In America, having health insurance is essential for your well-being. Insurance allows you to visit the doctor, get prescriptions, and undergo surgery and other procedures – without racking up a massive medical bill. For many Americans, health insurance coverage is directly tied to their employment. Others, however, use private health insurance plans.
Unlike an employer-based (or group) health insurance plan, which covers a large group of individuals such as a company’s staff, private (or non-group) insurance only provides coverage to the individual or family who pays for it. By buying an insurance policy directly from the insurer, individuals can avoid some of the drawbacks that come with group health plans.
But just who can buy private insurance – and perhaps more importantly, who should? The short answer is simple: anyone can buy private health insurance! However, there are some people who can get a greater benefit from non-group health insurance than they can from employer-sponsored policies. Here are a few types of people who should consider buying private insurance to cover their healthcare needs.
Unemployed or Underemployed Individuals
These days, young people can remain on their parents’ health insurance policies until they turn 26 years old. This allows young adults to finish school, look for work, and start their careers without worrying about healthcare costs. But once you turn 26, you’re on your own – and for some, that can be a real problem.
Many of today’s young adults are “underemployed,” working part-time jobs or in low-skill positions. These jobs typically don’t provide health insurance to employees, which means that these individuals can often become uninsured after their 26th birthday. A private health insurance plan can provide underemployed people with coverage while they climb that workplace ladder.
Additionally, private health insurance can be a benefit for individuals who suddenly find themselves without a job. Often, these individuals purchase short term insurance, which offers temporary coverage for a certain length of time (usually 12 months). This allows the individual to retain healthcare coverage while they look for another job.
While most Americans get their insurance through their employer, there is one group of people who cannot: the self-employed. Self-employment can range from freelance workers and gig workers (such as Uber drivers) to consultants and small business owners.
The number of self-employed individuals in this country is growing – about 16 million Americans as of 2019! Because these individuals don’t have an employer to provide them with a group health plan, they must obtain health insurance through another method.
For example, if a self-employed individual is married to someone with a small group health plan (and they’re eligible for insurance through their spouse), they can join the group plan through their spouse’s policy. However, if this is not an option, self-employed individuals can always purchase private health insurance. A private plan would provide coverage for the individual for as long as they continue to pay the insurer.
One kind of self-employed individual is the business owner. This person is driven, dedicated to their business, and would give anything to see it thrive. And if they want their business to have employees, they may need to consider buying a private health insurance plan – in fact, it’s legally required for any business with 50 or more employees!
Business owners typically purchase a different type of health insurance than freelancers or unemployed individuals. While the latter purchase individual plans (which cover themselves and sometimes their families), businesses can purchase group plans, which offer coverage to a larger collection of people. These policies tend to have a lower premium cost than individual plans because the insurer’s risk is spread out among many people.
Of course, if your business does not have 50 or more employees, you are not legally required to provide health insurance. Owners of smaller businesses can elect to offer their employees’ health insurance, or they can simply purchase an individual plan to cover themselves.
Today’s Americans are living longer than in past decades, with the average life expectancy hovering around 78 years. This means that many people are spending over a decade of their life as retirees.
Retirement is a wonderful part of a person’s life, a well-deserved rest after a lifetime of hard work. However, for many retirement also means long their employer-sponsored health insurance. This can be detrimental, as many retirees need healthcare more than the healthier, younger people who are still a part of the workforce.
Luckily, there are private health insurance plans designed specifically for the retiree population. Medicare is a private insurance for individuals who are 65 and older with certain qualifying disabilities. What if you’re under 65 or you aren’t disabled? You can still purchase an individual health plan that accommodates your healthcare needs.
Anyone and Everyone
The groups we listed above are the most likely people to purchase private health insurance. However, they are certainly not the only people who can purchase a private plan. In fact, anyone can get private health insurance! If your employer doesn’t provide a coverage plan you like, if you want a plan with a lower monthly premium, or if you simply want coverage that won’t disappear if you change jobs, private health insurance is right for you!
With private health insurance, you have the power to choose the type of coverage that suits your needs. You can choose your insurer, your deductible, and many other options that will determine you overall healthcare costs. Whether you’re a freelancer who wants a PPO with vision and dental or a college grad who wants catastrophic coverage for a worst-case scenario, private health insurance companies can help you get the plan that works for your unique situation.
If private health insurance is right for you or your family, My Private Health Insurance wants to help you get the best coverage possible. You can learn more about private health insurance, browse insurers, and get a quote for a plan that suits your unique needs by visiting our website today.