Beginner’s Guide to Affordable Health Insurance

Most employers offer health insurance options to employees as part of their compensation packages. However, individuals who have these insurance options available to them still need to make choices regarding which specific plan they want to enroll in. For example, enrollees can choose the types of coverage they want. 

However, if you are self-employed, work part-time or are an independent contractor, you are usually responsible for finding your own insurance options. If you are unfamiliar with the different providers and types of coverage that are available, this may be especially confusing. The following sections explain the different types of health insurance providers, how you can enroll in these programs and when you can request to receive benefits. 

Learn About Humana Health Insurance and Other Providers 

One of the most difficult parts of finding the best health insurance for you is choosing a provider. There are many different companies that offer health insurance coverage, and you may be overwhelmed when determining which one will be best for you.  

Before you decide which of the health insurance plans fits your needs, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the different providers available. These are the companies that are responsible for offering the plans you can enroll in. Some of the most popular health insurance providers include: 

  • Aetna. 
  • Cigna. 
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield. 
  • United HealthCare. 

Age Requirements to Enroll in AARP Health Insurance

Depending on your age, you may also consider enrolling in one of the AARP medical coverage insurance programs. However, keep in mind that there is an age requirement you must meet in order to receive benefits through this program. Similar to other AARP benefits, insurance through this provider is only available to older individuals. 

In fact, you can only purchase AARP health insurance if you are between the ages of 50 and 65 years of age. This is because once you turn 65, you qualify to receive health care coverage through Medicare. If you are younger than 50 years of age and need to purchase a health insurance package, you must choose from a different provider. 

About Small Business Health Insurance Options 

If you own your own business, obtaining health insurance for you and your employees can be especially challenging. This is because you are responsible for purchasing your own coverage. Since health insurance costs usually increase from one year to the next, finding the most affordable plans can be difficult.

However, there are different low-cost health insurance plans you can purchase as a small business owner to secure coverage for you and your employees. Overall, the type of plan that best suits your company will depend on: 

  • Your budget and how much you are able to spend on health insurance costs. 
  • The size of your small business. 
  • The types of coverage you need for you and your employees. 

Many of the major health insurance providers that offer individual plans also offer options that small business owners can take advantage of. If you need to compare different plans, you can easily do this by researching various insurance packages online. 

When you find a specific plan or provider you like, you may need to contact an insurance agent to learn about the company’s specific offerings. By learning as much as you can about your options, you can make the best decision for you and your workers. 

When is health insurance Open Enrollment? 

The health insurance Open Enrollment period refers to the part of the year when individuals can enroll in new coverage plans. If you work for a company that provides you with health insurance options, this is the time when beneficiaries can select new coverage packages. Similarly, individuals who purchase their own health insurance plans can use this time to select new packages from a specific or new plan provider. 

There is only one Open Enrollment period each year. To make sure you always have the coverage that best fits your needs and budget, it is important that you make sure you know when this period is. Once it passes, you will generally not be able to select a new insurance plan until the next year. However, there are some instances when you can qualify to select a new plan during a Special Enrollment Period. 

Not everyone qualifies to reselect a coverage plan during the Special Enrollment Period. In order to choose insurance outside of Open Enrollment, you need to have a qualifying life event happen to you. Generally, this means: 

  • You get married. When you get married, you have the option of adding your spouse to your current insurance coverage. Likewise, you may find that you want to discontinue your coverage and join your spouse’s plan. You can make this change during the Special Enrollment Period. 
  • You have a baby. Once you have a baby, you will probably want to have him or her covered by health insurance. 
  • You change jobs. If you received health insurance through a previous employer and you switch jobs or leave your former position, you will likely lose your insurance. For this reason, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period so you can obtain new coverage during this time. 

Find Out About Other Types of Health Insurance You Can Buy 

Once you obtain your basic health insurance, you may wonder about other insurance options that are available to you. For example, if you plan on leaving the country sometime soon, you may want to consider buying travel health insurance. Often, health insurance that is issued in the United States cannot be used for medical coverage overseas. 

If you want to make sure you have the coverage you need while abroad, you must purchase travel insurance before your trip. Depending on the coverage you purchase, you can seek specific types of medical attention abroad in the event of an emergency. 

However, you must remember that certain types of travel insurance may only cover specific types of expenses abroad. Likewise, specific insurance plans may only provide coverage in particular countries. Make sure you take these factors into consideration when you determine which plan will best serve your needs. 

If you are a pet owner, you may also be able to purchase pet health insurance. Different providers offer this option. Coverage varies, but this insurance can help offset the amount you would be responsible for paying when you take your dog to the vet. However, keep in mind that only certain types of procedures may be covered.