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  • Writer's pictureAhsan Malyk

Is It Cheaper To Buy Your Own Health Insurance?

Getting health insurance through your employer is usually cheaper than getting private insurance because your employer helps you pay the premium. However, there are exceptions.

Should you get health insurance through your job or buy your own personal plan?

Employer-sponsored health insurance is usually cheaper than personal health insurance, but there are exceptions. Read our complete guide to determine when it's best to buy your own insurance and when to stick to your employer's offer.

Is it cheaper to have my own health insurance?

Employer-sponsored health insurance is often cheaper because the company helps fund health insurance and medical expenses. Federal law requires businesses with more than 50 employees to pay at least 60% of their health insurance premiums. Companies typically exceed this percentage.

The market for individual plans is usually more expensive than employer-sponsored plans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the average annual insurance company premium for employer health insurance is $1,669 for individual coverage.

Compare this to the individual market where the average annual individual premium is over his $5,000. Family insurance is often even more expensive, with monthly premiums more than double his personal insurance.

As I said, there are exceptions. An individual whose household income is less than 400% of her state's poverty line receives a federal grant when she purchases a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange. These subsidies come in the form of premium tax credits to lower the cost of health insurance plans in the ACA market.

The 2021 American Rescue Plan extends these subsidies to all Americans with its two-year Marketplace plan. In this case, you may be able to find health insurance market plans that are cheaper than employer-sponsored plans. Otherwise, personal insurance costs more than a workplace plan.

Business owner insurance vs. private insurance

When deciding between private health insurance and employer-sponsored health insurance, you may find that employer-sponsored health insurance offers limited health insurance options. Some companies offer several options, but your job may only offer one plan.

In the meantime, there are several insurance companies and health plans to choose from when it comes to personal coverage in your area. So you can probably find a better rate with your employer's insurance company, but your options are more limited than in individual markets.

In addition, employer-sponsored health insurance may offer other health benefits and perks, such as: B. Employer Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSA is associated with high deductible health insurance, which helps members save on future medical expenses. Employers can also fund the HSA.

How does employer health insurance work?

Coverage is usually available from the first month you start working. However, many employers have registration deadlines for insurance coverage. B. 30 to 60 days after opening the position.

If you miss the registration window, you will have to wait until the next year's window. Also, unless there is a major life event that requires a plan renewal, you will need to change your plan until the next enrollment period. B. Divorce or adoption of a new child in the family.

Employers usually deduct some health insurance premiums from your salary.

Advantages and disadvantages of employer-sponsored insurance

There are a few pros and cons to consider if you are trying to decide between employer-sponsored health insurance or buying your own private plan.


  • A large portion of the policy's premiums are paid by the employer

  • Coverage is often cheaper than an individual plan

  • The employer manages the insurance plan

  • Premiums can be deducted from your paycheck

  • Contributions lower your taxable income


  • Plan options are limited to what the employer offers

  • You may only be able to enroll or make changes during certain periods of time

  • An employer isn't required to split the cost of the premiums for your spouse and dependents health care (although they often will)

Do you have to enroll in insurance from your employer?

Employer health insurance plans aren't mandatory but they are worth taking advantage of. Because of the Affordable Care Act, large companies of 50 or more are required to offer it and pay for at least 60% of the premiums.

Employees are capped at paying for monthly premiums of 9.78% or less of your household's income. However, 9.78p does not apply to your spouse and dependents.

If you do not have company health insurance, you can apply for personal insurance.

Do I need to get health insurance through my job?

Employer-paid health insurance is usually cheaper than having private health insurance because the employer must cover at least 60% of his costs. But if they don't cover your dependents, paying their premiums out of pocket can be very expensive.

If your employer requires you to pay for dependent health insurance yourself, you can look into private health insurance plans such as B. Plans with high HSA deductibles.

Medicaid or Medicare can also be considered if you are on a tight budget.

Government-sponsored options are usually cheaper than health insurance offered through private insurance or work. If you're eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, see how much you can save by enrolling in both.

If you're still unsure which way to go, contact an independent insurance agent or broker who can help determine the best option.

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