The Basics of Private and Public Health Insurance in the United States

Health insurance ranges from catastrophic coverage to high-end low deductible plans. Health insurance is required by law in the US. Public, private, and subsidized private options under the Affordable Care Act make shopping for insurance slightly complex, but it also leaves a lot of room open to save money.

In this section we discuss all the health insurance jargon and some tips and tricks for using all the healthcare laws to your advantage to save money on health plans.


Catastrophic Health Insurance

Catastrophic Health Insurance is type of health insurance policy that assists with medical care costs in the event of a catastrophe or high cost treatment. It has higher deductibles and early on out-of-pocket costs or only supplements a primary insurance in the event of hospitalization, but they have much lower monthly premiums than other types . . . read more


Minimum Essential Coverage

Minimum essential coverage is the type of health insurance you need to avoid the fee for not having health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We cover what counts and what doesn’t.


ObamaCare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)

ObamaCare, officially known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is a healthcare reform law that changes a lot about the way health insurance works in the United States. While the 1000 page law includes an overwhelming amount of changes, only a handful of key provisions that affect the average American. In this section we break down what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act.


Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Each health insurance type has an annual open enrollment period, below we cover open enrollment for individuals and families, Medicaid, Medicare, and more.


Health Savings Account (HSA)

A HSA is your best friend if you make between 100% – 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Tax deferred dollars go in and tax-free dollars come out when you pay for care. It lowers your taxable income, helps you qualify for more subsidies, can roll over into your retirement account, and while it can’t give you back-rub… it can actually help pay for one.


What is Health Insurance?

Health insurance is a contract with a health insurer that protects the insured against medical costs. Health insurance can work as a catastrophic coverage, or as a more comprehensive coverage on higher premium plans. There are a number of different private and public health insurance types. Health insurance is required by law for those who can afford it in the United States.


Short Term Health Insurance

Short term health insurance is a type of temporary health coverage for those who are in between other options. Short term won’t protect you from the fee for not having health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) as it doesn’t count as minimum essential coverage.  Short term also doesn’t have to follow other rules . . . read more


Individual and Family Health Insurance

Individuals and families have a number of private health insurance options, and those without employer coverage may qualify for cost assistance or Medicaid. Let’s take a quick look at health insurance options for individuals and families: we’ll look at employer plans, the Marketplace and Medicaid, how the Affordable Care Act affects these options, how to figure out which . . . read more