More and more people are looking to buy their own health insurance in 2021, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former employees, now facing job loss, often lose employer-sponsored health benefits too.
If you find yourself in this predicament, you need to buy your own health plan, and at a good price. Pouring through the many private insurance sites makes it challenging to find the best and cheapest health insurance.
Want to save time? Read on to learn about the cheapest health insurance available in 2021.
Cheapest Health Insurance: Medicaid
Medicaid is a federally-sponsored program that provides health coverage for certain low-income adults. Your eligibility for Medicaid depends on what state you live in.
To be eligible for Medicaid, you must show a family income of less than 133% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Another part of the Medicaid program is the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP. This plan provides health care benefits to children whose families do not qualify for regular Medicaid.
If your income is too high for Medicaid eligibility, you will need to apply for a private health policy.
Types of Private Health Policies
The Affordable Care Act provides for states to set up a health insurance marketplace where you can compare plans and plan costs. Within the marketplace, there are four basic types of health insurance, labeled by names of the precious metals.
These plans are the cheapest in premium costs but are high in deductibles and out of pocket maximums. If you expect to have high medical bills in the coming year, this plan is not a good one for you.
Lower premiums, out of pocket costs, and deductibles are possible with this plan, which is a good choice for middle-aged folks and average families who might need a few more medical visits per year.
Gold plans are highest in monthly premiums but offer the kind of coverage seen in employer-sponsored plans. These plans provide the best value of all the plans if you can afford the premiums.
These costly plans are for those needing more care than most Americans, such as older Americans or those who have serious and chronic health issues.
Short-Term Care Policy
Short-term health insurance is cheaper than any of the private plans listed above, due in part to the fact that it is meant to be used temporarily—from a couple of months up to one year.
A short-term policy does not give the full coverage as outlined in the Affordable Care Act, but enough for you to be covered in the event of an emergency.
In evaluating all the above plans, remember that the most affordable private health insurance you can buy is not necessarily the plan with the cheapest up-front cost, but the plan that gives you the MOST coverage for the LEAST price.
Buying the Best and Cheapest Health Insurance
Start by making the best judgment you can as to how much health care you and your family will need this coming year. Then, go to healthcare.gov to begin your application for plans, or to find instructions on how to apply to your state-sponsored plans.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, see a licensed insurance broker who can help you find the cheapest health insurance with decent coverage to protect you and your family.
Looking for useful information on all kinds of topics? Stick with this site for fresh reads that can enhance your life.