Health Insurance: Individual vs. Family Policy

You can get health insurance coverage from an employer, organization, or marketplace. Depending on your current situation, you can apply for an individual or family health insurance policy. When shopping for insurance coverage, you need to understand the differences between the two plans because both have specific requirements based on your family size, age, and income.

What Are Individual And Family Health Insurance Policies?

Individual health insurance policies are available to people not enrolled in either an employee-based policy or a government program. A family policy is similar to an individual policy except that it will cover many people. In most cases, family health insurance will increase the deductible, monthly premiums, and out-of-pocket maximums.

The Affordable Care Act requires individual and family health insurance policies to cover the following health benefits:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Hospitalization
  • Preventative and wellness services
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Emergency and laboratory services
  • Mental health and substance abuse care
  • Outpatient, pediatric and rehabilitative services

By enrolling in an individual or family plan, you are assured that you will be covered if you need any of the above health care services.

How Do I Enroll In An Individual Or Family Health Insurance Policy?

You can get an individual or family health insurance policy through your state or the federal insurance marketplace. You must apply and choose a plan during the open enrollment period. This occurs every year, typically from the beginning of November to mid-December. If you miss out on the November to December open enrollment period, you won’t be able to get or change your health insurance, except you’re eligible for a special enrollment period.

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