The most common and popular form of health insurance is usually obtained through one’s employer, as a benefit. Most of the larger employers these days usually offer some type of “group” health plan for their employees. The term “group insurance” means that there is a group of people on the same plan, which when combined, decreases the cost of the monthly premiums. These group health plans usually cover the employee and their immediate families, depending on the policy. A plan covering more than yourself, obviously increases the monthly premium, but you being able to protect your entire family inexpensively is a huge benefit. Usually the premiums are conveniently and automatically deducted from your salary on a monthly basis. To find out if your company has a group health insurance plan, contact the human resources department. They should provide you access to buy into a group health insurance plan at any time during your employment.
If you happen to leave your current employer who offers the group health insurance, you can exercise the COBRA law with the now previous employer’s health insurance coverage. COBRA is a US government act that will legally allow you to continue the same health coverage which you had under your previous employer, although the rate may be more expensive. If you happen to of had coverage for your entire family, COBRA will also allow you to continue the family coverage for a certain period of time.
There are however millions of people in North America who are unable to participate in any type of group health insurance plan. The same health insurance companies do offer individual health coverage plans for those who don’t have coverage through their employer. This also extends to those who are self-employed, or those who are ineligible for local government health insurance assistance, such as Medicaid or Medicare.
These individual health insurance plans are a little more expensive in relation to group health insurance plans. They can also cover other family members as well as spouses for an additional cost. Finding yourself an individual health plan with a good rate is not difficult. Most all health insurance companies offer individual health plans. The best way is to search online for individual health insurance plans and most will give you an instant quote. Some of the sites will even allow you to compare prices as well as details on plans that are offered in your area – much like getting quotes for car insurance.
You can also get federal health assistance, this depending on certain eligibility criteria and if you qualify for them. If you’re over the age of 65, or have a disability or specific medical condition, (detailed by the government), you may be eligible for Medicare. Medicaid is another health insurance program offered by the US government, that’s based on household income.
Overall, it’s important that you and your family be covered in some way, regardless of how you go about getting it. Make sure you research your options of the various coverages out there and speak with a professional representative, to find out the best health insurance option available to you.