How to Get Family Health Insurance

Individual and Family

How to Get Family Health Insurance

Published on May 08, 2019


Where should I shop for family health insurance?

Almost 50% of Americans get their health insurance from an employer (also called employer-sponsored health insurance) according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. If your employer offers health insurance, it’s likely you were briefed on your options, prompted to pick a plan from what is offered, and coverage began soon after (with premiums shared by your employer).
If you’re the 7% of the population that does not receive government-sponsored health insurance, employer-sponsored health insurance, or are uninsured, then you’ll be looking for family health insurance on your own.
If you don’t have employer sponsored health insurance, you’ll have to look to other marketplaces to shop for your family health insurance. Depending on which state you live in, you will have to shop in either a state or federal market place.
Check the chart below to see which type of marketplace you have in your state.
State and federal insurance marketplaces


If you don’t want to shop on government or state marketplaces, you still have plenty of options:

  • Shopping directly through a health insurance company
  • Shopping with a local broker
  • Shopping with an online broker like eHealth (where you’ll still be able to apply for government subsidies)

What type of plan is right for my family?

As you shop for family health insurance coverage, you’ll notice that there are a four main types of plans:

  • HMO (Health Maintenance Plan): With this plan type, you generally must stay in network to get coverage apart from emergencies. You will also need to get a referral for certain procedures and specialists.
  • PPO (Preferred Provider Organization): With this plan you won’t have to stay in-network to get coverage, however in-network providers are generally less expensive. Additionally you don’t have to get a referral to get certain procedures or see specialists.
  • EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization): With this plan, you usually have to stay in network to get coverage except for emergency situations. However, you do not need a referral to get certain procedures or specialists.
  • POS (Point of Service Plan): With this plan you don’t have to stay in network to receive coverage, however you need a referral to go out of network and to get procedures and specialists.

When choosing which plan type is right for your family, consider you and your family’s medical needs and history. Consider the amount and type of care you’ve received in the past, allow that to inform your decision on what type of plan to choose.

What about networks?

One extremely important factor to consider while shopping for family health insurance, is if your preferred providers are in-network. You can directly ask your doctor or the insurance provider if they are covered under the plan you’re considering.
Additionally, you should make sure the plan you’re considering has plenty of in-network providers in your area. This way you won’t have to travel for in-network care or get charged large amounts of money if you need to go out-of-network.

What does family health insurance cost?

According to eHealth, the average premium for family health insurance was $1,168, in 2018; however your premium will vary depending on where you live, the size of your family, and other factors.
In addition to your monthly premium you will have a deductible. A deductible is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in.
You may also have other various costs such as copays and coinsurances. These costs vary from plan to plan and may kick in before or after you reach your deductible.
Generally a plan with a higher premium and a lower deductible is a good choice for family health insurance since you have more than yourself to cover.
Lower premium plans are great if you have difficulty affording higher premium plans or infrequently require medical care.

How do I shop on eHealth for family health insurance?

Getting a quote for family health insurance on eHealth is as simple as entering your zip code and a few other pieces of information about you and your family.
Enter your zip code in the form on the right side of the page to get a quote and explore health insurance plans that are available to you. Or you can sign up for our newsletter on the right side of this page, as well.
From there eHealth will show you family health insurance options that you can filter out and compare. You can narrow your options down by company, monthly cost, and deductible.

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