Individuals shopping for health insurance plans may have heard of private health insurance terms but chances are that many people may not really understand its meaning. People who are looking to get affordable health insurance plans on their own instead of through an employer, can consider buying private health plans. Private health insurance is a health insurance plan that is not marketed by government-run agencies and can only be bought through private health insurance companies, insurance agents, or through online health portals. Private health insurance plans are also known as off-exchange plan, as these plans cannot be purchased on the federal health insurance marketplace, or on any state exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
Who all can Obtain Private Health Insurance Plans?
Around half of the U.S. population is known to obtain health insurance through employer-sponsored benefits. So if people ever had insurance through their job, or through someone else’s job as a dependent, then chances are that they have probably been enrolled in a private health insurance plan. Many people decide to buy an individual health insurance plan directly from health insurance companies, health insurance broker, or through online health insurance marketplaces.
Benefits of Private Health Insurance
People while buying a family or individual health plan on a private health insurance market also get some additional benefits like they get access to instant online quotes. People get to see the plan prices from a huge variety of health insurance companies and so they can easily compare them all in one place. People who live in a rural area get fewer choices but while shopping health insurance online they will have access to diverse health plans available at both on and off-exchange.
People while shopping through health insurance portals will get access to more plans than the state exchanges, and premiums cost the same as on any other platform. The cost of the health insurance premium is exactly the same, and they do not charge any extra amount for providing any additional services. The health insurance portals are easy to navigate and shopping at these portals is extremely simple. Besides, these portals have a call center and licensed representatives and health insurance agents who are present all throughout the day to help people in finding the best plan and make the process of signing for health insurance easy and simple.
Is Private Health Insurance Cheaper?
Many people may find that they can get more affordable health insurance off-exchange, especially people who don’t qualify for ACA subsidies, and premium tax credits. Families who slightly miss the ACA subsidy cut off health insurance may find health insurance simply be unaffordable. This means that individuals and their families may just slightly above 400% of the federal poverty level may not qualify for subsidies.
So in such cases buying private health insurance may prove more affordable for them. Thus, to provide people with a great selection of insurance plans health insurance portals offer several off-exchange plans that are ACA compliant. Therefore, the availability of so many options on the private health insurance market may help people find affordable family or individual health insurance even without subsidies.
Scenarios in Which Individual Might Need Private Health Insurance
Individuals in certain circumstances are more likely to purchase health insurance coverage for themselves and they may prefer purchasing private health plans in these scenarios. Some of these conditions are discussed below:
Adult of 26 Years of Age or Older
As per the Affordable Care Act, young people under 26 years of age are covered under their parents’ health insurance plans as dependents. After 26 years they need to purchase their own coverage and they may find private health insurance as a viable option.
Individuals who lose their job may be eligible to maintain coverage through the employer’s health insurance plan through COBRA. Eligible employees and their dependents have the option to continue health coverage through COBRA on losing jobs or experiencing a reduction in working hours. Though coverage through this program can be maintained for up to 36 months, but the cost of enrolling in COBRA is high, as the employees need to pay the entire cost of the insurance. Thus, unemployed individuals can opt for the private health insurance plan.
A Part-Time Employee
Individuals employed in part-time jobs should be aware that these jobs rarely offer health benefits. Therefore, individuals working in part-time positions should know they usually need to purchase health insurance themselves and so they may opt to enroll in a private health insurance plan.
Self-employed individuals work for themselves or own their own business, and so they don’t have options of job-based health insurance. If they are married then they may have health coverage through their spouse’s plan. Another option for self-employed individuals is to have a private health insurance plan.
Retired individuals are no longer eligible for job-sponsored health insurance coverage. If the retired individuals are under 65 years of age and not disabled then they are only left with the private health insurance option until they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. Retired individuals also have the option to purchase private Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans.