Health Insurance Options for 1 Income Families

Trying to come up with a title for this article was a tough one.  As with most of my articles, the basis of this article comes from working with a client.

My client has a job that is offering group insurance.  When he looked at what it would cost to insure him and his family, he just about passed out.  He called me in a panic not sure what to do.  He was smart to call an agent.  He sent me the information for his employer plan and I started digging into the numbers.  Here is what I found:

– the employer coverage for the employee-only was very good.
– the dependent children coverage was comparable to the individual market because he had 3 kids
– coverage for his wife was much higher than what was available in the open market

During my next conversation with him, I explained this.  He then asked about subsidies.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t qualify for subsidies.  This is for 2 reasons:

1.  His employer offers insurance that meets ACA requirements offering the essential health benefits

2.  His employer’s coverage is deemed affordable since the least expensive option for employee-only coverage is less than 9.5% of his income.

So, what are my recommendations for this person:

– Use the employer offered insurance for you and your children.

– Get a separate individual policy for your wife.

There are a lot of assumptions here like:  everyone is in good health, but this will be a common occurrence and we shouldn’t immediately criticize a company for not offering insurance to employee’s spouses.  They may actually be doing you a favor depending on your income level.

Every situation is different, but the message is clear:  Don’t blindly accept what your employer is offering you and your family with regards to health insurance.  There may be better options for you and your family.


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