The topic of buying private health insurance has become important because of how expensive health insurance can be to a person’s monthly budget. It is important to state here that since 2014, it has been mandated that in the United States to have at least a basic level of insurance coverage. Thus knowing the most thorough and cost-effective coverage option for your family although difficult, may be important, if you want to avoid getting caught short in times when you need medical help.
How Does Buying Private Health Insurance Work?
There is more than one option when it comes to buying private health insurance here let’s see how it works:
Group Health Insurance
Some Americans can gain insurance if they enroll in a group health insurance plan via their employers. Apart from group health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare also offer health care coverage to a population of Americans.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that is designed for people who are 65 or older. It also covers certain young people with disabilities as well as people with end-stage renal disease.
Medicaid is a public assistance healthcare program, designed for low-income Americans irrespective of their age.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Private health insurance cannot be purchased directly from the state or federal government. In case your company does not offer an employer-sponsored plan, and you are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, as an individual or a family, you have the option of purchasing insurance policies from private insurance companies or via the Health Insurance Marketplace.
When You Might Need Private Health Insurance
There are circumstances that would necessitate you to purchase your own health insurance plan.
If you are Unemployed
If you happen to lose your job, you may be eligible to maintain coverage through your employer’s health insurance plan via a program known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). With COBRA, eligible employees and their dependents, have the option of continuing health insurance coverage when an employee loses their job or experiences a reduction of work hours.
COBRA through coverage can be maintained up to 36 months (under certain circumstances). However, the cost of enrolling in COBRA is quite high because the employee pays the entire cost of the insurance. In a typical situation, employers pay a portion of healthcare premiums on behalf of their employees.
As a Young Adult 26 Years or Older
Under the provisions of the Affordable Care ACT (ACA), parents’ health insurance can cover young people as dependents with their policy until they turn 26 years of age. Thereafter, they have to seek their own insurance policy.
As a Part-Time Employee
Since Part-time jobs rarely offer health benefits, if you work part-time, you will have to enroll in your own health insurance.
If you are Self Employed
As a self-employed person, you may be eligible for health insurance if you are married, which means you can be insured through your spouse’s plan. Otherwise, you must seek your own health insurance.
A Business Owner with Employees
If you are a business owner with employees, you may be required to offer them health insurance. Even if it is not required and you decide to offer them one, you will have to purchase a business health insurance plan, which is also known as a group plan.
If you are Dropped by Your Existing Insurer
Even though (ACA) prevents insurers from canceling your coverage or denying you coverage because of a pre-existing condition or because you made a mistake on your application, there are other circumstances when your coverage may be canceled. Your insurance may just be too expensive for you to afford.
Best Insurance Plans for You
There are several kinds of health insurance plans that you can choose from. They include:
- Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
- Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
- Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
- High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
- Consumer-Driven Health Plan (CHDP)
- Point-of-Service (POS) Plan
- Short-Term Insurance Policy
- Catastrophic Coverage
What is the Cost of Buying Private Health Insurance?
At times purchasing your own insurance can be more affordable than employer-sponsored plans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, if you are to purchase your own insurance outside of an employer-sponsored plan, the average cost of individual health insurance may be about $440. For families, the average monthly premium stood at $1,168.
Also, if you finally purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for a Cost-Sharing Reduction subsidy and Advanced Premium Tax Credits. These can lower considerably, the amount you are to pay for premiums, and also lower your deductible, as well as any co-payments and co-insurance you are responsible for.
Where Can You Buy Private Health Insurance?
There are several options when it comes to where you can buy private health insurance. They include:
- Private Health Insurance Companies