Individual and Family
What Is a Family Health Insurance Plan?
Published on April 26, 2019
How are family health insurance plans different from other plans?
Shopping for a family health insurance coverage may be daunting, however family plans are very similar to individual health insurance plans. Think of a family health insurance plan as an individual plan only with dependents added to the policy.
What you should know about the typical costs for family coverage
As with all insurance policies, there are a few different kinds of costs to consider while shopping:
- Premiums: Premiums are the monthly payments you make in order to stay enrolled in your family plan. In 2018, the average cost per month for family coverage was $1,168.
- Deductibles: Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance takes over payment. After you’ve reached this amount of money, your family health insurance will pay for any other health care you receive that year.
With family health insurance you generally have two types of deductibles: family and individual. You must reach either the individual or family deductible before your family health insurance kicks in.
On average, family health insurance plans had a deductible of about $8,232 in 2018, according to eHealth.
- Other various costs: There are a few other costs – like copayments, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums – associated with family coverage that you need to consider when looking for a policy.
A copayment is a fixed amount of money you pay for a covered service which either come into effect before or after you’ve reached your deductible. Coinsurance is a percentage you pay for covered services after you’ve reached your deductible until you’ve reached your out-of-pocket maximum.
After you hit your out-of-pocket limit, your family health insurance will pay for 100% of the cost of your covered benefits for the rest of the year.
What to keep in mind while shopping for coverage for your family
When you shop for coverage, you have more to consider than if you were shopping for individual coverage.
While a plan with a low premium and a high deductible might seem appealing at first, you must consider that you’re shopping for health insurance for your children or other dependents. When it comes to buying health insurance for kids, you may want to consider looking for a family plan with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible since you have several people’s healthcare needs being covered under one plan.
If you have a larger family than a four-person household, you can expect your insurance to be more expensive overall, however you may end up paying less per person. You’re also likely to pay less per person if the members of your family are in good health. In this case, it’s smart to get an insurance policy that covers preventative care to keep your family healthy and costs lower in the long run. Additionally, you’re likely to pay less if you’re getting your insurance through an employer.
While family coverage may seem expensive, your finances can be impacted by unexpected medical expenses if you do not have health insurance for you and your family. If you have trouble affording health insurance there are programs and incentives that help you keep your family covered.
- ACA Subsidies: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, provides tax credits for those who have difficulty affording health insurance. In general, the lower your income and the larger your family the greater tax credit you’ll qualify for.
- CHIP Plans: The Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP, is a federal-state collaborative effort to provide free or inexpensive health insurance for families with children. Requirements are different in every state, however you will usually qualify for CHIP if you make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but have an income 200% below the poverty line.
- Other coverage options: There are other state programs that are specifically for families that have a difficult time affording health insurance. If you are at least a family of four, with an income of less than $99,000 a year you should qualify for some state or federal assistance.
If you need coverage for a short amount of time or quickly, there are short-term health insurance plans available. While you will not be receiving the same level of coverage as major medical plans, you will have some coverage at a low cost and fairly quickly with some applicants getting approved next-day.
eHealth offers wide access to many health insurance plans for families. Take a look at family health insurance plans today to find what coverage is right for you.