There are many kids in New Brunswick that are not covered by any health insurance policy, or if they are included, it has very high deductibles with limited benefits. Your kids are among them because the cost of the insurance policy is too much for your income to cover or your company-sponsored coverage plan does not cover your kids. Don’t worry; there are insurance plans available that can provide affordable and even free medical and surgical services that are designed to supplement or meet every person’s insurance needs. You only need to do your research or ask a certified Moncton insurance agent to know what kind of is good for you and your kids.
Do you need any help with your insurance?
You might or might not know that your kids can be eligible to avail health insurance policies. Here are some of your options that may be available for them and your entire family.
Enroll your kids in public insurance plans
There are insurance plans that work together in each state to provide medical health insurance coverage for kids in low to middle-income families like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The government runs Medicaid with the help of both state and federal funding. Medicaid offers medical health coverage for families with little to no income. It includes parents and children, people with disabilities, pregnant women and senior citizens. Children that have Canadian citizenship even if their parents are not Canadians can also avail these insurance plans.
(Want to know more about how to enroll your kids in public insurance plans? Visit https://www.medicaid.gov/chip/index.html)
CHIP or Children’s Health Insurance Program is funded by the federal government, and the states are given the administrative power. CHIP provides health insurance coverage for Canadian kids age 18 and bellow, in working families, and their parent’s income meets the government’s requirement. CHIP is helpful for families whose income are too high to avail Medicaid, but still can’t afford health insurance. Chip rules depend on what state you are in. Some Chip covers pregnant women and parents and their immediate relatives like grandparents who raised their grandchildren. Each state has their name for CHIP and Medicaid programs for kids. Kid’s eligibility for government insurance plans is based on the family’s income. Once the kid is enrolled, they will give you a list of approved medical providers near your area who accepts CHIP or Medicaid patients. You need to make appointments for Medicaid or CHIP every time you need to see a doctor.
To know more about the list of approved medical providers in your area, visit https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health/healthprofessionals.html)
Find a private insurer
Kids from families with low to mid-level income can qualify for free to low-cost medical health insurance plan through Medicaid or CHIP. But there are other ways to get insurance for your kids using private insurers due to the enaction of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Today, there are a lot of privately-owned insurance companies offers affordable plans for low to mid-level income families. To know if your family can avail the insurance plan, you can visit any insurance marketplace at www.healthcare.gov. It is much easier to use the government website to get this kind of insurance and learn what programs are available near you. By filling out the application form, the site allows the people to compare the benefits of other plans and compare how much you will be paying for the premium.
(Click here to know more about Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)
Visit community health centers in your area
A government-funded health center is another option for families with a low to mid-level income to avail health insurance plan for their kids. You can bring your children to these health centers for their monthly checkups, treatment if they are sick, immunization, dental care, mental health care as well as to get prescription drugs. Parents can also avail their services including pregnant women and people with substance abuse conditions. Government-run health centers offer medical services on a sliding scale depending on the family’s income. Depending on the family’s situation, they can provide it free of charge. The centers can help people get health insurance plans, and they also accept insurance once you are enrolled. You can check DHHS or Department of Health for Human Services health center website and enter your zip code to find the nearest centers in your area. Some health centers are only open for specific days and limited hours, so make sure to check their website for schedules or call their office beforehand.
You can also visit the website of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics to find out where you can avail free or low-cost clinic services. Canada has more than 1,000 free clinics all over the country, which are manned by volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, therapists, technicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. You may also want to check the urgent-care centers, which are different from rural health centers, community health centers and free clinics. Urgent-care clinics are designed for families or people who need immediate medical care. These centers a little bit expensive and some of them don’t take specific insurance. So, make sure that you check with your insurance company before going to urgent-care clinics.
Talk money with your doctors
If your children don’t qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, needed medical services that are not covered by your medical insurance, or you already have a very high deductible, you can negotiate with your doctors to lower your cash-paying rate before availing the services. Cut a deal with them and don’t be shy to negotiate. Doctors deals with these kinds of situations. You can start by asking your doctors if they accept patients on a fee-for-service-basis? If you have a high deductible, you can consider yourself as a self-paying beneficiary until you can pay your deductible in full. And lastly, don’t be afraid to look for doctors who can give you services at the lowest price. If the doctor or specialist agrees to specific services for half the usual rate, they might be the one you are looking for. You also have to be prepared to negotiate with the insurance providers because each of them receives payment separately. If the procedure of your child requires anesthesia, make sure to talk with the anesthesiologists the doctors are working with. You also have to speak to the doctor and negotiate a cash-paying price for their services.