Affordable Health Insurance in San Francisco: Is It Possible?

Individual and Family

Affordable Health Insurance in San Francisco: Is It Possible?

Published on July 26, 2018


According to a recent study released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the definition of low income in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin county is set at $117,400 a year for a household of four.
Although these specific guidelines are set to decide who qualifies for Section 8 subsidized housing, they still say something about general affordability in the Bay.
So with the cost of living remaining so high in the Bay Area, where can you save on costs?

Find affordable health insurance options

One way to cut down on your costs in an area where making less than $117,400 is considered low-income, is by finding ways to save elsewhere. Health insurance is one place in your budget where you might have the chance to do this. If you shop around for different plans, and open yourself up to affordable health insurance alternatives—you might find that health insurance doesn’t have to be a part of that high cost of living you’ve come to expect in an area with such high expenses.
Although health insurance prices in the individual and family market have been rising over the past few years, there are still plenty of ways to make sure that you’re finding a good deal when it comes to health insurance, whether it’s through simply shopping smart, qualifying for subsidies, or opting for an alternative health insurance product.

Affordable health insurance: Major medical plans

When you think about “typical”, you’re probably thinking about major medical health insurance plans or Obamacare plans. These types of coverage usually include an extensive collection of covered benefits and costs like a premium, deductible, and coinsurance.
The issue with these fully loaded plans is that they might be quite unaffordable if you don’t qualify for Obamacare subsidies. Keep in mind that the guidelines for who gets Obamacare subsidies are based on the federal poverty level (FPL), which is a lot different than what income results in poverty in an expensive area such as yours.
If you don’t qualify for subsidies and you don’t need the extensive benefits of major medical or Obamacare plans, then you may want something with less coverage but more affordability. Luckily—you have options.

Affordable health insurance alternatives

When it comes to health insurance, certain costs and trends make headlines: Obamacare, health insurance subsidies, essential health benefits. But what you might not have heard of are all of the alternative insurance products you can buy for coverage when you don’t need all the benefits.
Some of the alternative, and often more affordable, health insurance products include:

  • Short term health insurance
  • Medical indemnity insurance
  • Accident and critical illness insurance

If you want to learn more about these types of affordable health insurance products, you can read about how they work and you can look for plans in your area on
It’s important to keep in mind that these products are not the same as Obamacare plans or major medical insurance, as they don’t cover the minimum essential benefits.  Although certain insurance products only cover a limited set of health benefits, these plans are still alluring for many individuals buying their own health coverage, due to the price point.
This article is for general information and may not be updated after publication.

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