If you wish to buy health insurance, you are on the right track. Every year the number of uninsured individuals in the United States increases rapidly. In this blog, we will answer the most frequently asked question, how to get health insurance in my state?
Here are some options for buying health insurance so you can choose the one best for you:
1. Use the Government’s Health Insurance Marketplace
The Health Insurance Marketplace is also known as Health Insurance Exchange, and you get health insurance depending on your income and eligibility for other coverages. In addition, you may also qualify for subsidies, also called premium tax credits.
Despite being eligible for insurance through an employer, you can buy a marketplace policy as it helps you navigate and find the best option. However, you won’t be able to access subsidies if you access job-based coverage.
You must buy your health insurance policy during the annual enrollment period because, after it, you will not be able to enroll until the following year. You can apply for it online, in person, or by phone. To buy a health insurance policy through the Marketplace, you must be a US citizen lawfully living in the country.
2. Purchase directly from an insurer
If you want to buy a health insurance policy directly from an insurer, you will have to visit several websites to see all of your options.
ACA compliant plans sold outside exchanges meet is minimum essential coverage standards such as:
- Covering pre-existing conditions
- Providing preventive care
- Providing essential benefits
You can also choose the non-ACA-compliant short-term plan when buying health insurance directly. It has more exclusion with fewer benefits.
Some people prefer short-term health insurance plans because they come with lower premiums. But, be aware that low premiums mean unequal coverage as they don’t cover pre-existing conditions while limiting the essential health benefits.
Therefore, you have to read the health insurance policy thoroughly. Remember that you won’t be eligible for subsidies when you apply for health insurance other than the federal Marketplace.
3. Buy through an online health insurance brokerage
You can also buy health insurance through an online health insurance brokerage, a private enrollment website. However, these websites may not show you all plans meeting your preferences.
Instead, they offer health insurance plans that earn the brokerage a higher commission when the customers enroll. Therefore, you should be fully aware of the options when choosing this method of buying health insurance. In addition, such private enrollment websites ask for information that federal and state Marketplaces don’t ask for, such as your height, weight, pre-existing conditions, etc.
You also don’t get premium tax credits (subsidies) when you buy an insurance policy through a private exchange.
How much does health insurance cost?
In 2021, the average annual premiums were $7,739 for single coverage, while it costs $22,221 for family coverage. However, the prices are expected to jump in 2022.
How to get health insurance if I am retired?
If you are retired but haven’t reached 65 and lost your employee health insurance, you can enroll through the healthcare Marketplace for coverage. You will be qualified for a special enrollment period, and depending on your income, you may also get a premium tax credit and lower out-of-pocket costs.
You can qualify for Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plan if you are 65 years old and retired.
How to get health insurance if I have a disability?
If you are terminally ill and require long-term daily assistance, you can get coverage through Medicaid with Social Security Disability Income (SSI). Some states also qualify you automatically for Medicaid if you are approved for SSI.
How to get health insurance if I am self-employed?
If you have your own business, you can get health coverage through the Marketplace. You may qualify for subsidies based on your income size. Marketplace gives business owners reasonable options to ensure their children and spouses.
Moreover, you can also get low-cost coverage through CHIP or Medicaid.