Since you are reading this, I will assume you do not have a group medical plan through an employer. Employer based group health plans are one of the most common ways for workers to access affordable major medical. Part of the reason it is affordable is because employers will usually contribute a large portion of the premium for their employees.
This also brings us to one solution for you if you lack coverage. Consider finding a job that offers group health. This of course, is not possible for everybody. But it is one solution to the problem.
Consider Individual Health Insurance
There are dozens of major medical insurance companies in most markets. They offer private health plans for individuals and families. Of course, some of these are quite expensive. But there are also bare bones plans with high deductibles, that may be enough to protect you in case of a serious health issue, that can be quite affordable.
These plans may not cover every doctor's visit or minor illness. But think about why you want to pay a monthly premium for a major medical plan. It is not to cover every small thing, but to protect you in case of a major injury or illness. Besides, when you have insurance, you will find that most companies allow you to use their negotiated prices for services. This is true for services you do not pay for.
So you will find that your doctor visits or tests will be cheaper if you have insurance than if you lack it. This may seem unfair, but it is usually true. These rate cuts are substantial too.
Consider Low Income Alternatives
The federal and state governments cooperate in providing Medicaid to very low income people. You can find out more by searching on the web for Medicaid in your state.
They also cooperate to provide CHIPS (Children's Health Insurance Program) for people with low to modest incomes. If you stil make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to get your chidren covered with CHIPS. CHIPS also covers pregnant women. It is tough to find private plans that cover maternity. Again, you should be able to find information on these programs in your state.
Many counties also have hospital systems that provide sliding free health plans for residents. This can be a good alternative for those who make too much money for Medicaid, but still can not afford or qualify for private plans.
You may also find private foundations or low income clinics in your area. The PPARX.org website is a good place to search for these because it has a handy zip code search.
How To Find Health Insurance Options
It used to be tough to compare major medical plans. These days, it has become so much simpler because of online information. You can find handy health insurance quote forms for private plans. You can also find foundation or public websites with information about your other options. The important thing is to find out how you can care for your health before you need to!