Individual and Family
How Much Does Health Insurance for Families Cost?
Published on July 24, 2018
When it comes to providing for your loved ones, family health insurance is something you’ve probably put a lot of thought into. The burden of protecting your families’ health and protecting your finances from unexpected medical bills can be lightened by having a family health insurance policy.
Whether it’s just for you and your partner, or you have kids and various dependents who need coverage, eHealth has the tools and variety of options that you need in order to find a family health insurance plan.
Although health insurance for families will have different price points based on factors like plan type, level of coverage, number of dependents, and where you live, you can look at the average cost of families plans as a useful reference.
How much is family health insurance?
As with almost all types of health coverage, there are several different costs associated with family plans, including:
- Premiums– Premiums are monthly payments that you make in order to remain enrolled in your family health insurance plan. The average premium for major medical health insurance plans for families was $1,168 a month in 2018.
- Deductibles– A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay for healthcare before your insurance kicks in. For example, if your family health insurance plan has a $10,000 deductible, you’ll have to pay all your medical bills until you’ve spent $10,000; your insurance will then cover any remaining care you get that year. On average, health insurance plans for families had deductibles of $8,232 in 2018. Average deductibles have also been rising, though not as rapidly as premiums.
- Various costs- There are other costs associated with health insurance plans like copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums. You’ll have to assess your family’s health care needs in order to decide how these costs will affect you. If you foresee needing a lot of care, then you may want to opt for a plan with a higher premium, but lower costs elsewhere like with your coinsurance, copayment, and deductible.
While these are the average costs, the specific price you pay depends heavily on how many people are in your family and what your specific health needs are. Generally, if everyone in your family is in good health, your premiums and deductibles will be lower. This makes it wise to invest in a family health insurance plan that covers preventative care, as that will help you stay healthy and achieve lower prices over the long haul. If your family is larger than the typical four-person household, you’re likely to pay more in total, but less per person. You’re also likely to pay less if you get your family health insurance plan from your employer, since employer-sponsored health insurance often covers larger numbers of people and faces less risk per person.
What options do I have to reduce the cost of health insurance plans for families?
There are a number of government incentives and other programs that provide or help pay for health insurance plans for families who have trouble affording them. These include:
- ACA Subsidies– The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, provides tax credits to individuals and families who have trouble purchasing health insurance for themselves. Generally speaking, the lower your income and the more family members you have, the larger a subsidy you’ll qualify for. These benefits immediately go toward the cost of purchasing health insurance plans for families.
- CHIP Plans– The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is a joint Federal-state effort to provide free or inexpensive insurance to families with children. The specific requirements for this program vary from state to state, but in general, your family will qualify if you make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but your income is below 200 percent of the poverty line.
- Other Options– Many states have specific programs designed to help cover the cost of health insurance plans for families. Between these state programs and the aforementioned Federal ones, you should qualify for at least some assistance if you have a family of four and you make less than $98,400 a year.
Alternative health insurance plans for families
If a traditional, major medical family health insurance plan is not what you’re looking for, there are some affordable alternatives that might work better for your family.
One alternative to traditional health insurance plans for families is short term health insurance. Short term plans usually do not have the same level of coverage as major medical plans, and insurance companies can deny short term coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Although you won’t be receiving the same benefits with short term coverage, you will likely be paying a lot less for your premium, so if affordability is an issue, you might want to check out short term health insurance options.*
*It’s important to know that health insurance alternatives like short term coverage do not meet Obamacare standards and may result in a tax penalty related to the individual mandate. In 2019, this will no longer apply, and in most states you won’t face a tax penalty for not having ACA-complaint coverage.
eHealth offers access to a wide selection of health insurance plans for families. To learn more about selecting and paying for quality family health insurance, take a look at family health insurance plans today.