With a high unemployment rate that has outpaced even the high rate of joblessness nationwide, many state residents are looking for health insurance separate from their jobs for the first time in their entire lives. Others continue a years-long struggle to find coverage that's affordable for them. If you're looking for a health insurance quote in North Carolina, new tools have arrived to help you shop, find, and buy health insurance. This article helps you understand use these tools: From state programs to ongoing health care reform benefits to shopping online for cheaper, reliable quotes, here's what you need to know to find an affordable health insurance quote in North Carolina.
North Carolina Health Insurance Information
North Carolina health insurance is remarkably similar to national trends in a number of categories. The rate of uninsured residents, health care costs, and even the health rates for cancer, heart disease, and obesity all approximate national figures, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Moreover, areas of discrepancy often balance themselves out: Compared to the rest of the nation, North Carolina spends a little less on health spending per capita, but state health costs are also rising at a slightly faster rate. Likewise, North Carolina employers contribute slightly more for the cost of single-employee plans but slightly less to family employee plans, compared to the rest of the country.
What does this mean for North Carolina health insurance consumers? Well, like the country as a whole, health insurance in North Carolina is suffering from languishing coverage rates and high costs on the small group and individual health insurance markets. As this governmental resource points out, 73 percent of North Carolina businesses are small firms, but only 38 percent of them offered health benefits in 2008. Presumably, the generous tax credit for small businesses in the health care reform legislation will help shore up this coverage gap. In the meantime, if you're self-employed as an independent contractor, you probably qualify for "group of one" health plans that afford the same benefits to group plans to individuals. North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that allow for these "group of one" plans.
Individual Health Insurance in North Carolina
If you must shop for North Carolina health insurance on the individual market, there are a number of strategies you can employ to find coverage without breaking your budget. Low-premium, high-deductible plans --either as standalone coverage or as part of a health savings account --is often the solution for healthy, nonelderly adults. If, on the other hand, you have a pre-existing condition but don't want to wait for health care reform to put an end to this practice, the state has established high-risk insurance pools to help you find coverage. Simply having the wisdom to know that health insurance is a wise purchase and having the gumption to look for online quotes is enough, as individual health insurance plans are often not as bad or as expensive as people fear.
Find a Reliable, Affordable North Carolina Health Insurance Quote
Online referral services, like NetQuote, offer a number of advantages when shopping for a North Carolina health insurance quote. For one, you can trust that the health insurance companies which respond to your online request are licensed with the state. Like any state, there have been a number of health insurance scams in North Carolina over the years from bogus companies claiming to offer low-cost health insurance. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is as this consumer alert from the North Carolina Division of Insurance points out.
Finding an online North Carolina health insurance quote is also a great way to help tamp down costs. Beyond reducing overhead for insurance companies and premium rates for consumers, shopping online also 1) heightens the sense of competition amongst insurers by letting them know you'll be talking to multiple companies, 2) gives you access to consumer information in the form of customer sales reps, and 3) allows you to review polices and make purchasing decisions from the comfort of your own home. It takes but a handful of minutes to get matched to the insurance companies that best meet your health insurance needs.