There is no doubt that health care in the United States is expensive. That was the entire reasoning behind the Affordable Care Act, the law known colloquially as Obamacare. Tens of millions of people couldn’t afford health insurance and were not offered it through their work. Now, there is a little bit of help for those seeking insurance including tax credits and eligibility for Medicaid in some states when your income is low enough. So, how much can the average single person expect to pay for health insurance? That’s what we will be looking at in this article.
Estimating Health Care Premiums
There are several factors that you can use to estimate how much your healthcare is going to cost you. The first thing to look at is how you are getting a plan. If you are getting a health insurance plan through your employer, then you might not have to pay the monthly premium yourself. Many employers share this cost with their employees. However, even if that is the case, market research has shown that employees can often save money with individual plans by going outside of what their employer is offering. You should do your research to find out.
Another thing that will affect how much your health care premium will cost is what type of plan you choose. For example, plans with high deductibles may cost hundreds of less per month than a plan that has a very low deductible. We’ll get into deductibles in the next section, but just know for now that a high deductible almost always means a lower monthly premium and vice versa.
Your health may also be a factor when it comes to the plan that you choose. Your age, gender and geographic location may also factor into your premium cost. All of these things are calculated by the company offering the healthcare insurance that you are getting. Remember, they make money by betting against you getting sick and winning most of the time.
Finally, there may be other factors that affect your premium such as add-ons to your plan. For example, with some health care plans, adding vision and dental will cost you extra each month. Other plans have specific plans for prescriptions that you can choose from. There are many options out there to look at when it comes to creating the perfect health care plan and monthly premium that fits in your budget.
Estimating Other Healthcare Costs
Estimating your premium also requires that you look at the other costs. Unless you have the most amazing healthcare insurance plan in the world, you are also going to have to pay a deductible and co-pays for various provider services, prescription medications and more.
Let’s start with your deductible. Almost every health care plan out there has some kind of deductible. Medicaid is one of the few exceptions. The deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance will begin to contribute. So, if you have a $2000 annual deductible, your insurance company will pay nothing unless your healthcare costs exceed $2000 for covered services.
There are also co-pays that you will be required to pay. A co-pay is a cost that comes with a specific service that your insurance normally covers. This happens after your deductible is met. So, imagine that your deductible is $2000 and your last doctor visit was $3000. You paid $2000 and your insurance company paid $1000. That was an unexpected procedure that required x-rays and other diagnostic tests. Now, you have to in for a follow up. Your insurance company may pay the bill on the visit, but you are going to have to pay a co-pay of somewhere around $25 to $50.
Co-pays also happen on regular provider services that your insurance covers without the deductible being met. For example, you might have to pay a co-pay on your regular yearly physical, a co-pay to pick up any prescription medication and on anything else that your insurance company covers. The amount of the co-pay will depend upon your insurance plan and the type of procedure that it is.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that it is really difficult to estimate how much health insurance might cost for the average single person. After all, there are simply too many variables to consider. However, the average seems to be somewhere around $350 to $450 a month. That is for the average healthy person between 25 and 35 with no preexisting conditions or major health needs. It is for the median deductible and no plan extras. But it could be much less or quite a bit more depending upon what plan options you choose so the best way to know is to get an estimate directly.