not for the right reasons.  They are on pace for the most whooping cough cases than any other year.  Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial infection that causes a real deep cough in children.  It can be very serious if not treated right away.  It is called whooping cough because that is the noise children make after they finally catch there breath from so many coughs in a row.

This year so far, there has been over 16,000 cases of whooping cough.  Just to put it into perspective, the entire last year reported just over 15,000.  The highest ever reported and validated was in 2010 when over 27,000 cases were known.  This year, we are on pace for over 30,000 cases of whooping cough.  The best treatment is preventative.  Make sure all children get the proper shots when they are young so they can avoid this dangerous sickness.

Difference Between A PPO And HMO Plan

June 19th, 2012

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization.  These types of plans are one of the most affordable in the marketplace.  This is primarily because of the managed network structure that is in place.  Individuals who have this type of coverage have to designate a primary care physician, which will be the starting point for all medical services that might be needed through out the year.  HMO plans are  starting to become more expensive than PPO plans in the private insurance  market.  If having the flexibility of choosing your own doctor for all types of  medical services is preferred, than maybe a PPO plan is a better option for you.

PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization.  This is also another affordable individual health insurance plan that gives people access to all health care providers within the network.  Additionally, you can also go out of network and most plans will cover you for care as well.  This type of health insurance is flexible and affordable.  Additionally, PPO plans are becoming the cheaper alternative to HMO plans.  All the major carriers such as Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Aetna and Kaiser have many PPO plans to choose from.

How Office Visit Costs Can Alter Your Health Decisions

June 14th, 2012

Some plans in the marketplace do not offer the best health coverage when it comes to visiting the doctor.  In fact, many health insurance plans have limitations when you visit your doctor.  For instance, some health insurance plans give you a limit, for instance 3 visits per year.  Then after those three visits, you will pay usually 100 percent of the negotiated rate.  That is when it can become quite expensive to visit the doctor.  The health carriers primarily did this because many individuals were over utilizing their health insurance, and eventually that would drive up the cost of health insurance.

Another option that carriers offer is a percentage rate for office visits.  This can also be very expensive.  For instance, some plans have a 50 percent charge every time you visit the doctor.  Depending on how much your particular doctor charges, it can become very costly.  It is important to point out thought that these health insurance plans mentioned usually have lower health insurance premiums per month.  So it is a trade-off.  How much do you want to pay to have the coverage versus how much you want to pay when you actually want to use the coverage.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Insurance

June 11th, 2012

Many Americans currently do not have health insurance.  The main reason, of course, is because that it is very expensive to afford the monthly premium.  Additionally, each year these premiums tend to rise making it even more difficult to hold onto.  However, there are some ways to help fight this problem.  For one, know what type of insurance you need.  If are already a healthy person but want the insurance to prevent large financial loss, then a higher deductible plan would be best for you.  If you take on more of the risk as far as the deductible, the monthly premium will be lower and more affordable for you.  Also, if you are not particular about which doctor you want, then choosing a carrier with a smaller network will also lower your premium.

The health reform will also bring more changes as the law progresses.  Meaning, if the health insurance exchanges happen in 2014, that should also make health insurance more affordable for the consumer.  Another idea to lower your insurance premium is to choose plans with medication benefits only if you need them.  Prescription coverage is very expensive for a carrier, so only choose plans with that coverage if you truly need it.

Individual Plans Offer Maternity Coverage

June 8th, 2012

Before July of this year, many individual health insurance plans did not offer maternity coverage.  And if you picked a particular plan that had some type of maternity coverage, the coverage was limited and the plan was very expensive.  Now, the marketplace has changed a little bit.  Whether a direct result of the health reform or not, all carriers are offering plans that cover maternity and it is not at a hefty price.

Many individual health insurance plans have actually become more affordable while offering better benefits.  This is usually not the case in the individual health insurance market.  Usually when carriers offer better benefits for their health insurance plans, they usually charge you more per month.  Many are taking advantage of these great benefits, especially since there is uncertainty because the Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the health reform any day now.

Supreme Court Decision Drawing Near

June 4th, 2012

The health reform was passed well over two years ago and has not gone without debate.  Many parts of the reform have already been implemented and have had a positive impact.  For instance, the lifetime maximum was lifted so no one can be limited by the amount of medical services they can receive.  This is very important for those patients who are terminally ill and rely of medical services to keep them alive.  Also, the age was increased for dependents to be on their parents’ health insurance to age 26.  As the economy continues to struggle, many are relying on others to pay their health insurance premiums.

However, the most important part of the reform is still being debated, and that is whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional.  Starting in 2014, the reform says that everyone must have health insurance and they will face a penalty from the government.  The Supreme Court is ruling on this and the results will have a huge impact on health care and the economy as a whole.

Health Insurance In Texas Anyone?

May 23rd, 2012

There are over 30 million Americans currently without health insurance.  That is a very high figure and it is not seeming to get any better.  The health care reform passed over two years ago will help lower the number of uninsured because there will be a penalty otherwise.  Starting in 2014, all Americans are required to have health insurance, either through an employer, individual market, government program or Medicare.  Some states have a larger hill to climb than others.  In Texas, there is the most uninsured individuals than any other state.  Currently, over 6 million people in Texas do not have health insurance.  Additionally, about 12% of the population is on Medicare.

Also starting in 2014 is the health care exchanges.  Each state will have an online site where consumers can shop for affordable health insurance.  The theory and hope behind these exchanges is that is will drive up competition and then drive down the cost of health insurance.  The big issue here is that will these exchanges and health reform changes actually start to drive the cost of insurance higher.

Getting The Most From Your Drug Benefits

May 18th, 2012

What can of medications do you take every year?  Do you have a monthly or weekly need when it comes to prescription drugs?  Do you take more generic or brand medications?  These questions are very important to think about before you start researching individual health insurance plans.  Many plans offer prescription coverage, but some do not.  Also, it is important to research the plan details and especially the limitations, if any, on the drug coverage.

Carriers, to keep the monthly premium low, will offer plans with weaker drug benefits.  For instance, some individual health insurance plans will have large brand deductibles on their medication coverage.  Some are even as high as $7,500 for their brand deductible.  So this is essentially saying that you will have to pay for most of your brand drugs yourself.  Other plans have lower brand deductibles but will cost you more per month.

What Is Next For Health Insurance?

May 8th, 2012

Starting in 2014, many people will be forced to getting health insurance.  This is because of the health reform and the news rules that came out two years ago.  It is currently in the Supreme Court and they are ruling whether or not the health reform laws are constitutional.  The ruling should come out in June of this year and it will have a huge implication on the health care industry.  Currently, there are over 4 million people with no health insurance in California.  Many of these individuals will be searching for health insurance in the next two years.  As the economy continues to struggle, many are forced to buy individual coverage as the group insurance market is still weak.  Another concern though is the affordability of health insurance.  The monthly cost is still very high and many are wondering if they would rather be without insurance.  If your healthy, many will not need it because they won’t use it, and if your unhealthy chances are you will not be approved.

The health reform makes it that no one will be denied health insurance in 2014.  The health insurance exchanges in each state will make an online marketplace where people can shop for affordable individual health insurance.  It still remains to be seen how many will actually use this channel to get health insurance.

How To Save On Individual Health Insurance

May 7th, 2012

There are many different types of California health insurance plans in the marketplace.  Before you decide on which plan is right for you, here are some helpful tips to save you some money.

1) Comparison shop across all the health insurance plans

It is very important for you to shop the health insurance market to find the right plan and save  money.  There are literally hundreds of plans with different benefits for each.  Based on your affordability, see what plans make sense for your health history.  If you are a healthier person, maybe a higher deductible plan will be the right route for you.  Additionally, some health insurance carriers could be more
competitive from a pricing standpoint than others, and that can save you some
money in your wallet.

2) Choose a health insurance plan with a smaller network

If network size is not an important factor for you, then
maybe picking a health insurance plan with a smaller network might be your best
option.  This will instantly save you money because health insurance carriers
will always charge you a premium if the network is large.  Research to see if
your doctor is in the network you are choosing.

3) Increase your deductible on your health insurance plan

The easiest way to make your health
premiums go down and save you money is to increase your
deductible.  The deductible is the money you have to pay out of your own pocket
first before the insurance carrier will start paying benefits.  If you have a
higher deductible, you are taking on more risk so the carriers will give you a
break.  If you are a healthy person, consider choosing a plan with a higher
premium to save you some money on your health insurance.

4) Consider your health history and how old you are

Knowing your own health history is very important when
choosing a health insurance plan.  Health insurance plans have all different
kind of benefits.  For instance, if you do not have a history of taking
prescription drugs, then pick a plan with lower drug benefits and that will
lower your health insurance premium.  On the other hand, if you have certain
needs that you know will require rich benefits, then picking a plan with a
little bit higher monthly premium will save you money in the long run.

5) Ask your employer if they offer health insurance

For the most part, group insurance through your employer
will have lower monthly premiums.  This is also because employers are required
to contribute towards your health coverage and that will always save you money.
Additionally, group insurance plans usually have better benefits than individual
plans so that can also lead to savings in your pocket.

6) Consider HSAs to maximize your tax

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are great ways to spend your tax dollars
wisely.  These health insurance plans are meant for people who have recurring or
predictable health care needs. The dollars are put into an account that is tax
sheltered and you can pay down your medical bills using those dollars.

Learn About Medicare

May 4th, 2012

As baby boomers continue to retire, Medicare will play a vital role in their health care and the overall care of the U.S..  Once you reach the age of 65, you have the option of going on Medicare.  The government provides the insurance for those who qualify.  As you earned income throughout your life, some of your tax dollars has been going towards Medicare.  When you do turn 65, you can immediately enroll in Medicare.  However, if you do not enroll when you turn 65, then the only time to enroll in Medicare is during the annual enrollment period that is every December.  Some people, however, work for another company that offers health insurance and they choose to stay on that plan.  If that is the case, Medicare benefits may still help you.  If the company has over 20 employees then Medicare benefits will still be applied to most situations.

The Medicare benefits are mostly for hospitalization and basic services.  To further beef up your benefits, you can purchase additional insurance that will work with your Medicare coverage.  This additional insurance is sometimes known as supplemental insurance.  The additional insurance covers benefits such as prescription drugs and doctor visits.  Medicare is a much cheaper option to getting traditional insurance in the open market.

What Is Out-of-Pocket Maximum?

May 2nd, 2012

Each health insurance plans has unique benefits and some vary by what they give you.  Obviously, the more you are willing to spend in monthly premium the better your benefits tend to be.  Most individual health insurance are offered through the PPO channel.  Additionally, these benefits are driven by three major factors: deductible, prescription benefits and out of pocket maximum.  The deductible is the amount of money the member is responsible for before the insurance carrier will start to help with expenses.  Once you reach your deductible, you will be paying your coinsurance rate until you reach your out of pocket maximum.  This is an important number.  Because generally, it is your ceiling, basically your worst case scenario for the calendar year.  The lower the out of pocket maximum, the higher your monthly premium will be.  So you have to make a trade off and ask yourself how much you are willing to pay and what the probability is of the worst case scenario.

Most health insurance plans have a out of pocket maximum around $3,000 to $7,000.  It is important to know your health history before making this decision.  If your generally a healthier person, then maybe choosing a health insurance plan with a higher deductible and out of pocket maximum makes the most sense for you.  And also, will save you the most amount of money.

Saving On Health Insurance

April 30th, 2012

There are a few ways to save on individual health insurance.  For one, make sure you know what you need as far as medical services.  What I mean by that is, know your health history and also your current health.  Many people can save money if they know what is necessary and what benefits would be a waste of money.  For instance, prescription coverage is very costly for both the health insurance carrier and the consumer.  If you know that you do not have a history of taking medications, then choose a health insurance plan that does not have rich prescription coverage.

Also, if you are generally a healthier person, then selecting a health insurance plan with a higher deductible can also save you some money.  Why?  Because health insurance carriers will give you a discount if they know you have more skin in the game.  If you are responsible for more of the upfront bills, then they will try charge you less per month.