Private Health Insurance
If your employer does not provide you with health insurance as part of an employee benefits program, you may be looking at buying your own health insurance through a private health insurance company. When your employer provides you with a choice to enroll in an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, they will basically cover part of your insurance premiums.
A premium is the amount of money a person or business pays to an insurance company; health insurance premiums are usually paid monthly. If you want to insure yourself, you will be paying for the entire cost of the premiums. As a result of this, it is common to be concerned about how much it will cost to buy health insurance for yourself. However, there are different types of private insurance options and different available prices, depending on the level of coverage you need.
When buying your insurance, the process is more complicated than simply choosing a company plan, and having the premium payments come straight out of your paycheck every month. The following are some tips to help guide you through the process of buying your health insurance.
How Purchasing Private Health Insurance Works
Some Americans gain insurance by joining in a group health insurance plan through their employers. Medicare and Medicaid also offer health care coverage to some residents in the United States.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals who are 65 or older. Certain young people with disabilities and persons with end-stage renal disease may also be eligible for Medicare. Medicaid is a public assistance healthcare plan for low-income Americans irrespective of their age.
You cannot buy private health insurance directly from the state or federal government. If your company does not provide an employer-sponsored plan, and if you are not qualified for Medicare or Medicaid, individuals and families can choose to buy insurance policies from private insurance companies or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Why You Should Buy Health Insurance
If you find yourself in one of the above circumstances and lack health insurance coverage, it’s vital to enroll in an individual plan as soon as possible. From the 2019 plan year, there is no longer a fine for not having health insurance.
For plan years through 2018, if you opt not to purchase health insurance, you could face a fee when you filed your federal taxes. This fee was known as the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment, but it is no longer effective.
Although you will not be charged a fee, you cannot predict when an accident will happen that will need medical attention. Even a small broken bone can have negative financial implications if you’re uninsured. Without private health insurance, medical care can be prohibitively expensive.
If you buy insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be qualified for income-based premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a platform that provides insurance plans to people, small businesses, or families.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 established the marketplace as a way of achieving maximum compliance with the mandate that all residents be enrolled in health insurance. Many states provide their markets, while the federal government manages an exchange open to other states’ residents.
While you may not afford the same type of plan an employer would offer you, any amount of coverage is more beneficial than being uninsured. In case of a major accident or the unfortunate onset of a chronic illness, you will be better prepared.
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