Group Health Insurance — What Is It?

Finding the right affordable health insurance can seem like a daunting task. There are a lot of choices out there, and you probably wonder which one is right for you and your family. Learning about some different ways to get affordable health insurance can make you feel a lot better about the whole idea.

Many people have insurance through their employers. Most large employers have some sort of “group health insurance plan” which just means that the same plan covers a large group of people. Having lots of people on the same plan allows lower-cost insurance premiums. Many times, your employer’s insurance will also cover your spouse, children, and other family members of your household, although this may cost you a bit extra. It’s worth it, though, as it’s a lot cheaper than signing up for an individual insurance policy for each person. If you’re not sure if you’re covered under a insurance plan, or if you need to add a family member to the plan, get in touch with your human resources manager who will be able to point you in the right direction.

What if you lose your job? Under the COBRA act, you can go on paying the group health insurance premiums and keep your previous level of insurance coverage active for up to a year. However, you may have to pay an increased monthly rate because you will pay the employer’s portion as well as your own. For most people, this still works out to be a much better way of getting insurance than searching for a new insurance package, especially for people who are also searching for a new job, when they have quite enough to worry about.

While getting group health insurance through an employer is very common, there are still millions of people who are not eligible because they are self-employed or work for a smaller company that does not qualify for a group rate. While there are also types of government health insurance, like Medicare or Medicaid, not everyone will be eligible for these either. Medicare is a type of insurance available only to those over 65 or suffering from certain disabilities or health conditions. Medicaid is offered by the government to people who make under a certain level of income.

Many people choose to look for a insurance company that offers individual plans. This can often be more expensive than group plan, but certainly not as expensive as not having any health insurance and having to pay your medical expenses out of pocket.

There are many choices for individual and group health insurance, and with the availability of the Internet, many of these plans can be compared with just a few clicks of your mouse. There are even specialized companies that will help you compare and search for the ideal plan that will suit your needs, and point you to a insurance company in your area.

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