Now posing a dramatic and serious challenge for school districts across the country, health insurance is no longer a guaranteed financial benefit for teachers.
As the cost of health care escalates and school budgets stretch to their limits, today’s educators must either shoulder a heavier percentage of group health insurance premiums than ever before, or opt out of school-sponsored health insurance altogether.
If you’re a teacher searching for affordable alternatives, take heart; you do have options. Read on to find out why traditional group health insurance may be failing you…and just what you can do about it.
New medical technologies, the price of specialized and emergency care, and a booming pharmaceutical industry have pushed premium costs skyward. As hospital costs increase and drug companies develop new medications to fight the spread of sickness and disease, they pass those expenses along to the rest of us—teachers included.
But as one of the more traditionally low-paying and least recognized professions around, teachers’ resources are limited. This forces them to either:
- Surrender wage increases to keep health insurance costs at bay, or
- Pay a larger percentage of health care costs in exchange for meager cost of living increases
Either way, teachers are left at a distinct financial disadvantage—and often with no health insurance at all.
For teachers tired of supplementing group health insurance rates, individual or family health insurance may be just the needed solution.
Unlike group health plans, these types of policies are negotiable. That means you can work with an agent to get the coverage you need, rather than settling for what your state teachers’ association or local school district offers.
If you buy personal health insurance and subsequently leave your teaching job, change careers or retire, you take your policy with you. You face no coverage lapses, no additional waiting periods on preexisting conditions and you’re spared the need for COBRA continuation coverage.
Buying both health and life insurance from the same insurer also carries a discount you can’t get with a group health plan for teachers. Multi-policy discounts can help you maximize savings so your paycheck stretches further and your budget is more manageable.
What They Don’t Tell You
Though touted as the best way to save money on health insurance, group plans may or may not be right for you. But they’re definitely not a cure-all—and that’s an unpublished secret in the world of group health insurance.
If you’re a teacher, talk to a licensed health insurance agent to find out what type of health plan is right for you. That way, you can discover your options, examine them closely and make an informed decision….the right one for you.