Cost of Healthcare: Average Cost of Monthly Health Insurance

Examining the Average Cost of Monthly Health Insurance In the United States

The costs of obtaining proper medical care can be expensive in the United States. Medical bills can grow quickly and become a burden. As such, many people find it difficult to pay premium payments to get insured.

The current average cost of monthly health insurance for an individual is $456 and $1,152 for a family. However, take note that premiums may vary depending on several factors like your location. To check which insurance plan is best for you, you may contact a health insurance provider or agent.

Are you getting individual health insurance? Here’s what you should know.

average cost of monthly health insurance
Average cost of monthly health insurance: what to know before choosing a plan

Although a lot of people are usually getting their health insurance through their employer, others buy it on their own. If you want to purchase an individual plan, you can choose from various health insurance options in the market.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes this possible. ACA allows individuals to buy individual health insurance through a government exchange or marketplace, or from private insurers. You should take note, however, that getting health insurance through the marketplace may be a little tricky as it’s only available at a certain period. Meanwhile, you can purchase health plans from a private company at any given time.

ACA plans have four categories, namely: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All of which provides essential benefits including coverage for hospitalizations, outpatient and preventive care, lab tests,  maternity and child services, mental health treatment, rehabilitation services, and prescription drugs. The only difference among these categories is the amount of premium you’re going to pay per month.

Average Cost of Monthly Health Insurance for an Individual

average cost of monthly health insurance
Average cost of monthly health insurance for an individual

The fees for individual health insurance plans may differ depending on several factors like age, income, location, number of family members included in your coverage (if applicable), tobacco use, health issues, and health care use.

You may get a rough estimate of your costs once you know the health plan’s premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing expenses, and maximum out-of-pocket limits. Based on this information, you may compare different health insurance policies.

A deductible is the portion you have to pay for health care services each year before your health insurance takes over the rest of the costs. The average annual deductible for individual health coverage is $4,364 while it costs $8,439 for families.

A copayment is a fixed amount that you pay every time you get a medical service while coinsurance is a percentage that you pay for a healthcare cost after you have met your deductible.

The maximum out-of-pocket limit is the amount you pay for covered services in a year. After reaching this cap, the insurance provider pays 100% for covered services for the rest of the year. The annual gross out-of-pocket limit is counted against your deductible, copayments, and coinsurance fees.

Can I lower my health insurance costs?

average cost of monthly health insurance
Average cost of monthly health insurance: How to lower costs

You don’t know when you will get sick or injured but you can be more prepared if you have health insurance plan. Here are some ways to reduce your health insurance costs.

Government subsidies

When buying your individual health insurance, you may get help from a government assistance program. The Advanced Premium Tax Credit subsidy can lessen your monthly premium payment. The Cost-Sharing Reductions program can reduce the cost-share amount you allot for medical care. Both of these programs aim to aid people with limited incomes.

Medicaid

Each state has a Medicaid program and a Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). These programs provide low-income households with affordable health coverage. To know about these services and find out whether you are qualified to enroll, contact the state Department of Insurance or Health Department.

Medicare

Individuals who are 65 and older and are still working, or disabled individuals of any age may qualify for Medicare. The listed monthly premium for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) is $144.60.

High deductible plan plus health savings account

If you are not eligible for any government subsidies, you can lower your insurance spending by getting a high deductible plan and pairing it with a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA helps you pay for medical expenses that are not covered by your insurance. This will enable you to save on taxes because the money you put in and take out is either tax-free or tax-deductible.

Conclusion

Medical emergencies are very costly. It’s easy to find yourself in a serious amount of debt, if you have the misfortune of suffering a medical emergency with no insurance. By purchasing health insurance, you protect both your health and your financial status. There are marketplaces and private health insurance providers in each state that you can use to sign up for health insurance.

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