Health Insurance Options for a Single Parent

Health insurance is a significant personal decision, which people need to carefully make based on their health and their family’s health requirement. No two individuals generally have similar healthcare needs, so the choice of health plan will also vary from one person to another. Finding the best plan is not easy and this challenge increases further for individuals if he/she is a single parent looking for health insurance for self as well as for their children. Single parents need to ensure that they along with their children are covered for both emergencies and preventive care for the benefit of their health and wallet.

Some of the most common and relevant health insurance options for single parents include:

Employer-sponsored Health Insurance

If the single parent is working and has employer-offered health insurance, then he/she will have coverage for self as well as their children through the employer-sponsored health plan. As the Affordable Care Act, individual’s contributions to their employer’s health plans cannot be more than 9.5% of their household income for the year. Individuals should keep in mind that they still have the option to get a different plan through the insurance marketplace. However, if their employer-sponsored plan is affordable, then they may not be eligible for the ACA subsidies.

Individual or Family Health Insurance

Single parent who doesn’t have access to employer-sponsored health insurance plan, then they can obtain a health insurance plan through the health insurance marketplace. Individual health insurance is a plan that people buy themselves from the health insurance marketplace or an online health portal. Based on their family size, income, an individual may be eligible for subsidies that help them pay for their health insurance premium that they purchase through the marketplace or health insurance portal. Individuals who qualify for a subsidy will have lower monthly health insurance costs. In addition to this, individuals may also qualify for additional subsidies based on their income.

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Medicaid

Medicaid is a government health insurance program designed for low-income individuals and families. Thus, a single parent with limited income will find Medicaid a great option to obtain health insurance. Based on the income, a single parent may qualify for the Medicaid plan. Though Medicaid eligibility varies from state-to-state and single parents have to meet a maximum income requirement to qualify for Medicaid plans. To check their Medicaid eligibility, single parents need to apply through the federal health insurance marketplace or their local Medicaid office. Single parents who think they may not qualify for Medicaid based on their income, then also they should apply especially if they are disabled or pregnant, as they are likely to qualify for Medicaid plans.

Children’s Health Insurance Program

Single parents have another health plan option with the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Through CHIP, a single parent can find a free or low-cost health plan provided they qualify for this health insurance program. With Children’s Health Insurance Program, child doctor’s visit will be free and there is a cap placed on charges for other medical services and it is usually limited to 5% of a family’s annual income. Single parents have to meet an income requirement to qualify for CHIP.

Short-Term Health Insurance

Single moms or single dads also have another great option in the form of short-term health plans, especially if they are between jobs or waiting for the coverage to start at the beginning of the year. Short-term plans are not only a great option for filling any gaps in the coverage, but also allow single parents to provide themselves and their families a safety net for any healthcare emergency. The single parent who needs some quick coverage will also find short-term plans a great option. Short-term health plans are cheap and offer less comprehensive coverage compared to an individual or employer-sponsored plans.

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Their Parent’s Health Insurance Plan

Most of the states allow individuals to stay on their parent’s health plan until the age of 26 years and this also include adult children who are a single parent. If this as an option is possible for a single parent, then he or she must get included in their parent’s health insurance plan during open enrollment. A single parent should keep in mind that this health insurance just includes them and not their children. Single parents who want to obtain coverage for their children will need to purchase a health plan for them. Their Parent’s Health Insurance Plan – Most of the states allow individuals to stay on their parent’s health plan until the age of 26 years and this also include adult children who are a single parent. If this as an option is possible for a single parent, then he or she must get included in their parent’s health insurance plan during open enrollment. A single parent should keep in mind that this health insurance just includes them and not their children. Single parents who want to obtain coverage for their children will need to purchase a health plan for them.

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