How many people buy individual health insurance?
The majority of people in the U.S. don’t buy their own health insurance. Most people get their insurance through an employer, which is also referred to as group insurance or employer-sponsored insurance.
According to a 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey, almost half (49%) of people have employer-sponsored insurance.
So, how many people buy their insurance on their own? According to the same 2017 KFF survey only around 7% of people buy individual health insurance.
However, just because you’re in the minority buying individual health insurance doesn’t mean that you’re at a disadvantage, that it should be difficult, or wildly expensive!
What are the advantages to buying individual health insurance?
While employee-sponsored health insurance is the norm for about half the population, there are plenty of advantages to buying your own health insurance instead of going through your employers.
Some benefits to getting individual health insurance is:
- Your policy isn’t tied to your job so you can change employers without losing coverage
- While your employer doesn’t split the cost with you, you may qualify for state or federal assistance in order to afford your individual health insurance
- You choose the insurance company and the plan that covers your healthcare needs
- You choose the insurance plan with the network that includes your preferred doctors, healthcare providers, and hospitals.
How much does individual health insurance cost?
According to eHealth’s data, the average monthly cost for health insurance was $440 for an individual and $1,168 for a family in 2018.
These numbers are averages, the cost of your monthly premium may vary greatly depending on where you live, the size of your family, and by other factors of the like.
While most employers will split the cost of a premium with their employee, those buying their own individual health insurance may qualify for government assistance in paying for their health insurance depending on how much they make above the federal poverty line.
What to keep in mind while shopping for your own health insurance
When you’re shopping for insurance, you should look back on the healthcare you’ve received previously. Allow the amount of care you’ve received in the past to help inform your decision on what plan to buy.
For instance, if you take a medication regularly or have required a lot of prescription medications in the past, you may want to look for a plan that has coverage to help you offset the costs of prescription medications.
Consider the type of care you’ve had in the past and the care you may receive in the future (such as certain procedures and surgeries you may schedule in the coming year) when you’re shopping for your 2020 health insurance.
Where to shop for health insurance?
Shopping through a government-run exchange is not your only option for buying health insurance. During the open enrollment period – which for coverage beginning in 2020, runs from November 1st 2019 to December 15th 2019 – you can shop through the state or federal marketplace as well as directly from the insurance company or through a broker like eHealth.
eHealth not only sells plans that you can’t find on a government exchanges, but allows you to compare plans side-by-side to find the plan with the coverage that’s right for your needs and your budget. Plus, the help that you get from eHealth online and from speaking with our representatives is free. The plan you purchase through eHealth are guaranteed to be the same price as the same plan sold anywhere else.
To start shopping for individual health insurance that’s right for you, enter your zip code where prompted on this page.