Saturday, June 15, 2024

Health Insurance Plans and Health Coverage in the United States

In simple terms, health insurance is a program that pays for your medical expenses in your place. It is known by many names in the United States like Health Benefits or Health Care Coverage and can be purchased privately, through a social program, or through programs that are funded by the United States’ government. Apart from covering your medical expenses, health insurance can also cover any disability or other nursing or care needs.

The United States Public Health Care overage:

The health insurance rates in the United States had been steadily rising every year which has resulted in more and more people going without health insurance for parts of the year or years. As of 2010, close to 90 million people were out of health insurance for a better amount of time.
This led President Obama to implement his controversial Affordable Care Act, which many had dubbed the “Obamacare“. It was designed to ensure that health coverage was provided to people who lived without it.

There are many public programs:

  1. Medicare: Medicare is a federal program for the senior citizens of America, generally people who are over 65 years old.
  2. Medicaid: Medicaid is a program that is jointly funded by the federal government, and all the states. It covers certain children who belong to families with a very low annual income; it covers their families as well.
  3. SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance Program): SCHIP is another program that is funded by both the federal government and the states. It is there to cover children and their families that cannot afford a private insurance plan and do not qualify for Medicaid.

There are many other public health care insurance programs as well, like Tricare and Veterans Health Administration, which provides coverage and benefits to current or retired military personnel and their families. Then there is Indian Health Service, for American Indians. There is another program under the Affordable Care Act, the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, which allows coverage to people with a pre-existing condition.

The United States Private Health Care overage:

Vast majorities of Americans have some kind of private health insurance plan, the most common among them include insurance by employers or self-purchased insurance plan.

Health Insurance by Employers:

As part of an employee benefits package, businesses provide their employees and their families with health insurance. They generally pay about 85% of the annual coverage of the employee’s health plan and 75% of their families; the rest is paid but the employees. Health insurance by employers is the largest source of health insurance in America, with over 60% of Americans insured through their employment.

Private health coverage plans provided by businesses are better than their public counterparts.


Health coverage plans that are privately purchased by individuals are rare, with only 9% of Americans purchasing them. The coverage is almost the same as the one provided in employment insurance, but it could turn out to be more costly.

Other types of Health Insurance in The United States of America:

There many other types of health insurance also available in the United States, that are not entirely related to medical.

  1. Disability Income Insurance: Disability income insurance is a kind of replacement to the monthly income that an individual used to make before their disability or injury.
  2. Long-term Care Insurance: Long-term care insurance pays purchaser’s cost for long-term care when the individual becomes unable to move due to advancing age or injuries or disability.

Supplemental Health Insurance in The United States of America:

Supplemental insurance is usually offered by private healthcare insurance plans, and are available in employment insurance or by self-purchased insurance.

  1. Medigap (Medicare Supplement Coverage): Medigap is coverage that is there to cover additional expenses that the Medicare does not cover.
  2. Dental Insurance: Dental coverage is rarely provided by insurance plans and has to be purchased separately. Dental insurance covers the cost of an individual’s dental needs.
  3. Vision Care Insurance: Vision care insurance is present to make sure that the eyes receive necessary care and these plans pay for the cost of these checkups.

There are many other types of supplemental insurance like hospital indemnity insurance, specified diseases and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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