There are dozens of private health insurance companies fighting for your business. How do you choose the company – and plan – that is right for you?
For most Americans, the cost of individual health insurance is one of the most important factors when choosing a coverage plan. Bid did you know that the federal government provides subsidies to help lower the cost of these plans?
Federal subsidies reduce the cost of private medical insurance by providing discounts on the cost of the monthly premium. Also known as insurance tax credits, these subsidies work by paying the insurance company directly, which then charges you a lower premium amount.
Federal subsidies are available for individual health insurance plans that are offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Exchange. This online insurance portal allows you to apply for coverage, compare health care plans, estimate your premium amount and determine whether you qualify for a subsidy.
To qualify for a federal subsidy for private health care purchased through the Marketplace, you must meet certain requirements. Federal subsidies are generally available to individuals and families with low to moderate incomes. The size of the subsidy also depends on the following factors:
- Your family’s total annual household income.
- Your family size.
- Your family composition.
It is important to note, however, that your eligibility for insurance tax credits could change depending on the information used to file your tax return.
When you use the Marketplace to compare individual health insurance plans, it provides an estimate of your tax credit eligibility. If your income, family size or family composition change throughout the year, the actual tax credit amount could change. If the changes are significant enough, you may be responsible for paying the difference through your annual tax return.
Whether you qualify for a subsidy or not, you must still take some time to compare your options to ensure you are enrolling in a plan that works for you. There are many private health insurance companies to sort through, and comparing plans is the best way to find the right coverage for your family.
For example, Aetna individual plans are popular choices among many Americans for their diverse coverage options. You can choose from Medicare plans, medical plans, dental plans, vision plans or a combination of coverage options. You can even use the Aetna website to shop for plans and compare your options.Likewise, a Cigna individual plan may be best if you are looking for the most affordable options. Plans start at $0 for preventive services, and many offer drug coverage for $0 to $3 per generic prescription. You can get a free quote online to help narrow your options.