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Tips On Buying Private Health Insurance

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Buying Private Health Insurance - Daily Insurance News

Some things About Private Health Insurance:

  • Private health insurance in the United States is expensive.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, health insurance is more important than ever.

Let’s face it, buying private health insurance here in the USA is an expensive prospect. With costs for individuals exceeding $400 or $500 every single month, it can seem like a financial impossibility for some folks. But, health insurance is always important, especially during a pandemic.

If your employer doesn’t offer you health insurance as part of an employee program, you may be looking at buying health insurance through a private insurance company. Let’s look at some tips to keep in mind when you’re shopping for private health insurance.

Buying Private Health Insurance

Some Americans get health insurance through Medicare (over 65), Medicaid (low income), or a group health insurance plan through their employer. Both Medicare and Medicare are government-run programs and carry some restrictions. You cannot purchase private health insurance from State or Federal governments.

If you can’t purchase private insurance from the state or federal government and your employer doesn’t offer employer-sponsored plans, you may be looking at private insurance for you and your family.

Circumstances When You Could Need Private Health Insurance

Health insurance is important and some scenarios make it more likely you’ll need to purchase a plan on your own.

Unemployed Individuals

If you lose your job, you could be eligible to maintain health coverage through your employer’s plan through the COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). This program allows employees who are eligible (and their dependents) to continue the health coverage despite losing your job or having your hours reduced.

COBRA can be maintained up to 36 months (in some cases) but the costs are very high. This is because the formerly employed individual pays the entire cost of the insurance plan. Usually, the employer pays a portion of this cost to help support their employees but it is not required.

Young Adults 26 Years of Age or Older

Under certain aspects of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), young adults can be covered as dependents on their parents’ health insurance plans, up to the age of 26 years old. After that, the individual must find their own health insurance policy.

Self-Employed Individuals

Because self-employed individuals are not part of a company that offers a health insurance plan, they are usually on their own to purchase health insurance. But, if they are married and their spouse’s plan allows they can get health insurance through their spouse’s plan. If they are unmarried or their spouse’s plan doesn’t allow them to add dependents, they will have to find their own private insurance.

Part-Time Employees

Employees who work part-time are rarely provided health insurance by their employer. You’ll usually have to buy your own private insurance but may qualify for government assistance, so be sure to check.

Business Owners with Employees

If you are a business owner with employees you may be required to offer an employee health insurance plan. If it is not required you may still want to do so to create a healthy work environment and to keep your staff cared for, but this would be your call. You will want to look into a group plan where you can pool yourself and your employees into a group health insurance plan.

You or Your Spouse/Parent Retire

Retiring can change your health insurance landscape as well. When you retire you’ll likely not be able to keep your employer-based plan or if you do you’ll be paying all or the majority of it. If you’re over 65 you can get Medicare through the federal government but if you’re under 65 you may have to purchase your own health insurance. Many retirees choose to buy Medicare Advantage or Medigap plans on top of Medicare.

Keep in mind that Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap are only available to individuals. You cannot add your spouse as a dependent with these federal insurance programs. So, if your family was insured through your employer plan and you’ve retired, they’ll need to enroll in an individual health insurance plan.

Should Your Purchase Health Insurance?

If you are currently without health insurance coverage you’ll want to look into getting some (especially during a global pandemic). You may be able to qualify for government programs like Medicaid but if you make too much money you’ll have to look to the private marketplace.

Why should you purchase health insurance? It’s very simple. The cost for medical care in the United States is the highest on earth. If you don’t have health insurance you could be expected to pay upwards of $10,000 for simple things like an ER visit for a fractured arm. Simple immunizations are hundreds of dollars and a standard checkup is hundreds of dollars without health insurance. No matter what you think about the current state of the medical system in the United States, the fact is that it is the way it is and it will not change overnight.

So the number one reason to carry health insurance here in the USA is the ridiculously high cost of medical care without it. Individuals and families have gone bankrupt to get medical care without health insurance. Or worse they’ve just not gone to the doctor when they needed to and that unto itself increases the overall costs to medical care as things only get work when you push them off not better.

No one can predict the future and accidents happen. Being protected financially while at the same time making sure you get quality medical care is what health insurance does.

Verdict: YES. Costs for medical care with no insurance are scary and not affordable.

What Will Private Health Insurance Cost Me?

Lots of folks are scared about buying private insurance compared to enrolling in an employer plan, but it may be more affordable than you think. Determining how much health insurance will cost for you will depend on a few different things:

  • type of coverage
  • coverage levels
  • number of dependents
  • where you live
  • deductible vs. monthly premium
  • prescription drug coverage?
  • do you have any pre-existing conditions?
  • income level
  • do you need pregnancy benefits?
  • do you want to add vision and dental?
  • are specialty services covered?

So, there is no standard answer to this as every person is different and every family is different. Every individual can have a different monthly premium based on the specifics of the plan they are choosing. With no assistance though it is usually over a few hundred dollars (depending on where you live).

Where to find Health Insurance

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Where to Enroll for Medicare

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