Individual Health Insurance
2021 Health insurance open enrollment for individual health plans for 2021 will occur between November 1 and December 15, 2020. During this time period, you can enroll in a new health coverage plan or change your current plan. This is a great time for individuals to make sure that you are getting the most for your monthly premium.
Every year the cost of health insurance plans will change. Each year new insurers may enter the marketplace, and current insurers may develop new plans. It is important to look over the available plans each year so that you can get the most from your health insurance plan.
2021 Health Insurance For Individuals
Individual plans for health insurance coverage in 2021 will be very similar to those that were offered in 2020. There will be a few new plans to enter the marketplace across the different states, and some insurers may revoke their plans. This is pretty common in the industry.
To make sure that you have the right individual health insurance policy, you will want to make a comparison of the available plans. When you are reviewing the available plans in your state, you will want to compare:
- Types of health plans available
- Cost of plans
- Benefits available in each plan
- Extra benefits that plan offers
- If there are add on coverage options
Each of these five areas of coverage will make a difference in how happy you are with your insurance coverage.
– Types of plans available
For individuals, there are five types of plans that will be available in most states:
- Bronze Plans. These plans have high deductibles and high copayments. They generally have lower monthly premiums. Bronze plans may have smaller networks of providers that participate in their plans. Imaging, testing, and some medical procedures may not be covered or have high copayments.
- Silver Plans. These plans are very similar to bronze plans but offer a little more coverage and have a wider variety of providers that participate in their plans. These plans often allow out-of-network care to be provided for a high copayment.
- Gold Plans. These plans offer more coverage, lower deductibles, and copayments, and include more doctors and services. They also often include benefits such as gym memberships or virtual doctor services. These plans have higher premiums but offer more benefits.
- Platinum Plans. Platinum plans offer the most coverage and the lowest copayments and deductibles. These plans have the highest premiums because of the many benefits they offer.
- Catastrophic Plans. Some states allow people age 30 and under to purchase a catastrophic plan. These health plans are only really helpful if something very serious medically happens. Basic and general health care generally still comes as an out of the pocket expense.
– Cost of Plans
The cost of the health plans will be based on your personal income. Many people will qualify for tax credits to help cover their health insurance costs. Most states apply for these credits directly to the premiums so that your monthly cost is much lower. However, each company will have a different cost for their plan, even with the tax credits. Make sure you look at the final monthly cost for the plan you are considering.
– Benefits of the Plan
You should carefully review what types of benefits are available under the plan. Plans will charge differently for in-network services than for services that are not part of their plan. Some may provide certain services for free while others charge a flat fee for the same services. You will also want to find out if the plan has prescription coverage and how that coverage works. This is especially important if you are required to take any medications on a regular basis.
– Extra Benefits Offered by Plan
Different plans may offer additional benefits for being a member of their plan. Some offer discounts for gym memberships or include these memberships as part of their plan. Some have free or discounted wellness programs or supplies. Some will offer discounts if you participate in their wellness programs, such as completing certain check-ups each year. Some insurance companies will give you discounts if you go to an emergency care center instead of the emergency room. Look over all of these benefits to see which would be most beneficial to you.
– Add On Services
Many health insurers will give you an option to add on services to their current plans for a fee. Optical and dental are the most common add-ons available. If this is something you want or need, you should make sure that the plan you select allows you to add on coverage.
Medical Insurance For Self Employed
When you are looking for health insurance for yourself, you can still use the marketplace to find discounted plans if you are self-employed. If you are self-employed and do not have any other employees working for you, you can apply for coverage in the marketplace just like an individual looking for a personal plan.
Self-employed individuals that have a paid employee, even if it is a spouse or relative, cannot file for insurance under individual plans. Any entity with paid employees must look for insurance plans under available small business plans.
Self-employed individuals can also qualify for discounts through the marketplace based on their income. The marketplace provides the same tax credits to self-employed individuals as they do to people who work for a company.
Health Insurance For Unemployed
You do not have to be employed to use the marketplace to obtain health insurance. Your eligibility for health insurance is based on your income. For some individuals who find themselves unemployed, the marketplace may be able to assist them in obtaining free coverage through their state Medicaid program and coverage for any dependent children through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
If, at a later time, you become reemployed and become eligible for health insurance benefits through your employer, you can drop your coverage through the marketplace.
Individual Health Plans Are A Necessity
Health insurance is a necessity. The cost of medical care without insurance could force you into a financial disaster. This is especially true if you have a medical emergency.
A broken arm could cost up to $10,000 for imaging, setting, casting, and care without insurance coverage. Emergency surgery could cost over $100,000 depending on the type of surgery, and an extended stay in the hospital could cost even more. A diagnosis of a life-threatening condition that requires extensive treatment could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can see the trend.
With health insurance in place, not only will you not face these financial hardships if you have an emergency, but you will also be able to manage your health much easier. With health insurance in place, you can go for annual exams, necessary screenings, and get care when you are sick.
When you have health insurance in place, you will also benefit from the peace of mind that you are protected when the unexpected happens – not just catastrophic events, but any type of health event. The recent pandemic is one unexpected event that comes to mind.
The Affordable Care Act mandates that all healthcare plans cover the following types of medical care as part of their plans:
- Yearly check-ups and cancer and medical screenings
- Pregnancy and prenatal care
- Mental health services
- Addiction services
All health insurance policies cannot limit the amount of care you receive or place a cap on benefits. Insurers cannot place yearly gaps in coverage anymore as part of the Affordable Care Act.
More Information On 2021 Health Insurance For Individuals
If you need more information about purchasing an individual health plan, or you are looking for individual health insurance quotes, we are here to help. Our service is dedicated to helping people find the right insurance products for their lifestyle.
We can help you compare plans in your area to see which one provides the most benefits that you will use. We can help you compare costs for the premiums and the costs for copayments and deductibles. We will help you look at the different levels of plans to see which one would be the best choice for you based on your anticipated health care needs.
Purchasing health insurance should not be confusing or overwhelming. You will want to know as much information as possible about the insurance so that you can use your benefits during the coverage year. Working with an insurance specialist can help make sure that you have the right plan.
Once you purchase a plan, that will be your coverage for at least the next year. There are only certain circumstances that will allow you to change or purchase different insurance outside of the yearly enrollment period. This is why it is so important to pick the right plan.
Health insurance is no longer an option that people can choose to ignore. Health care expenses are very high, and without the right insurance plans in place, you can face mountains of debt and financial hardships getting the care that you need, When you have an insurance policy in place, your medical care will be covered.
It is never too early to start preparing for the open enrollment period this year. Gather all of your financial information and any requirements that you may have in an insurance policy and begin the search for a health care plan that is right for you. Once your research is finished, you can apply for the plan during the open enrollment period, and your new policy will go into effect on January 1, 2021.