If your workplace or employer doesn’t offer you health insurance, then the obvious choice is to buy private health insurance.

If you’re planning to insure yourself, you need to keep in mind that you’ll have to pay the full cost of the premiums. Thus it is natural to be concerned about how the cost of life insurance will affect you financially.

Fortunately, there are different options and prices available to you based on the level of coverage you need.

Since your employer is not providing you with the insurance benefits, the process of buying private health insurance seems more complicated than simply selecting a company plan and having the premium payments come straight out of your paycheck every month.

Here are some tips that could help you:

How Buying Private Health Insurance Works

You can get insurance by enrolling in a group health insurance plan through your employers. Medicare and Medicaid also provide health care coverage to many Americans.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older while Medicaid is a public assistance healthcare program for low-income Americans regardless of their age.

However, you cannot buy private insurance directly from the state or federal government. If you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and if your company does not offer an employer-sponsored plan, then you have the option of purchasing insurance policies from private insurance companies or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

But how would you know that you need private health insurance?

Here are some scenarios when you might need them:

If you’re unemployed

If you’re currently unemployed or have lost your job, then obviously you have no insurance support from anyone. But you may be eligible to maintain coverage through your employer’s health insurance plan with the help of a program called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA allows eligible employees and their dependents the option to continue health insurance coverage when an employee loses their job or experiences a reduction of work hours

Self-employed

If you’re self-employed, you need to buy your health insurance naturally. However, you can be insured through your spouse’s plan. But if you’re not married, then you must consider buying private health insurance on your own.

If you’re 26 or older

It’s true that under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), young people can be covered as dependents by their parents’ health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.  But after that, you must seek out your insurance policy.

If you retire

When you retire, you will likely no longer be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance. If you are under 65 and not disabled, you will need to purchase individual private health insurance until you turn 65 and can apply for Medicare.

If you find yourself in one of the above situations and lack health insurance coverage, it’s important to enroll in an individual plan as soon as possible. So, do your research or consult an agent who can help you choose the best plan that benefits you and your family.

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