Answer: Depends on which state you live in?
2nd Answer: Depends on how much your employer subsidizes?
I love asking people how much they are paying for their health insurance. Typically you get a long delay then…..well it is taken out of my check. Some folks do know exactly what it cost. Most of the time those folks are self employed. Well the data is in for 2016 as far as the average monthly group health premium in the United States.
The Data Don’t Lie
2016 Group Health Average Premiums
Single from $279 to $780 per month
Family from $708 to $1,714 per month
One of the many problems with the current model of health insurance is most of the time it is delivered to us through an employer.
- Someone else picks your insurance carrier
- Someone else picks your insurance plan choices
- The real cost is hidden
- Employees assume that is the best choice available
The opportunity cost of not looking at other options is obvious. You have to look at all your options. Most of the time the employer is mandated to pay for at least half of the employee only. Many employers pay for 100% of the employee only. In other words, FREE. This would be what we call “a no brainer”. No need to shop that option, just take it and go kiss your employer.
What are your other options? Perhaps there are two employers offering health insurance in a household. Maybe there are ways to slice and dice the coverage to leverage the best possible deal.
The chart below is the average cost of single and family health insurance through an employer.
In 2015 the average monthly health insurance premium for a family was $1,462
In 2015 the average monthly health insurance premium for an individual was $521
Knowing what something really cost is essential to helping solve the health insurance problem.
If your employer picks up the majority of the cost then you can really add that value to your salary because the cost is the same regardless of who is paying for it. Time also changes the dynamics of the cost. It is hard to believe cost can triple in such a short period of time. Make sure your data is correct in your analysis of something being a really good or even a bad deal.
Every year under the ACA there is a time where everyone regardless of health or circumstance can change health plans either through the Marketplace or directly with insurance carriers. In 2016 the dates have now been set.
Individual Market Open Enrollment Period Set for 2016
|The CMS has set the under 65 market annual open enrollment period for 2016 to begin on Nov. 1, 2015, and run through Jan. 31, 2016, giving consumers three full months to shop. The Medicare open enrollment for 2016 is set for Oct. 15, 2015, through Dec. 7, 2015|
Of course if you receive your health insurance through an employer you will have to work within their open enrollment dates as well.
Teachers for example usually have to make their open enrollment changes in August. There will never be a perfect time; however, these 2016 dates are a vast improvement. Remember the earliest effective date will be 1/1/2016.
Plan ahead and make the changes that benefit you and your family. Use tools like www.elphelp.com to view all the plans available. Consult a broker because it does not cost you any more money to gain expert advice. Do not be afraid to use all options available.
Example: Wife & kids on employee plus children rate through school district cost my family $297 a month (pretty good deal for 5 belly buttons). If I was on the plan (under Family rate) it would be north of $1,000. I gained coverage elsewhere for $170 so my monthly savings is over $500 a month or $6000 a year.
I call this strategy “slice and dice.”
In summary, plan ahead and look at all your options and all your combinations. Obviously, there are other considerations with deductibles and overall risk so you will have to do the math. Get help and take some time to evaluate what is best for your family every year.