Health insurance is the best way to help cover yourself when the unexpected happens.
Searching for the right health insurance coverage for the whole family can be intimidating. Not only do premiums go up when you add dependents, but you also have to ensure that you get the right coverage for the whole family.
Picking the right family health insurance plans are entirely dependent on how much you can afford and the type of coverage you require. The good news is that there are several policies that help make your premium more affordable while also covering your family’s essential needs.
Family health plans are the same as individual plans. The only difference is that you have to add your spouse and dependents on the policy.
This does impact the cost of your monthly premium—which, for many, makes finding the right policy daunting. Still, having coverage for the whole family is the best way to prepare for the unexpected and stay out of significant medical debt. Plus, certain states enforce an individual mandate, making it a requirement to have coverage.
Before you begin shopping for a family plan, it’s best to make sure you understand the necessary family health insurance costs.
Understanding the essential aspects of family coverage is going to help you make a better decision on what you need and what you can afford.
Here is a simple rundown on the underlying costs that come with choosing your plan:
Premiums are the monthly payments that you make for your health insurance plan. It is the only way for your program to remain active. The average cost of a qualified plan for a family of four is $1,168.
A deductible is an amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage takes over. After you’ve spent your deductible in a given year, the insurance company will begin paying for remaining costs. The average deductible for a family is $8,232.
Copayments are a fixed amount of money that you pay out-of-pocket for each doctor visit before your insurance covers the rest. These are different than deductibles, which are usually a higher amount that is paid annually upon renewal. Copayments are smaller increments that only require you to pay a dollar amount or percentage per visit. For example, your policy may require a copayment of $20 each time you see your physician. So even if your appointment is more than $20, the insurance company will take over the rest.
Premiums, deductibles, and copayments all vary by state and policy. These are typically reflective plans that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which cover the 10 Essential Health Benefits. However, not all plans fall under the ACA—in fact, there are many options that you could consider.
Depending on you and your family’s qualifications, there are three insurance options that you can choose from, which include social-welfare assistance, Obamacare plans, and non-qualified coverage.
Medicare and Medicaid are federally-funded programs intended to provide health insurance, usually to low-income or disabled adults. Although family coverage is not always standard, you may qualify depending on your and your dependents’ health status.
To qualify for Medicare, you must either meet these requirements or have one of these conditions:
Medicaid is a federal program that provides health insurance to eligible, low-income persons, including:
Medicaid is funded jointly by the individual state and government and currently covers 64.7 million people nationwide. To qualify, you must be near or below the federal poverty level, which means a family of four can earn no more than $29,700 annually.
Qualified health plans are plans that are compliant with the ACA (also known as Obamacare). Beginning in 2010, the ACA was an important rehaul of the United States’ healthcare system. This act made it so that all significant insurers cannot discriminate coverage based on a person’s age, gender, health status, or location, and also must cover the ten essential health benefits.
Plans that comply with Obamacare guarantee these coverage benefits and services:
The result of this act was reasonably positive: more Americans were getting the care they needed—but there were higher premium costs that came with it. Because of that, some people opt for non-qualified health plans.
Non-qualified plans are notably different than qualified plans, but they are still able to offer adequate coverage with much lower premiums. These plans are not ACA-compliant, meaning they do not have to meet Obamacare’s essential health benefits. However, each program varies on types of coverages, so you have a better chance of customizing what works.
While non-qualified plans are cheaper, they still cover major medical services, such as:
These health plans are best for people who want insurance at a lower cost, are generally healthy, and do not need coverage for maternity, mental health, substance abuse, or a pre-existing condition.
Finding the right health insurance for your family doesn’t have to be complicated. Understanding the different types of insurance plans and coverages available will help you find the right policy with premiums you can afford. And to make it even easier, you can browse through a single database to find exactly what you’re looking for.
iHealth Agents has a variety of affordable ACA and non-ACA plans for the whole family, with coverage tailored to what you need. You can even chat with available agents who can help steer you in the right direction. Find the best health insurance for your family today.