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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Health insurance for children

Health insurance is a major concern for every parent, and health insurance for children can be an even bigger concern. Children tend to be much bolder and adventurous than most adults, and very few children escape childhood without at least a couple of bruises and maybe even a broken bone or two. Knowing that your child has the health insurance he or she needs can put a parent's mind at ease at least a little bit.

Of course, most people in the country still get their health insurance through their employers, and health insurance for children is no exception. Most major employers offer health insurance that includes an option for health insurance for the children and families of their employees.

As health insurance costs continue to rise by double digits every year, however, many working families find themselves priced out of the health insurance market. Likewise, many employers, especially small businesses struggling just to make their payroll, have been forced to scale back their health care offerings or even to eliminate them entirely. This means that more and more children are finding themselves without the health insurance they need in an emergency.

Fortunately for parents, some state governments have stepped in to remove some of the burden from working families, and have created their own health insurance for children in their states. The financial and other requirements for these programs vary from state to state, so it is best to contact the health department in your state of residence to see if you qualify. The terms of these programs are often quite generous, and you may be eligible even if your employer offers health insurance but you cannot afford to buy it. Likewise, the income limits of these programs can be rather high, so you may qualify even if you think you make too much money.

If your employer does not offer health insurance, and if you do not qualify for a state or federal program offering health insurance for children, you can still purchase health insurance on your own. There are more and more insurance products tailored specifically to children and adults who do not have health insurance available where they work. These insurance policies can range from full major medical plans which provide coverage for routine doctor visits, immunizations and prescriptions to catastrophic coverage plans that carry a high deductible and are mainly used for emergencies or very costly illnesses or accidents. The premiums on these plans will vary with what is covered, with the high deductible catastrophic plans being the most affordable and the major medical plans generally being the most costly.

The type of health insurance for children that is right for each family will vary with family finances and their specific needs and circumstances. The most important decision, however, is the decision to purchase health insurance for your children and your family. Health insurance is truly a necessity in today's world. Trying to live without health insurance can put you and your family at risk for a financial catastrophe. Whether you go with a high deductible emergency insurance plan or a more comprehensive plan, making sure your children are covered is absolutely vital.


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