Nowadays, it is important to have health insurance. The last thing you want is to have a medical emergency without health insurance and get stuck with a large bill. Even if you do not get health insurance through your work, you can purchase individual health insurance. This is insurance that you purchase on your own from the government or from a private company.
You may think that individual health insurance is pricey. However, it is much more affordable than you think. The average cost for health insurance for an individual is $440 and for a family of four it is $1,168. Of course this price estimate is not applicable for everyone. Read below to see what goes in to determining the cost of an individual health insurance plan.
What Is Individual Health Insurance?
It is common to get health insurance from your employer; however, this is not the only way to get health insurance. You can purchase individual health insurance plans on your own. These individual plans can also include family members.
Before you try to understand how to determine how much an individual health insurance plan will cost you. It is important that you understand health insurance terminology. Here are some of the important terms you will come across when shopping for an individual plan:
- Premium – The premium is how much you pay each month for health care coverage.
- Maximum out of pocket – This is the most you have to spend for covered services in a year. After you reach this amount, the insurance company pays 100% for covered services for the rest of the benefit year.
- Deductible – The deductible is how much you pay for health care services each year before your health insurance pays its portion of the cost of covered services.
- Co-insurance – This is a percentage of covered health care service that you pay for after you have met your deductible.
- Co-payment – Your co-payment is the fixed amount you pay for covered health care services.
Cost Of Individual Health Plans
Determining the cost of an individual health insurance plan is not straightforward. There are a number of factors that are involved in determining the cost. Some of these factors include:
- Number of family members included in the coverage
- Pre-existing conditions
Once you input all of these factors, you will be provided with plan options (see below). These plan options will be broken into metallic categories and they will have a lot of numbers that you will have to understand to determine your health insurance cost.
These numbers are associated with factors you will have to consider when you get your estimate. You have to consider your premium, deductible, maximum out-of-pocket and cost-sharing expenses. Once you understand all of these costs, you can determine how much a plan will cost you. Insurance brokers are very knowledgeable at breaking all
There are three levels of plans: Bronze, Silver and Gold. This will also determine how much your plan costs.
- Bronze – A bronze level plan will provide you with the least medical coverage. It will protect you from high medical expenses. Your premium will be low, but your routine medical costs will be high.
- Silver – A silver plan is a slightly higher premium from a bronze plan. It will provide more insurance coverage for medical care and a slightly higher premium.
- Gold – If you and your family go to the doctor frequently then a gold plan is right for you. A gold plan will have a higher premium, but more medical expenses will be paid by insurance.
Individual health insurance policies are the fastest growing type of health insurance plans in the U.S. As you can see, determining the cost of an individual health plan is not straightforward. There are lots of variable and factors that need to be considered.
Before you pick an individual health plan, it is important to fully understand the coverage you will receive from it. It is also important to understand how much your financial commitment will be. You need to determine what your minimum and maximum commitment will be to get a full picture.