Defining Private Health insurance

Affordable Care Act

Defining Private Health insurance

Published on February 12, 2019


When it comes to insurance coverage, the options can be a little overwhelming. Understanding all of the terms and how they apply to you is pretty important if you are going to make a good decision. One of the terms that you are likely to run into when shopping for an insurance plan for you or your family, is private health insurance. Having a good definition for private insurance can make it easier to understand your options, and why  private health insurance might work better for you than what’s offered on the government-run marketplaces associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

What you need to know about private health insurance

The term private health insurance simply refers to any health insurance coverage that is not offered by a state or federal government. Private health insurance is, instead, offered by a private entity instead (most often a for-profit company). You may also hear private health insurance plans called “off-exchange” plans–this means it’s a major medical plan (offers everything that an Obamacare is required to), but not sold on the ACA’s exchanges. Some people may mistakenly refer to all private health insurance as “off-exchange”, but really it only applies to major medical plans, and not alternative options like short-term health insurance or medical insurance plans that do not meet Obamacare standards.
There are a number of private health insurance options available. These can include:

  • plans purchased directly from a health insurance carrier
  • plans purchased through an agent or broker (like eHealth)
  • employer-sponsored health insurance plans

Some private health insurance options are created to fit the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). However, there are other private health insurance plan options that offer different benefits and coverage.

Private health insurance dominates the market

According to the CDC, 65% of Americans under the age of 65 are insured by private health insurance (after the age of 65, many people become insured by Medicare, which is a federal health insurance program).
This impressive statistics suggests that, despite growth of government Marketplaces since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), private health insurance is still an incredibly important component of health coverage in America. Most of this comes from Americans getting group coverage from their employer–in fact, 60% of Americans under 65 receive health insurance as a benefit from their employer according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study.
Although most people get private health insurance through their employer, individual and family private health insurance if available for those who are self-employed, or either do not want, or have access to government or employer-sponsored health plans. eHealth is here to help guide those individuals who are shopping for private health insurance on their own. You can even use eHealth to look at ACA (Obamacare) plans too, and see if you apply for a government subsidy.

Where can I get private health insurance?

There are a number of avenues someone can pursue to find private health insurance. Many people buy private health insurance directly through a health insurance company, or through their local health insurance broker, or an online broker like eHealth.
With eHealth, you’ll get free quotes to compare different plans, and clarity throughout the enrollment process without any extra cost to you. You can also shop for a variety of types of private health insurance, not just traditional individual and family plans that offer a large amount of benefits. If you’re looking for more affordable options, you can check out alternatives, like short-term health insurance.

More options with private health insurance

Outside the federal marketplace, you can find a wider array of insurance options. For instance, someone who is young and healthy may wish to look at more bare bones insurance policies such as catastrophic or short-term insurance. These policies often contain less benefits, but cost significantly less on a month-to-month basis (you’ll see this reflected in your premium cost).  Someone who is older or has a chronic health condition may not find this sort of coverage adequate, and might choose to stick with more bulky private health insurance plans, found on eHealth.
When looking for the right coverage for yourself, make sure you check out your private health insurance options. With private health insurance through eHealth, you’ll have convenient access to free quotes on plans, and plenty of options to choose from. Carefully weigh the choices ahead of you so that you can find a policy that offers what you need at a price that makes sense for your specific circumstances.

We’ll let you know when we publish anything new.