Whether you are a business owner or a single individual, you have the option of purchasing private health insurance. Depending on your age, you may be eligible for a plan that offers low-cost or no-cost health coverage.
Short-term health insurance
Using a short term private health insurance plan to cover your health care needs while you are abroad will save you the embarrassment of having to pay out of pocket for any medical bills should something happen to you while you are overseas. Fortunately, there are many such plans to choose from.
While it is not as comprehensive as a health insurance policy that provides coverage for up to a year, a short term private health insurance plan can give you the basic health coverage you need during a gap in coverage. For example, if you are a student who does not extend your college or university coverage, a short term private health insurance plan is a good option to consider.
As a consumer, it is important to understand that short-term private health insurance plans are not ACA compliant. Therefore, it is possible that you could be charged a tax penalty if you purchase a short-term plan.
Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP plans are not private health insurance
Unlike private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP plans are government-run. This means that they are regulated by state and federal governments. These agencies set the benefit packages and cost-sharing structures.
Medicaid provides essential health coverage for over 80 million Americans. It is largely funded by tax revenues. In addition to covering physical health care, it also provides coverage for individuals with disabilities, mental health disorders, and substance use disorders. It pays for home and community-based services that allow people with disabilities to live independently.
CHIP provides health coverage for low-income children. It was created in 1997 as an extension of the Medicaid program. However, it differs from Medicaid in several important ways. First, it is financed by the federal government. Second, it is more complex in some states. And third, it provides an important source of coverage for many children of color.
Cost of private health insurance depends on age and location
Whether you purchase private health insurance on your own or through your employer, the cost will depend on the region you live in and your age. Luckily, you can choose from a variety of affordable plans and insurance companies to find the best fit for your needs. However, some people may qualify for federal financial assistance, such as subsidies.
The cost of private health insurance is also dependent on other factors, such as your location and family size. Having adequate coverage can help you pay for unexpected medical expenses. Those without health coverage may be faced with higher out-of-pocket costs for treatment, and not receiving necessary services can lead to poor health outcomes.
The cost of private health insurance also depends on the type of plan you buy. For example, a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) can be more expensive than an HMO. This type of health plan typically includes a broader range of providers.
Regulation of private health insurers
Among the key issues identified in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) report to the Senate is the practice of private health insurers not recognising certain professional groups. The non-recognition of these groups is based on the fact that they do not have a Medicare provider number.
Insurers must weigh up the costs of claims and the potential utilisation of the service to determine whether it is worthwhile to recognise the provider. The clinical efficacy of a service is also considered.
The AMA has called for the establishment of a well-resourced statutory body to regulate the private health insurance industry. The new authority could be responsible for some standard-setting and oversight of the sector, but would not be the sole regulator. Its role would include some policy development.
Employer-sponsored health insurance is subsidized via the tax code
Regardless of the source of your health care, you are probably aware that employer-sponsored health insurance is subsidized by the tax code. This subsidy, known as “exclusion,” protects workers from paying taxes on their health benefits.
This exclusion has dramatically altered the way medical care markets operate. It also fuels excessive medical spending.
Congress has responded to the problem by intervening in the health market. The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” requires employers to offer coverage to all eligible employees. It also provided new premium tax credits. However, there are still penalties for non-compliant individuals. In addition, companies with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees may qualify for a Tax Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums.
The Affordable Care Act also imposes an individual mandate on most Americans. This mandate will impose financial penalties on non-compliant individuals through 2018.