Most people with health insurance get it through an employer. If your employer offers health insurance, you won't need to use government insurance exchanges or marketplaces, unless you want to look for an alternative plan. Choosing a health insurance plan can be tricky. Knowing just a few things before comparing plans can make it easier.
For pretty much everyone else, the place to go is Healthcare, gov, where you can buy insurance in the marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Not all insurers sell plans through the government-run health insurance marketplace. You can find more individual and family options if you buy directly through health insurance companies that offer plans outside the markets. It will take more work to compare insurers, but you can also find a plan that best suits your needs outside insurance markets.
More than two-thirds of Americans get their health insurance from private insurers. More than half of all insurance coverage is provided by the employer. If you are a low-income person, you may qualify for Medicaid. This public health insurance program offers health coverage for little or no cost.
Each state administers its own Medicaid program and sets eligibility requirements, including income limits. You can read our state-by-state Medicaid guide. Most short-term plans deny coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions and drastically limit the ACA's mandatory essential health benefits (prescription drugs, mental health services, prescription drugs, and maternal care). This is your guide to when and how to buy individual health insurance and how to find health insurance information and quotes.
We explain each option to buy your own health insurance so you can decide which path might be best for you. An agent or broker can help you find a good policy for you because they have experience evaluating health insurance plans.
Medicareis a federal program that provides basic health benefits to people 65 and older and certain people with disabilities. You can often enroll in a plan through your employer, but there are also individual health insurance plans available that you can select and pay for yourself.
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that offers a wide range of health plan benefits to people with low income or resources. After years of cuts and some say the sabotage of the Affordable Care Act during the Trump administration, the Biden administration is doing everything it can to help people find good health plans in HealthCare. You can also switch to a Marketplace plan if you have retiree health coverage but will not be eligible for the lower tax credits and out-of-pocket benefits or the special enrollment period. Learn how to find and sign up for health insurance, including ACA, COBRA, long-term care and health care for people with disabilities.
Platinum plans charge more damaging premiums than the other three plans, but you won't pay as much if you need health care services. Health insurance is likely to be a priority if you recently experienced a change in your employment situation, overcame an important life event, such as marriage or the birth of a child, or if you can no longer use your family's coverage. Find answers to common ACA questions about submitting documents, obtaining and changing coverage, total health care costs, tax options and more. Please note that some expenses, such as dental and vision coverage, may not be included in your health insurance plan and may require you to purchase a supplemental health insurance policy.
It's a good idea to request health insurance quotes for Bronze and Silver plans to see the difference. The most common ways to get health insurance are through an employer, the government, or on your own. .