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Individual & Family Health Insurance: 5 Things You Should Know

Modern Times Nov 2, 2019
Health insurance varies in many ways and it’s important to consider whether an individual or family policy will provide you with the care that you need.
With all of the changes going on in the healthcare industry, it’s easy to be a bit confused. Whether you’re offered a policy through your employer or are buying insurance off the healthcare marketplace, it’s important to understand the distinctions between individual and family health insurance, and what each policy could mean for you.

Not so simple

With names like “individual” and “family,” it may seem obvious how the two differ. In many ways, a family plan is like an expanded individual plan. However, they differ in several ways. Pricing, of course, comes to the top of the list, but there even plans that seem similar at the outset may vary greatly depending on how many members they cover at once.

Money, Money, Money

Pricing is naturally the major distinguishing factor between individual and family plans. At first glance, individual health insurance plans are exorbitant if you’re trying to buy coverage for more than one individual. However, between two individuals, plans with good coverage may be less than a family plan that has less coverage. Read the fine print.

Subsidies will Vary

If you’ve ever purchased healthcare outside of an employer, you may be familiar with the income questions that determined what government assistance you’d receive. When your income adds up, you qualify for less assistance. If one of you qualifies for an employer program and the other doesn’t, it may be worth exploring individual plans.

Out of Pocket Limits

Out of pocket maximums for families are much higher than those for individuals. If you or your spouse need more consistent healthcare than the other, it may be a reason to explore differing policies. It could save you a fair chunk of change and help you meet maximums faster.
There’s no way around it: Choosing healthcare plan can be a headache even on the best of days. It’s important to set a budget and explore your options to make sure you’re getting the best care at the best price. Don’t sell your health short.