You can never control when you or your family gets injured or sick; however, with health insurance, you can control the health services that you get. With health insurance costs set to go higher, it is important to understand the relationship between cost and health coverage so that you can choose the right health insurance for you.
While some people get their health insurance through group plans, there are some who have to buy their own insurance. If you are purchasing an individual plan, you definitely want to know the average health insurance cost and what affects it.
Take a closer look at the various factors that impact what you pay and how much you should pay on average.
The Cost of Individual Health Insurance
If you’re not employed or you’re in between jobs and do not belong to any small group, you still need to have health insurance. This is where individual health insurance comes in. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you can buy your health insurance through a government exchange known as ACA plans.
Though buying the plans is restricted to certain times of the year, you can still be able to buy health insurance between jobs coverage from a private insurance company anytime. Licensed insurance brokers offer advice on the available health plans and can help you find an affordable policy that suits your needs.
The national average individual health insurance premium is $456 and $1,152 for a family under the ACA plan. This cost does not include anybody who receives government subsidies. To get a reliable estimate of any other insurance provider, you should compare the insurance plans available, know the deductibles, the health plan’s premiums, maximum out-of-pocket limits, and cost-sharing expenses.
What Affects Health Insurance Premium Costs
The cost of health insurance varies from one provider to another. Whether you a looking for a short term or long-term insurance, there are several factors that affect how much you will pay for, like your details and the type of plan you choose.
What are these personal details that will affect the cost of insurance?
Location: Though this is not a very huge factor, premiums can vary by location.
Smoking: This is a significant factor in calculating your premium because; if you smoke, you are at a higher health risk. There are insurance providers who can charge 50% more if you smoke.
Age: A majority of states do factor in an age when setting insurance rates. However, other states don’t. This means, the older you are, the more you pay.
Gender: Women tend to pay more premiums than men because the of the costs that are related to childbearing
Marital status: A young single man can pay low premiums because they are considered the lowest risk group. Family plans that include a spouse and dependents will be higher.
Remember, the deductible, or the amount that you pay for each year for a family or single individual health coverage, will also be determined by the type of plan that you choose.
Out of Pocket Expenses
Apart from the deductibles, there are other expenses that you might also have to pay for. These costs also add up to your average insurance cost. Such expenses include:
Copayment: This is a fixed amount that you will pay for whenever you access medical services.
Coinsurance: The percentage you pay for the health services covered after you pay your deductible.
The maximum out of pocket limits is the amount that you have to spend each year, but which the insurance will reimburse. Once you reach the maximum limit, your insurance provider will pay for all medical services fully for the rest of the year.
Finding an Affordable Plan
Shopping for a health insurance plan that meets your needs is just like shopping around for any other service. You will want to speak to various insurance providers to know what they can offer and compare them.
Insurance brokers have also made choosing an insurer easy because you can get information about different providers from them. You will not have to waste a lot of time calling different insurers to know more about what they offer.
Licensed insurance brokers will consider your insurance needs, priorities, budget, and more, and match them with an option that suits you best. If you want to lower your average insurance cost, you can consider:
Checking If You Are Eligible for Medicaid
Medicaid is a program that provides insurance coverage to low-income individuals and families. The plan is implemented jointly by the states and the federal government
Check If You Qualify for Medicare
If you are 65 years or older, you can be eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B whether you are still working or not. The plan also covers younger people with disabilities and people with renal diseases.
Check If You Can Apply for Government Subsidies
Use the Healthcare.gov tool to check if you qualify for lower costs. Such government assistance programs are meant for people with limited incomes and can help to lower your monthly premium payment or the cost-share amount you pay for medical care
Buy a High Deductible Plan and a Supplement Plan
If you choose a high deductible plan, you will save some money because it will help pay all the expenses that you will incur if you are injured or seriously ill. A supplemental insurance plan covers for specific health conditions like disability, accidents, critical care, or death
If you do not qualify for any of these programs, you can buy a high deductible plan that also has a health savings account (HAS).
As you save your money in this account, you can use it to pay for any medical expenses that your insurer has not paid for. With a HAS, you will also save on taxes because any you put in or take out is tax-deductible.
Know the Average Health Insurance Cost and Choose the Right Plan
Individual health insurance policies are becoming common in the United States. As you try to know all the potential costs that come with health insurance, it is important that you also know and consider the average health insurance cost. This way, you can know what to expect from an insurance provider.
As you learn about the cost of insurance from us, also check out our other blogs on human resources, social media, leadership, and workplace culture.