Individuals who don’t have access to health insurance coverage through their employers or who are self-employed may have to look for private individual health insurance plans. Most individuals think that they cannot afford health insurance and so they avoid even looking for the options available to them. It is essentials for individuals to find good health insurance coverage even if they are in challenging circumstances. People need to know that private individual health plans are usually more affordable than COBRA coverage and so they should look out for the plans offered by different carriers to shop for the plan with the best coverage at an economical price. Individuals should take some time to obtain several quotes and find a plan that covers their healthcare needs.
Factors to Consider Before Shopping for Independent Health Plans
Individuals while shopping for health insurance plans should keep in mind the Affordable Care Act requirements. There are specific benefits that the health plans must offer to qualify as ACA-compliant plans. Individuals while looking for plans must purchase a health plan through their state’s Health Insurance Marketplace to be assured that their plans offer the essential health benefits required by the ACA. Individuals who are U.S. citizens or nationals and who are not incarcerated and are not enrolled in Medicare can enroll in a Marketplace plan.
Prefer Online Shopping for Private Health Insurance
Individuals can shop for health plans through their state’s health insurance portal or the federal website healthcare.gov. People are advised to shop at these sites because on these portals they can check their eligibility for an advanced premium tax credit. An advanced premium tax credit lowers the premiums paid by the policyholders, as the tax credit is directly paid to their health insurance carriers. People’s eligibility for the advanced premium tax credit is based on their income. Thus, people need to be accurate while entering their income because on entering incorrect income, individuals could owe taxes if they took large of a tax credit. Individuals also have the option to directly visit the website of their local health insurance companies.
The local health insurance carriers offer off-market health plans that meet the minimum coverage requirement set by the ACA. To help people find a perfect plan, several health insurance portals are also operational that help people find coverage in their area. If individuals have their preferred doctors, then they should make sure that their choice of doctor is included in the network of their chosen plan, otherwise depending upon the plan they may need to pay more for their visits to the doctors or pay the entire costs of their medical expenses for seeing that doctor who is not included in their plan’s network.
Take Help of Experts
Individuals while shopping for health insurance plans should prefer to take the help of health insurance agents or advisors operating locally in their area. Leading health insurance carriers make their agents available all over the country. Besides, several health insurance portals are available that provide comprehensive information and updates on all the latest happening in the health insurance sector. People can take the help of these portals to find and select the best plan for themselves and their families. These portals are served by highly experienced and knowledgeable insurance experts that guide people to shop for the plan exactly as per their needs and choose the best plan from the available options. It is of great help to receive input from health insurance experts while shopping for health insurance.
Choosing the Right Plan
There are a variety of health insurance plans available with different premiums and coinsurance amounts, thus people should take their time and carefully choose the right health plans for their healthcare needs. Some of the options available for people in individual health plans include:
people who are using the health insurance marketplace will find gold and platinum plans as high-end plans. The health insurance carriers cover about 80% to 90% of their healthcare costs and the insured also have a lower deductible. The high-end plans are ideal for people who frequently see the doctor and are not financially sound to pay a high deductible. People who feel more comfortable with comprehensive coverage will find these plans beneficial.
People shopping for private health insurance plans will come across high deductible plans. These plans are preferred by many due to the lower premium amount, and people are required to pay more of their healthcare costs upfront. The deductible is the amount that individuals pay for their covered services before their plan starts providing coverage. Individuals can pay for their high-deductible plans with the amount saved in a health savings account.
Health Savings Account
Individuals having high-deductible health plans can open a health savings account. In their Health Savings Account, an individual can contribute up to $3,600 on a self-plan and up to $7,200 on a family plan in 2021. Contributions made in this account are tax-deductible and individuals can use the funds to pay for qualified medical expenses like prescription drugs.