What is Private Health Insurance
The term “private health insurance” typically refers to any health insurance coverage that is not provided by a state or federal government. Instead, private health insurance is offered by private health insurance companies like an insurance company or broker.
There are many private health insurance choices available. This can consist of:
- Federal or state marketplace programs
- Health insurance provided via an employer (like a group health plan)
- Private health insurance plans provided by licensed brokers or agents
Some private health insurance plans have advantages that meet the Affordable Care Act’s minimum essential coverage requirements. Other forms of individual health insurance options, like short-term plans and catastrophic coverage, may provide different benefits, but may not count as a qualified health plan under the Affordable Care Act.
Please note that not all health insurance plans offered outside of the government marketplace count as qualifying health coverage. Until 2018, you would have faced a tax penalty for not meeting the ACA requirements if this was the only coverage you had. Nevertheless, starting with the 2019 plan year, if you’re enrolled in a plan that doesn’t meet minimum essential coverage standards, you will no longer face a penalty.
Public Health Insurance
Now that we have defined private health insurance, you may be wondering how public health insurance functions. Presently, there are only a few limited options for public health insurance in the US. These comprise:
- Medicare, a federal program for individuals aged over 65 and certain disabled persons.
- Medicaid, a state-run public health insurance plan for low-income persons.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a subset of Medicaid, which provides subsidized low- or no-cost health insurance for children.
There are currently no other best health insurance choices for individuals who aren’t eligible for these government programs based on income or other criteria. Instead, people can get the coverage they require through private health insurance providers.
Where Can I Buy Private Health Insurance?
For those looking for cheap health insurance, there are a few choices. If you do not have coverage through your employer or are self-employed, you might get private health insurance via the federal marketplace or your state’s marketplace. Employer-sponsored programs and all marketplace plans are required to include certain essential health benefits, like preventive care, mental health services, and maternity care.
ACA-compliant coverage is also available through licensed health insurance brokers such as eHealth. eHealth also offers other options that may provide more flexibility for those looking for coverage over a short period or in specific situations.
What Type of Private Insurance Coverage is Best for Me?
While every individual’s situation is different, here are some things to consider as you explore coverage choices.
One advantage of private health insurance is that certain kinds of coverage may be available at any time of the year, instead of only during open enrollment periods. Marketplace plans are basically only available during Open Enrollment unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. In case you do not have coverage and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, some types of private health insurance (like short-term plans) may aid bridge the gap in the meantime.
If you decide to get insurance through a broker, like eHealth, costs for coverage may be different — and possibly lower — than plans offered through the marketplace. Plan types and availability may differ by location as well.
When searching for coverage, it’s crucial to consider all of your private health insurance options. A licensed insurance agent can assist you find a policy that provides what you need at a price that makes sense for your particular situations. If you have questions, feel free to contact us today to explore coverage options that might fit your situation.
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