Is work health insurance really cheaper than a private plan?

by Ali

In today’s time-crunched world, it’s easy to go on autopilot and sign the family up for a health insurance plan offered by an employer; however, setting aside a few minutes to compare options could save your family $600 or more a year for the same level of coverage according to a recent study conducted by Health and Human Services.

Group plans are cutting benefits for families

Employers are required to pay 50% of the premium for an employee; however, they do not have to contribute anything towards dependents.

Since employers are paying for part of the working employee’s coverage, the group plan from work is usually the cheapest option for the worker. When it comes to the worker's family though, private plans are increasingly becoming the more affordable option.

Group plans are cheaper by the dozen

On most group plans, if you add coverage for children you pay the same amount regardless of how many children you have: a family with one child pays the same thing as a family with six children. However, in the individual market you pay a separate premium for each family member.

As a result, if a family is small (such as two partners plus one child) you can often find a private insurance plan that is cheaper than the family group plan.

Larger families tend to benefit from group plans because they don't have to pay a separate premium for each of the kids like they would have to for individual plans.

Open Enrollment Season

Open Enrollment (November 1, 2015 - December 15, 2015) is the time to sign your family up for individual health insurance coverage that begins on January 1, 2016. This year, take 5 minutes to see if you can save your family money by passing on the group family plan. Take Command Health is here to help you compare and enroll in private plans for your family!


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Hi, I'm Ali! I wrote this blog because I love helping people decode confusing insurance jargon and understand the fine print. I'm a licensed health insurance professional and specialize in simplifying health insurance for individuals and small businesses. My QSEHRA articles have been featured regularly on Accounting Today, Accounting Web, HRWeb, and other industry publications. I'm also a member of Take Command Health's client success team and a full-time mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!