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Choosing a Policy: Health Insurance for Job Seekers

Alvin Nelson
July 2, 2021
Alvin Nelson

health insurance for job seekers

When you are seeking employment, one of the benefits you look at is whether the employer provides health insurance and the type of coverage you will be receiving. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 94% of people participating in their employer's health insurance plans contribute to the cost. In 2020 the average employee contributed $6,797 for family coverage.

The benefit of health insurance for job seekers varies among employers. Benefits available depend on the size of the company, hours you will be working, the actual coverage provided, and the employee contribution amount.

When looking at employee benefits, you need to look at the health insurance policy your employer is providing. Compare the coverage and costs with that of purchasing your own insurance outright. You may also want to purchase a supplement for better coverage.

If you are an employer and want to attract the top talent in your industry, you need to compare coverage and costs among several providers. The goal is to provide your employees with the best coverage for the least amount of cost. Whether employer or employee, here are some things you want to consider when comparing health insurance policies.

The Importance of Health Insurance for Job Seekers

Health insurance is designed for people under 64-1/2 years of age. When you reach 64-1/2 years you qualify for Medicare. Because of Social Security’s increase of retirement age to 67 for those born after 1960, anyone born that year or later will not receive 100% of their Social Security retirement benefits until that age. By waiting an additional three years, until age 70, they will collect 124%.

Because of these changes employers are likely to see more people waiting until later in life to retire. If a person is working full-time at 65 for an employer with 20 or more employees and health insurance benefits, they do not have to enroll in Medicare. If the company has fewer than 20 employees, the employee must sign up for Medicare at 64-1/2 years.

Both employers and employees need to take these factors into consideration when considering health insurance coverage. Good insurance includes medical, prescriptions, and surgeries. It may also cover additional services such as dental and visual. 

Every insurance plan includes information regarding what percentage of the costs are paid by the insurance and what percentage is paid by the insured. It may also list specific dollar amounts the insured must pay, called co-pays. This generally is a set amount, such as $25 co-pay for office visits and $35 co-pay for visits to a specialist.

The Importance of Providing Health Insurance for Employers

When an employer provides a benefits package that includes health insurance, the company reaps the rewards. The top benefit is you will attract top industry professionals. If a potential employee has two comparable job offers, one from a company offering insurance and one that does not, they will most likely select the company providing that benefit.

When your employees have good medical insurance they are able to seek preventative medical care. Preventative care, including regular health checkups, results in fewer sick days. When health insurance is paired with paid sick days, you keep employees who are not feeling well away from the office, preventing full-office contamination.

Providing employees with worthy benefits such as health care insurance, makes them feel valued. An employee who feels their worth is appreciated is more likely to work harder, stay on the job longer, and speak favorably of the company. The long-term impact is less employee turnover.

Essential Health Insurance Benefits

There are areas of coverage that health insurance must cover under the Affordable Care Act. This includes the following:

  • Primary care physician visits
  • Specialist office visits
  • Outpatient hospital care
  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Prescription coverage
  • Prenatal, Postnatal, and childbirth
  • Mental health services
  • Substance abuse services
  • Emergency services
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Laboratory work
  • Preventative and wellness chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services including visual and dental
  • Visual coverage for adults
  • Dental coverage for adults

Some benefits are paid in full by the insurance, others include a co-pay obligation. It is important to compare what your coverage and co-pay obligations are in each of these areas when shopping for insurance.

Health Insurance Must Include Maternity Care

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that health insurance provide maternity care. Because the ACA eliminates pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, your insurance may not charge a higher premium nor drop you from their insurance because of pregnancy.

If you are of an age where you may become pregnant your coverage and costs in this area are important. Prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postnatal care are costly. A birth typically runs between $5,000 to $11,000 for normal vaginal delivery. 

About seven out of every ten births requires a C-section, which increases the cost from $7,500 to $14,500. If you are a high-risk pregnancy or complications arise the costs increase significantly. If your newborn requires special care after birth, hospitalization charges are substantial.

Take these things into consideration when comparing premiums, coverage, deductibles, and co-pays.

Using a Cost Comparison on Insurance Rates

You need to compare health insurance rates from different carriers. The easiest way is to find an insurance marketplace that provides you with available options based on the state you live in. The first thing to decide is the type of plan you want to purchase:

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  • Point of Service Plan (POS)
  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)
  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
  • Medicaid or Medicare

Request quotes for the same type of plan from all providers. This allows you to compare the rates, benefits, and costs on an equal basis. When comparing health insurance plans you will want to compare the coverage limits, out-of-pocket costs, deductibles, and the cost of premiums.

Don’t forget to check what the insurance actually covers. This includes whether your doctors are in the network and if they provide additional services beyond normal coverage. This includes chiropractic, hospice, nursing home, mental health, and drug rehabilitation.

Health Insurance Cost Comparison Marketplace

Obtaining good health insurance at a reasonable cost requires looking at various criteria pertinent to the needs of the employer providing insurance and the employees using that coverage. The best benefits packages draw in top job candidates who become dedicated employees, lowering employee turnover.

Conducting a cost comparison on health insurance for job seekers is easy when you use Healthplans.com. Simply select your state and enter your criteria. We will provide you with an online cost comparison of several insurance providers.

We invite you to use our online form or call (844) 735-0032 to speak with an agent. Take these first steps to offer an awesome employee health insurance benefit package today!

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Advertised Pricing:

There are several factors that impact your monthly premium; including your age, geographical location, annual income, dependents, and the type of plan you choose. Monthly premiums do not include out-of-pocket costs.

The advertised price may not be typical. It was generated using the Kaiser Family Foundation's subsidy calculator that was accessed on September 16, 2020. The following parameters were used: 21 year old adult, non-tobacco user, annual income of $24,700 in 2020, no children, and no available coverage through a spouse's employer. The resulting monthly premium was $30 per month (or $360 per year after $2,751 in subsidies) for a Bronze Plan. Even when using the same parameters, the resulting premium and subsidy calculations may be subject to change.