The Tree Planters State Nebraska is also called, is known for its agricultural production and beautiful scenery. With a cost of living below the national average, the state is a good place to thrive.
Health insurance in Nebraska is an important purchase. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) law requires residents in Nebraska to have health insurance. Health insurance secures you and your finances in times of health crisis.
How To Get Health Insurance In Nebraska
In Nebraska, there are various ways you can obtain health insurance. They include:
From Your Employer
Many employers in Nebraska provide health insurance for their workers as part of their benefits. But if you are self-employed, do not fret, there are still great options for you.
Directly From A Health Insurance Provider
You can buy health insurance plans directly from an insurance company in Nebraska. However, some companies prefer you to buy from an intermediary. An intermediary helps you pay for coverage and enrollment.
From Government Provided Programs
Medicaid and Medicare are health insurance programs provided by the government. They are the most affordable plans but not everyone is eligible to have them.
Government Healthcare Programs In Nebraska
Medicaid is the cheapest health insurance program for those who are eligible. It is accessible in Nebraska, requiring zero premiums.
This program was made for residents whose income is 138% below the federal poverty level. The low-income level is the only qualification for Medicaid in Nebraska.
This health insurance program is also provided by the government for individuals 65 years of age and above and people with disabilities or specific health conditions.
Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is not free in its entirety. You would be required to pay some amount for coverage but in all, Medicare is more affordable than private health insurance.
The premiums you pay on Medicare vary depending on the coverage you choose. Medicare coverage is composed of three parts:
This part is also called hospital insurance and it covers you for inpatient hospital stays, cares in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care. This part of Medicare is free and does not require a premium.
Part B is medical insurance. Unlike Part A it requires a monthly premium and the premium cost depends on your income. Typically, medical insurance provides coverage for outpatient visits, medical supplies, doctor’s services, and preventive services.
Also called prescription drug insurance, Part D covers prescription drugs including recommended drugs and preventive drugs. Premiums in this part depend on the plan you choose.
Factors That Affect Rates Of Premiums In Nebraska
As much as we are searching for great policies with low prices, it is good to know that some factors affect our premiums costs. Health insurance providers in Nebraska use these factors to determine the cost of your health insurance.
These factors can either lower or raise your premiums exponentially. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
This is a prime factor. Health insurance providers in Nebraska charge older people more on monthly premiums.
The reason is that it is believed that individuals are likely to fall sick or have more recurring health conditions as they age. How much you pay on health insurance in Nebraska is directly proportional to your age.
This is another factor to be noted. The area you live in Nebraska contributes to deciding how much your premium would cost.
Health insurance providers use a rating system to divide counties into different rating areas. These ratings are different and consequently, regions would have varying premium costs.
Smoking/ Tobacco Use
13.9% of residents in Nebraska are smokers. Health insurance companies charge smokers more compared to non-smokers. Smoking is damaging to health and has many side effects, some of which are diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, and so on.
Cutting costs on monthly premiums in Nebraska as a smoker would require you to quit the habit. This not only saves you on costs but also improves your health.
Body Mass Index
Individuals with a high body mass index tend to pay more for health insurance. Body mass index, BMI, is a measure of your weight to height and it’s used to calculate how much body fat you have and to determine if you are of healthy weight.
A high body mass is not healthy and increases the risk of having diseases like diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, certain types of cancer, and even depression.
As an individual in Nebraska and in general, being able to maintain a healthy BMI improves your health all around and also, in this case, saves you money on premiums.
Jobs or occupations come with their individual risks and hazards. Health insurance carriers weigh risks in determining your rates. Residents in Nebraska who have a higher degree of exposure to risks of either being sick or having accidents are charged more on health insurance.
Past Medical History
This is also important to health insurance providers when deciding your monthly premiums. Nebraska residents with a track record of suffering from diseases or pre-existing diseases are likely to pay more on health insurance. Generally, healthy individuals are charged the least on health insurance.
Some other factors that can affect your health insurance rates in Nebraska include the type of policy you choose, coinsurance features, and policy duration.
Private Health Insurance On The Nebraska Marketplace
Private health insurance companies in Nebraska use a metal tier system to categorize plans. These plans include catastrophic, expanded bronze, silver, and gold.
These tiers have varying premiums and coverages, out-of-pocket maximums, and deductibles. Below, we explain these tiers to help you get a better understanding of what they entail:
This plan/tier is the lowest tier available. It has the least monthly premiums but also the highest out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles. This plan is not available to everyone, only to those below the age of 30 and who have hardship exemptions.
An expanded Bronze plan provides better coverage than a Catastrophic plan.it also has a low premium and high out-of-pocket maxes.
This tier is cheaper than Silver and Gold plans in terms of monthly premiums and it’s best for young and healthy individuals who do not need medical care often.
Silver plans are moderate plans and are a good option for individuals with an average need for medical care. They provide a balance between the high premiums of gold plans and the high deductibles of the catastrophic and expanded bronze plans. Silver plans also qualify for cost-sharing reductions and premium task credits.
Gold plans are the most expensive when it comes to monthly premiums. They offer the most coverage and they have the least out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.
For individuals living in Nebraska needing a lot of medical care, have expensive prescriptions and so expect high expenses, the gold plans may be the most cost-effective plan available for you.
Most Affordable Health Insurance In Nebraska By County
Health insurance premiums vary depending on where you live in Nebraska.
The reason is Nebraska, like other states, has rating areas that are used by insurance carriers when calculating health insurance premiums. There are 93 counties in Nebraska and they are divided into four rating areas.
The most affordable Silver plan in Douglas County, which is the most populous county in Nebraska, is Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay offered by Medica. It costs $543 per month on average.
Most Affordable Health Insurance In Nebraska With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
Young adults in Nebraska with limited medical expenses can opt for low-cost plans with high out-of-pocket maxes. This type of plan allows you to pay low monthly premiums, but you will incur high medical expenses in an emergency.
The most affordable health insurance with the highest out-of-pocket maximums for a 26-year-old is Medica with CHI Health Catastrophic. It costs $221 monthly on average.
Most Affordable Health Insurance In Nebraska With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
If you expect high medical costs, opting for a plan with low out-of-pocket maximums would be ideal for you. Although these plans have high monthly premiums they also have a wider coverage.
The most affordable health insurance plan for a 40-year-old in Nebraska with a low out-of-pocket maximum is Medica with CHI Health Bronze HAS provided by Medica and it costs $417 per month on average.
Most Affordable EPO Health Insurance Plan In Nebraska
Needs and preferences should be kept in mind when purchasing a health insurance plan. The only type of plan available in Nebraska is the EPO, Exclusive Provider Organization plan.
This plan type is relatively cheap but it requires you to stay within your provider network, except in the event of an emergency, and with EPO, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist.
The most affordable Expanded Bronze health insurance plan for a 40-year-old in Nebraska is Medica with CHI Health Silver Copay provided by Medica which costs an average of $417 per month.