Choosing an insurance plan that meets your needs can be overwhelming. The first step is to understand the difference between public and private health insurance. which one is right for you?
In general, most Americans are enrolled in a private health insurance plan, according to the us. uu. census office. the rest may be covered through a public or government program like medicaid or medicare. Employer-based coverage remains the most common, followed by 19% of Americans on Medicaid and 17% on Medicare.
explaining private health insurance
Private health insurance refers to any health insurance coverage offered by a private entity rather than by a state or federal government. insurance brokers and companies fall into this category.
You have many options for signing up for a private plan, including:
- licensed agents, such as ehealth
- health insurance offered through an employer (such as a group health plan)
- federal or state marketplace plans
Some private health insurance plans offer benefits that meet the minimum essential coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). other plans may offer different benefits, such as short-term or catastrophic coverage. These plans may not count as private health insurance options, such as short-term plans and catastrophic coverage, they may offer different benefits, but may not count as a qualified health plan under the Affordable Care Act.
Until 2018, you may have had to pay a tax penalty if you had a plan that didn’t count as qualifying coverage. as of 2019, that penalty no longer exists.
public or private health insurance?
Public health insurance is an option for some Americans and includes these options:
- Medicare, a federal program for adults 65 and older and certain disabled people.
- Medicaid, a state-run public health insurance program for low-income people.
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a subset of Medicaid, which offers low-cost or no-cost subsidized health insurance for children.
One difference between public and private health insurance is eligibility. Qualifying criteria for public health insurance options include age and income. if you don’t qualify, you can get private health insurance, and ehealth can help! We offer specialized brokers to help you find plans in any state, as well as a wide range of plans and a variety of services to help you manage your health care coverage.
types of private insurance
Another difference between public and private insurance is the various types of private insurance plans available.
- enroll in a group plan through an employer
- select your own private plan through authorized agents in ehealth
- choose a plan through the state marketplace or federal</li
- enroll in catastrophic coverage if you qualify
- choose short-term coverage if between plans
what is catastrophic coverage?
If you’re young and healthy, you may want to consider catastrophic insurance instead of a qualified plan. A catastrophic policy offers very limited coverage for those under 30 who qualify for a “hardship exemption” and cannot afford qualified health coverage. catastrophic coverage offers the same benefits as qualified plans. however, you will need to meet a high deductible before coverage begins. in 2020, the deductible for catastrophic plans is $8,150.
A catastrophic plan could help with the high costs of a serious illness or accidental injury. however, it might be less helpful with routine medical care. in these cases, it is unlikely that you will meet the annual deductible. this means that you would pay all of your health care expenses out of pocket.
what is short-term health insurance?
Short-term plans can be a good option if you only need coverage for a short time. For example, you can be between jobs and choose not to pay high premiums during your coverage gap. short-term coverage may offer a cheaper option.
The terms of these plans depend on the state in which you live. Federal law allows short-term plans to have initial terms of 364 days, with the ability to renew for up to 36 months. Some states have their own laws that place additional limits on short-term plans. make sure you understand the specific terms of the plan you choose.
advantages of working with an authorized broker
A licensed insurance agent can help you find a policy that offers what you need at a price that fits your specific circumstances. eHealth’s team of experienced agents can help you explore all of your private health insurance options and find a plan that fits your needs. If you have questions, you can always contact eHealth today to explore all the coverage options that might fit your situation. See what health insurance plans are available today!