There is no definitive answer to this question. The cost of health insurance coverage will depend on a wide variety of factors. However, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has ensured that every U.S. citizen has access to affordable health insurance options. In order to find out what this means for you, you’ll first have to understand what factors play a role in determining the cost of coverage, as well as how your particular circumstances apply.
The place to start is by understanding the options for insurance policies. For most adults, the ideal option is to take advantage of health benefits offered by an employer. This will almost always provide the best coverage at the lowest cost, including benefits for a partner and/or children. If this is not an option offered through your place of employment or as part of your job package, there are other options.
You can look into private insurance providers offering a wide range of plans to choose from. Thanks to the ACA, you can no longer be denied coverage for preexisting conditions. That said, private insurance is often the most expensive option. The final option to consider is Obamacare coverage, obtained through Healthcare.gov or your state health insurance exchange. If you fall into one of several categories of underserved groups (such as low-income, elderly, disabled, etc.) you may qualify for assistance or programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Once you have determined where you would like to look for insurance, it’s time to consider other factors that may determine your out-of-pocket expenses. Naturally, the number of people included on your policy will play a role. However, any preexisting conditions you or others on your policy might have will no longer be a factor in the cost of insurance coverage. Not only are insurance providers required to provide coverage despite preexisting conditions, but pricing and access to treatment cannot be discriminatory based on preexisting conditions, which means they cannot charge more (except in cases of grandfathered policies, which are being phased out).
From there your monthly costs for health insurance coverage will depend largely on the policy you choose. There are several levels of coverage (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), each with their own costs and coverage. In addition to monthly premiums you need to know the costs for deductibles, copays, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Generally, a better policy (i.e. greater coverage) will include a higher monthly premium but lower costs for deductible and copay. If you have frequent and extensive medical needs (and associated costs), it might be in your best interest to go for the higher premium and greater coverage. If you’re relatively healthy with few medical costs to this point and none on the horizon, you’re probably better off choosing a lower monthly premium on the bet that you won’t end up paying your entire deductible or facing extensive copays.
Don’t forget that your circumstances may make you eligible for some type of cost assistance, although this generally only applies if you get insurance through Obamacare. If you fall into a low-income bracket based on your household income, dependents, and so on, you could qualify for low-cost or even no-cost health coverage, in some cases. Obamacare also offers additional services to children, the elderly, pregnant women, and other groups. You’ll simply have to explore your options in order to determine the cost you will pay for health insurance.
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