Few states boast such independent-minded and self-reliant residents as South Dakota. No doubt, this culture of self-reliance helps explain why the state has enjoyed a lower percentage of residents who are without health insurance. Yet, more and more people are feeling the pinch and the pain of rising health care costs. These costs are not going to slow down, though there are a growing number of resources for residents to use to combat these rising costs and continue to find an affordable South Dakota health insurance quote. After all, nobody should have to worry about bills and 12-page forms while the health of their loved one hangs in the balance. Nobody should receive a diagnosis that dooms them to personal bankruptcy as much as failing health. Here's what you need to know about health insurance in South Dakota to protect your household from calamitous injuries and illnesses.
South Dakota Health Insurance Quotes: Employer and Individual Markets
Many states are suffering from high levels of unemployment that have forced thousands of former workers into the individual market. Not so with South Dakota, which hasn't seen an unemployment rate above 5.0% since 1983. Of course, with a markedly lower percentage of business firms who offer health coverage (not unexpected for a state with a robust agricultural industry), employer-based, South Dakota health insurance is not available to everybody. But this is where the residents' self-reliance shows up again. Just behind North Dakota, the state has the second highest percentage of residents who obtain health insurance on the individual market, according to 2008 data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This high percentage of individual market health coverage occurs despite the fact that the state does not guarantee access to this market. Thus, health insurance companies see a sizable customer base and no obligation to insure the riskiest individuals, leading to more affordable policies for many residents.
The South Dakota Health Insurance Risk Pool
Although the state provides few guarantees for consumers on the individual market, it doesn't leave these individuals stranded with no options for health coverage. That said, you can't let your health coverage lapse indefinitely, waiting for an illness to occur, then jump into this risk pool once a diagnosis is made. Moreover, you should realize that guaranteed access doesn't guarantee affordability, and these high risk insurance pools can be quite expensive, even when subsidized. Meanwhile, it's yet to be seen exactly how federal health care reform will affect the administration of this risk pool and other state health insurance programs. But for a preliminary assessment of how reform is expected to impact health insurance in South Dakota, use this governmental resource.
Choosing a South Dakota Health Insurance Quote
We're not going to try to pretend that choosing a South Dakota health insurance quote is easy. High premiums price many people out of the flexibility and security and low-deductible indemnity health insurance plans. Even top-tier managed care health plans are out of the reach of many state residents. Yet, high deductibles, co-pays, capped benefits, and exclusions for certain injuries and illnesses can create escalating out-of-pocket costs that can lead to personal bankruptcy or other financial hardships.
While choosing a health insurance policy is just as difficult as ever, the best place to shop for quotes is quickly and universally becoming a reliable online referral service, like NetQuote. In just minutes, you can submit a request for quotes and begin to hear offers from a variety of licensed insurance companies. Shopping online reduces overhead costs for the insurer which must, to a large extent, be passed on to consumers to achieve competitive pricing. The convenience and confidence that comes from making decisions from the comfort of your own home combined with this comparison-shopping and direct competition has become its own kind of free market health insurance reform. And with zero downside, there's no absolutely reason to delay your search, even if choosing a policy and paying for it takes some time to budget accordingly.