100 Most Common Questions About Health Insurance

  1. How much is health insurance?

Your health insurance rate will depend on a variety of factors, including age and the state in which you live. There is a wide range of prices so it’s always best to shop and compare rates. The average annual cost of health insurance in the U.S. is about $500 a month, with some states averaging in the $200-range and other states averaging above $500 a month.

  1. When is open enrollment for health insurance?

Open enrollment dates vary by state. For instance, in California, it begins October 15th and lasts until January 31. However, in most states it runs from November 1 through December 15. However, many states have opened up enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic. See if you’re able to buy a health insurance plan now.  

  1. How to get health insurance

If you’re not offered a health insurance plan through an employer, you should shop and compare health insurance prices here.

  1. How much does health insurance cost?

The average cost of an individual health insurance plan is about $430 a month for an individual and $1150 for a family. 

  1. When is open enrollment for health insurance 2020?

Due to the coronavirus, some states began another open enrollment period beginning late March 2020. While open enrollment dates vary by state, it usually runs between November 1 and December 15. See if you can buy health insurance now

  1. How does health insurance work?

Medical insurance protects you from medical risks, like accidents, medical emergencies, mental health issues and chronic diseases. Unlike other forms of insurance, like auto insurance or home insurance, health insurance helps you get the health care you need by only paying a fraction of the cost through monthly premiums, copayments and sometimes co-insurance. Depending on the type of health insurance you have, you pay medical costs out of pocket and are reimbursed or your insurer pays your provider directly while you pay a small portion, if anything at all.

  1. What is a deductible in health insurance, with an example?

The deductible is the amount you pay for a covered health care service before your insurance begins paying costs. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and visit a series of doctors, costing $200, $500, $300 and $500, you will have paid $1000 out of pocket after the first 3 services. The last $500 would be covered, so you would only pay a copay or coinsurance, depending on the type of health insurance you have. 

  1. What is health insurance?

Health insurance covers medical expenses for illnesses, injuries, mental health, accidents surgeries and more. Sometimes, though rarely, health insurance may cover dental expenses. If you’re an employer, you’d insure your employees with a group health insurance plan. For individuals and families who do not have health insurance through an employer, individual and family health insurance is an option.
Accidents can happen at any time and most car insurance coverages are often limited. People fall ill without ever anticipating it. Loved ones may develop a condition you didn’t foresee. Medical expenses are sometimes so high that people declare what’s called Medical Bankruptcy. With health insurance, you have access to doctors and hospitals that work with your insurance company and are paid in large part without you having to reach too deeply into your own pocket.

  1. Are health insurance premiums tax deductible?

Health insurance premiums are deductible on federal taxes, as these monthly payments for coverage are classified as a medical expense. However, if your health insurance is deducted from your paychecks, pre-tax, you are not eligible to deduct your health insurance. 

  1. How does a health insurance deductible work?

The deductible is what you pay for health care services before your health insurance begins to pay for coverage.

  1. How much is health insurance a month?

The average cost for an individual is about $400 a month and $1150 for a family.

  1. Is health insurance tax deductible?

Yes, your premiums are tax deductible if you buy your own health insurance. Medical insurance provided by employers is usually deducted pre-tax so you cannot deduct it from your taxes.

  1. Is it illegal to not have health insurance?

There used to be a health insurance mandate that rolled out with Obamacare, but that mandate has been repealed. No, as of now, you are not legally required to have health insurance. The only states that have a mandate are Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The penalties range from $429-$695 for an adult and half for a child.

  1. Why is health insurance so expensive?

There are many factors that contribute to the high cost of health insurance. These include administrative costs (billing must be done by specialists), drug costs, brand name of the insurer, defensive medicine (doctors are afraid of getting sued so they order multiple tests despite the diagnosis they predict), expensive treatments and wages of healthcare staff.

  1. Do you have to have health insurance?

If you do not have health insurance and suffer an accident or injury, you are prone to medical bankruptcy. Even though you are not legally required to have health insurance, it’s a good idea to have it, even if you’re healthy. The only states that have a mandate are Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The penalties range from $429-$695 for an adult and half for a child.

  1. Is health insurance pre-tax?

Medical insurance premiums are deducted from your pre-tax pay. 

  1. What is the penalty for not having health insurance?

While the laws surrounding health insurance are apt to change, currently there is no penalty if you don’t have health insurance. The only states that have a mandate are Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The penalties range from $429-$695 for an adult and half for a child.

  1. Does health insurance cover therapy?

Yes, health insurance covers mental health providers like psychiatrists and therapists. 

  1. How do I get health insurance?

The best way to get the coverage you need at the lowest prices is to compare health insurance quotes and compare them side by side. 

  1. How many Americans don’t have health insurance?

44 million Americans are uninsured. Another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. See if you can get a better health insurance plan now. 

  1. What is a health insurance claim?

A claim is what a doctor submits to an insurance company so they can get paid. Most insurance plans have the doctor directly bill the insurer. With some types of claims you pay and get reimbursed. 

  1. How to get health insurance after open enrollment

If you have a qualifying event, you can enroll in a health insurance plan. Qualifying events include marriage, divorse, pregnancy and job loss among several other factors.

  1. What is the best health insurance?

Health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. Consider what you need and how much you spend on medical costs per year. Then, begin a health insurance quote to see what prices and coverages are available to you right now. 

  1. Can you cancel health insurance at any time?

If you cancel outside your open enrollment period, you won’t be able to enroll in a new plan. While most enrollment periods begin November 1 through December 15, some states opened their enrollment periods due to COVID-19.

  1. How long can a child stay on parents’ health insurance?

A child can stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until they turn 26. If your child needs to get insured, we can compare prices for great healthcare plans

  1. What is a copay in health insurance?

A copay is a flat fee you pay when you receive health care services. Usually you pay more for a specialist than a primary care physician, but these copays will vary depending on your health insurance plan. Compare rates to see if you’re paying too much. 

  1. What is the health insurance marketplace?

The health insurance marketplace provides health plan shopping and enrollment services. You also have the option to use an insurance agent for health insurance quotesif you want a more personal service.

  1. Are health insurance premiums pre tax?

Yes, your health insurance premiums are taken out of your paycheck pre tax. If you buy your own health insurance, you can deduct the cost from your income tax.

  1. I can’t afford health insurance

See if you qualify for Medicaid (if you are low-income) or Medicare (if you are a senior or a disabled individual). Also, compare your health insurance options before deciding you can’t afford health insurance.  

  1. How to cancel health insurance

Before canceling your health insurance, buy a new health plan or else you may not be able to enroll in a health plan again until November. Contact your agent or your insurer directly to cancel. 

  1. What health insurance pays for gym membership?

Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) and many health insurance plans pay for gym memberships. Some insurers offer a discount for membership. Contact your agent to find out what your insurer offers and see if you qualify for a better insurance plan. Open enrollment is usually between November 1 and December 15 but you can switch now if you have a qualifying event. 

  1. What is coinsurance in health insurance?

Coinsurance is the percentage of a health service charge that you’re responsible to pay. For instance, if your coinsurance is 20%, you owe $20 for a $100 office visit, sometimes to a provider within the network. 

  1. What is short term health insurance?

Temporary health insurance or term health insurance fills gaps in coverage. People often buy short term health insurance to fill in gaps between employment. You can buy short term health insurance anytime

  1. Can I buy health insurance that is not Obamacare?

You can buy private health insurance here

  1. Can you have two health insurances?

It’s legal to have two health insurance plans, but you may be paying for the same coverage twice. Also, you’ll have to pay the deductible on both before you’re covered. Make sure you make the right healthcare decisions by filling out a brief form to speak with a knowledgeable agent. In special circumstances, it makes sense to have two plans but in most cases it’s not necessary.

  1. Do you have to pay health insurance deductible upfront?

No, your payments to various health care providers adds up to the deductible amount. Once you reach the deductible amount, your insurer will pay a portion of your bills directly to the health care provider.

  1. Does health insurance cover dental?

Some health insurance plans include dental coverage and some do not. When they do not come as a bundle, you can buy dental as a stand-alone coverage. Compare your healthcare options here

  1. How much does private health insurance cost?

Unless you are considered low-income and qualify for Medicaid, you do not necessarily pay more for private health insurance. In fact, you may get more benefits for the same price as a marketplace plan. Compare health insurance rates and see for yourself. 

  1. How to check if your health insurance is active online

If you enrolled through, go to the website and into your account. Choose the option for “my applications & coverage” from the drop down menu. Select your completed application. This will show what your coverages are. If you’re not enrolled or think you may be eligible to switch to a different health insurance company, visit here

  1. How to get health insurance without a job

If you lost your job or health insurance or if your state has allowed new enrollment during the coronavirus you buy a new health insurance plan here

  1. What is commercial health insurance?

A health insurance plan that is not administered by the government is commercial health insurance. For example, Medicare and Medicaid are not commercial health insurance but the plan you buy as an individual or family, or the one an employer offers you, is considered a commercial health insurance plan. If you’re interested in buying a group health plan for your business, visit here

  1. What is private health insurance?

Private health insurance is any health insurance coverage that is not offered by a state or federal government agency. Most insurance companies are private health insurance, even the ones offered through an employer.

  1. What is supplemental health insurance?

A supplemental health insurance plan is designed to cover costs that your primary medical insurance does not cover. For instance medical gap insurance, copays, deductibles and coinsurance would be covered by a supplemental health insurance plan. Dental and vision insurance plans, for example, are typical supplemental health insurance plans that providers offer. Medicare supplemental plans are also another option for seniors and those with disabilities. Medicare supplements are often called Medigap.  

  1. What is gap health insurance?

Medical gap health insurance or medical gap insurance is for people and businesses who carry high-deductible health care plans. It pays what your insurance doesn’t but have very limited benefit otherwise.

  1. Can I drop my employer health insurance for Medicare?

Unless your employer has fewer than 20 employees or fewer than 100 if you’re disabled, you would not go on Medicare while you are working, even when you turn 65. Medicare is for disabled seniors and disabled individuals who qualify.

  1. Can I get health insurance now?

Now depends on when you are reading this. During the coronavirus outbreak some states created another enrollment period which is ongoing. Usually, you can only enroll in a healthcare plan during the open enrollment period, typically November 1-December 15. If you have a qualifying event, you may enroll at any time. If you lost your job, that’s a qualifying event and so are a list of other reasons.

  1. How to shop for health insurance

The best way to shop for health insurance is to compare rates side-by-side. 

  1. What’s the cheapest health insurance?

Your rate for health insurance will depend on several factors. UnitedHealth Group, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna and BlueCross Blue Shield are rated well, but it’s important to compare health insurance rates side by side to get a clear picture of coverage. 

  1. Can illegal immigrants get health insurance?

Undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible for Marketplace health coverage or premium tax credits and other savings on Marketplace plans because they are subsidized by the government.They can however buy private insurance. They are also not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

  1. Do I have health insurance?

If you have a health insurance card, check the date. If you don’t have a card, find your insurer’s website and call and ask them about your effective coverage date. If you haven’t been paying your premiums, you may have been dropped. 

  1. Does State Farm offer health insurance?

State Farm offers individual, family and senior health insurance coverage. You can also compare several insurance company offers here

  1. How long can I stay on my parents’ health insurance?

You can stay on a parent’s health insurance plan until you turn 26. 

  1. How much is health insurance for one person?

A few factors affect a plan’s monthly premiums, including age, tobacco use, plan category and whether or not the plan covers dependents. Your health, medical history and gender cannot affect your rate. Compare several health insurance quotes for the best rate

  1. Does AARP offer health insurance?

    AARP offers quality comprehensive and supplemental health insurance plans for members ages 50-64: Essential premier health insurance - specially selected individual major medical health insurance plans offering quality coverage for clients and their families.

  2. I can’t afford health insurance and don’t qualify for medicaid.

If you haven’t gotten a quote, it’s worth a shot to see what private health insurance companies may offer you.

  1. Can you get health insurance anytime?

Most years you can only buy health from November 1 through December 15, but due to the coronavirus, open enrollment is ongoing in several states, which means you may be able to buy it now. If you have a qualifying event, you can enroll in a health insurance plan. Qualifying events include marriage, divorce, pregnancy and job loss among several other factors.

  1. Does health insurance cover chiropractic?

Yes, chiropractic care is covered by insurance in most health insurance plans, even Medicare and Medicaid plans. 

  1. How do health insurance companies make money?

Insurance companies make money by charging premiums, which is what you pay monthly. They reinvest those premiums into other interest-generating assets. 

  1. How do you determine which health insurance is primary?

If you have children, primary coverage usually goes to the parent whose birthday falls first in a calendar year. If you have health insurance through an employer and other insurance, such as through a spouse, yours through your employer is the primary one. However, it’s not necessary to be redundant with health care coverage. Do you really need two health insurance policies? Compare the best health insurance companies’ rates and see if you have a better option.

  1. Does USAA offer health insurance?

USAA offers health insurance to active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel of the U.S military; officer candidates in commissioning programs (Academy, ROTC, OCS/OTS); and adult children (18+) of USAA members who have or had a USAA auto or property insurance policy.

  1. How long does it take to get health insurance?

In most instances, you are buying health insurance between November 1 and December 15 for the policy to be active January 1. If you’re enrolling with a qualifying life event and enroll between the 1st and 15th of the month and pay your premium by its due date, your coverage begins the first day of the next  month. If you enroll between the 16th and the last day of the month and pay your premium in time, your effective date will be the first day of the second following month. 

  1. What is the health insurance tax?

The health insurance tax (HIT) is a $100 billion + sales tax on health insurance. However, currently there is no penalty if you don’t have health insurance. The only states that have a mandate are Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The penalties range from $429-$695 for an adult and half for a child.

  1. How much do employers pay for health insurance?

On average employers pay about 82% of the premium or $5,655 a year. You pay the rest.

  1. Does Cigna offer health insurance?

Cigna offers health insurance for individual and families, dental insurance plans,Medicare plans,Medicare Supplement plans, other supplemental insurance and international health insurance.

  1. How much is health insurance for a family of 4?

According to some studies, a family of four has over $25,000 a year worth of healthcare costs.

  1. How to get affordable health insurance

Different insurance companies will offer you different plans with different prices and different benefits. Compare plans and rates here

  1. How to choose a health plan

There’s a difference between finding the right health insurance rate and finding the best coverage that suits your needs. It’s a good idea to take into consideration how often you see a doctor and what medications you take on an average year. It’s also a good idea to speak with an insurance agent after proving some important information that will determine which plan you choose. 

  1. What is single payer health insurance?

Single payer health insurance is also known as Medicare for All, in which a single public agency organizes health care financing while keeping the delivery of care in private care.

  1. Who is the policyholder for health insurance?

The person who owns the insurance policy is the policyholder for health insurance. You can also add people, like a spouse and/or children, to your policy.

  1. Are payroll deductions for health insurance pre tax?

Yes, if your employer provides health insurance, your portion is deducted before tax deductions.

  1. Can both parents have health insurance on a child?

Yes, this is the most common reason people have two health insurance policies. One health plan is considered primary, the other secondary. Usually, the policy held by the parent whose birthday falls first within a calendar year is the primary policy. 

  1. Can I add my girlfriend to my health insurance?

No, most health insurance do not allow you to add a girlfriend or boyfriend to a policy. However, if she meets the eligibility of a domestic partner your health insurer may allow it. Domestic partner health insurance is when an insurance contract extends the contractual definition of a spouse to include partners and their children.

  1. Can I cancel my health insurance without a penalty?

Yes, unless you live in a state with a mandate (Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.) you can cancel your health plan any time. 

  1. Can I drop my health insurance without a qualifying event?

Yes, unless you live in a state with a mandate (Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.) you can cancel your health plan any time. 

  1. Can undocumented immigrants get health insurance?

Undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible for Marketplace health coverage or premium tax credits and other savings on Marketplace plans because they are subsidized by the government. They can however buy private insurance. They are also not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

  1. Can you get health insurance if you retire at 62?

You do not qualify for Medicare until you’re 65, but you can buy an individual or family health insurance plan

  1. Do employers have to provide health insurance?

In some instances, employers have to pay penalties for not providing health insurance but there is no law that requires them to offer it. 

  1. Do I need health insurance if I have medicare?

If you have Medicare Part A and Part B you don’t need health insurance. However, having only Part B won’t cover you if you’re admitted to a hospital so it wouldn’t suffice.

  1. Does having a medical card affect your health insurance?

The two have nothing to do with each other, and health insurance will not cover a medical card or anything related to medical marijuana.

  1. Does health insurance cover dermatologists?

Most health insurance plans cover general dermatology. You may need to get a referral from a primary care doctor to see one, however. 

  1. Does health insurance cover past medical bills?

Your health insurance will only pay for medical bills that fall within your coverage term, not before it. Even if you’re no longer insured with the company you may get reimbursed for a bill for a service performed during your coverage term.

  1. How can I get health insurance now?

All you have to do is fill in your zip code and answer a few simple questions and you’ll receive several quotes to choose from. 

  1. How many health insurance companies in the U.S. are there?

Currently, there are more than 900 health insurance companies. However, the top five companies have the largest shares of the market. These companies are Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) and CVS Health Corp.

  1. How much is family health insurance?

The average cost of health insurance for a family is roughly $1200 a month. Premiums can vary depending on the size of the family, location and other factors used to calculate rates.

  1. How to buy health insurance without a job

See if you qualify for Medicaid. Contact your local health and human services agency to see how you can apply. If you do not qualify for Medicaid, there may be a subsidized health plan available through your state. Start your search on to find your state’s marketplace.

  1. How to compare health insurance plans

You can’t just compare price tags. See which tier you’re looking at. A bronze plan may cost less than a silver but consider the fact that your doctors visits may cost more and so will prescription drugs. The right plan depends on your lifestyle and health issues. Compare rates for health insurance here but look at coverages side-by-side. 

  1. Should I use a broker to get health insurance?

We advise you to use a knowledgeable broker or agent bystarting the quote process here. You won’t pay a fee, and our trusted partner will be paid a commission from the insurance company.

  1. What does HMO mean in health insurance?

HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. In an HMO, the primary physician is the point-person who refers you to specialists. 

  1. What is cobra health insurance?

If you’ve recently lost your employer-sponsored health benefits, you’re probably eligible for COBRA insurance, but keep in mind that costs are high and you may find a more affordable option for health insurance through an insurance agent. The best option is to compare health insurance quotes with an agent and also find out how much it will cost to retain your current health insurance through COBRA. Only then can you compare coverages and prices.

  1. What is group health insurance?

If your employer offers you health insurance, it’s a group health insurance plan. Group health insurance plans provide coverage to a group of members, usually employees but also sometimes members of organizations. The cost is usually lower because the insurer’s risk is spread across several (sometimes hundreds or thousands) policyholders.

  1. What to do if you don’t have health insurance

It’s important to have health insurance because you may face medical bankruptcy, which is quite common in the U.S. If you are low-income, apply for Medicaid, through your local health and human services agencies. If you can, buy health insurance, even if you can only afford the least bit of coverage. Compare health insurance quotes here

  1. Can you write off health insurance?

If you buy your own health insurance you can write off. If you are given health insurance through an employer, your health insurance costs are deducted pre-tax so you cannot file tax deductions on it. 

  1. Does health insurance cover hearing aids?

Most health insurance plans do not cover hearing aids. If you buy a supplemental medical insurance policy that covers hearing, you may be covered. 

  1. Does a non-custodial parent have to pay for health insurance?

Parents are required to provide healthcare coverage for the dependent child. Family law courts will decide which parent is responsible for providing healthcare insurance for children. If you’re required to pay, you may be able to deduct the amount from the gross annual income figure on the worksheet for child support. 

  1. How long does your health insurance last after you quit?

Usually, health insurance may end on the day you quit or it may last until the last day of the month. If you elect Cobra, you can continue your existing health insurance for 18 months but you’ll be obligated to pay the employer portion of costs as well. 

  1. How to change health insurance

To avoid having a gap between the policies, buy a new health insurance policy first and then cancel your existing coverage. 

  1. How to pick the best health insurance plan

It’s important to compare insurance policies side by side. The price can be deceiving, especially if you see several providers a year. Consider the health insurance tier systemand how much you’re responsible for copays, coinsurance and deductibles. 

  1. Is Medicaid health insurance?

Yes, Medicaid is health insurance for low-income individuals. You can apply for Medicaid through the health insurance marketplace. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, it’s important to buy health insurance in case of an accident, injury or illness.

  1. What happens when you don’t have health insurance?

You risk medical bankruptcy if you experience an injury, accident or you become very ill while you are uninsured. 

  1. What is a good deductible for health insurance?

The higher your deductible, the more you’re responsible to pay for your initial health care costs. Usually, a low deductible plan has higher premium costs and vice versa. It’s important to calculate your health care costs in a given year and estimate what your costs will be before choosing your deductible and plan. Compare health insurance quotes here to get the best coverage for the lowest rate. 

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