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How To Find And Save On Family Health Insurance Policies

Alvin Nelson
February 17, 2021
Alvin Nelson

saving on family health insurance

It's challenging to find reliable, accurate information online about family health insurance pricing, even as more patients find policies through state and federal marketplaces.

Some consumers get confused by the differences between individual health insurance and family health insurance. Yes, they're similar but also have critical distinctions to know before buying a policy.

Saving on family health insurance can be tedious if consumers don't know what impacts price.

Individual and family plans, purchased with Obamacare tax credits or through a private insurer, vary widely in crucial areas, mainly by pricing and the level of benefits.

This article gives a short synopsis of the different types of charges and features for any health insurance policy, including information on:

  • Premiums
  • Deductibles
  • Co-pays
  • Maximum out-of-pocket expenses
  • Additional pricing considerations
  • How to find health insurance quotes

After reading this post, consumers will make smart purchasing decisions when buying family health insurance.

Premiums

The most obvious cost of health insurance is its premium price. This charge is the price patients must pay per month, whether they used the coverage during that period.

Health benefits will not kick-in until a policyholder covers the monthly premium for insurance. Some patients opt to pay a year's worth of premiums upfront – and at a discount depending on the insurance carrier.

Deductibles

A deductible is different from a premium but serves a similar purpose. The point of charging a deductible is to have patients share the cost of care up front.

For example, a $200 deductible won't pay for care until the policyholder pays that specific set amount.

It's common for policyholders to get confused about the difference because premiums and deductibles affect one another.

Do deductibles affect premium prices?

Typically, health insurance with a high monthly premium will ask for a lower deductible. Thus, plans with low premiums may seem attractive until patients need emergency care or care to manage a chronic illness.

It's up to each consumer to decide how they want to pay for insurance based on the services they anticipate need down the line.

Healthy individuals might prefer higher premiums and lower deductibles because they won't need to visit a doctor as much.

Co-pays

A co-pay is the amount that patients must pay at the doctor's office before receiving care. It's vital to understand that co-pays are distinct from premiums and deductibles.

Insurance policies typically established set co-pays based on the type of service, known as tiered co-pay structures.

For instance, some plans feature a flat co-pay amount as low as $20 for any visit to a general practitioner; but to see a specialist, policyholders will need to pay more, which isn't too steep in most cases.

The bottom line is that a health insurance policy only covers so much. The remainder falls on the patient to pay out-of-pocket.

Maximum out-of-pocket expenses

There used to be no limit to the amount of out-of-pocket costs policyholders would have to pay. Rising out-of-pocket costs is one of the main reasons lawmakers passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

To comply with updated regulations, insurance companies must now cap out-of-pocket expenses.

In 2021, the maximum out-of-pocket costs for family health insurance is $17,000, but an individual would have an $8,550 cap.

What do in-network and out-of-network mean?

Some health plans specify the doctors and organizations that accept insurance. To pay the lowest amount, patients have to go to that particular "in-network" doctor.

Out-of-network means that a doctor or organization doesn't accept the insurance, so patients may have to cover the entire cost of care in some instances.

How does the size of a family impact costs?

Questions about family size are common when it comes to family health insurance pricing. It's a mistake to assume that large families automatically pay higher premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.

Generally, family plans include coverage for two or more members, but policyholders won't pay the penalty for having a large family.

Most insurance policies only count the three oldest children towards the cost of coverage, and their ages are irrelevant. For instance, a family with triplets usually won't have to pay more if more children come along, but this situation depends on the insurance carrier's practices.

What is the average cost of family health insurance in 2021?

Average annual premiums for individual and family plans continue to go up each year. Rising premiums is one of the trends that the ACA seeks to change in the opposite direction.

In 2020, family health insurance pricing has gone up approximately 4 percent since last year, but this rise is consistent with the overall trend.

$21,342 is the cost of premiums annually for family plans; individual plans cost an average of $7,470 nationally.

Since 2015, the U.S. Recorded a 22 percent increase in premium prices.

Finding affordable family coverage is more critical than ever.

How to find health insurance through the federal marketplace

Going directly to websites for the state and federal marketplaces is common, but a health insurance marketplace website is another option many consumers enjoy.

The ACA allows independent websites to help patients find health insurance easier.

These websites do well at consolidating all vital information in one resource. They benefit patients by also pointing them to the right health plan for their needs.

Sometimes, insurance plans with the best rates are challenging to find if patients go through the marketplace, but a platform gathers the essential information.

Best way to compare the rate for individual and family plans

When patients need accurate, reliable information on health insurance, individual plans, and family coverage, they can trust HealthPlans.com.

The platform makes it easy to compare premium rates, deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and benefits without reading through the fine print.

Choosing quality health insurance often depends on the policy's affordability and range of benefits. The best part of searching for coverage on HealthPlans is that patients can view all of the most critical information in one place.

After completing a short personal interview and entering a zip code, patients can search and compare rates side-by-side and various carriers.

The search for quality health insurance is getting easier for consumers and insurers alike with online platforms like us here at HealthPlans.

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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.