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Limited benefit plans are a relatively new health insurance offering, geared for a modern breed of workers. These employees tend to work for retail and fast food giants. Some work full-time, while others work on a part-time basis. As many of these hard-working individuals make minimum wage or just slightly more, they cannot afford comprehensive insurance for themselves or their families. The limited benefit plan is one option for low-income workers that just makes sense.
Limited benefit plans, also known as bare bones, mandate-free, or flexible benefit plans (to name a few) offer only basic coverage. Many states allow insurers to do away with state mandated requirements in order to offer a plan that low-income workers can afford. While this may mean going without free mammograms or prostrate screenings, it is good for those who simply want to guarantee treatment should they become ill or injured, so they can return to work sooner. Limited benefit plans cost as little as $10/week, so almost everyone can afford the cost. In the past two years alone, there has been a twenty percent increase in enrollment per year, which only shows that some coverage is better than none, especially if it is offered at a budget-conscious cost.
As with any other medical plan, limited benefit plans have their downsides. In addition to the weekly cost, many plans require a deductible of $150 or more per person, and there can sometimes be a waiting period for care and an imposed pre-existing condition clause. In addition, there is a $1,000 per year cap on payment, which can leave workers in a bind if they require intensive treatment. However, the majority of those covered by limited benefit plans find that $1,000 can pay for many doctor visits.
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