Public Vs. Private Health Insurance: What’s The Difference?

Public Vs. Private Health Insurance: What's The Difference?

You want to take control of your money, your future, and your health, but when it comes to your insurance, you may feel limited. Most people don’t have many options when it comes to the types of insurance they can access. The government provides insurance to some while others get theirs through their employer. The main difference between public and private health insurance is who pays for it. Keep reading for more details about the differences in health insurance.

What Is Public Health Insurance?

Public health insurance is typically provided for low-income individuals for free or at a lower rate. The most common types of public health insurance don’t require co-pays or deductibles. On the other hand, options are often limited. Further, if you choose to attain health insurance through the Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you may pay more for insurance than through a private plan sponsored by an employer.

Types of Public Health Insurance

  • Medicare, which is an insurance plan provided by the federal government to persons 65 and older. It was designed to help support the rising aging population.
  • Medicaid, which is provided by the state and federal government to some children and low-income individuals and families. The ACA expanded Medicaid to include individuals under the poverty line who do not qualify for Medicare.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which supports families who cannot afford private health insurance but who also do not qualify for Medicaid. It is a joint state and federal program.

What Is Private Health Insurance?

Most Americans receive their health insurance through private providers. Though the government works with many of the same providers, private health insurance is offered by companies like United Health, Aetna, and Blue Cross. One of the main drawbacks to private insurance is that it can cost more for the owner and for those utilizing the plan.

Types of Private Health Insurance

Mainly, you can utilize private health insurance in two ways. You can have a company-sponsored plan that you and your coworkers pay into and receive coverage from. The other option is to invest in your own individual health insurance plan, for which you will be responsible for choosing a reputable insurance company. Individual health insurance is necessary if you own your own practice.

The main difference between public and private health insurance is that public health insurance is subsidized by the government (i.e., the public) while private insurance is funded by individual members who are being covered. People do not typically choose which type of insurance they will receive; most are grateful just to have it.

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