Now posing a dramatic and serious challenge for school districts
across the country, health insurance for teachers is no longer a
guaranteed financial benefit.
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
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
- 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
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
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not a cure-all—and that's an unpublished secret in the world of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.
Before you just accept teachers' health insurance at face value,
talk to a licensed health insurance agent. That way, you can
discover your options, examine them closely and make an informed
decision….the right one for you.