Cost of Health Insurance

Health insurance premiums differ in price depending upon coverage, and different providers offer different rates. For most, average individual health care plan premiums start around $205 and can run upwards of $400, depending on overall benefits and coverage.

Within these options, cost drivers often adhere to a variety of factors. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), dubbed ObamaCare, Essential Health Care coverage is provided for both small group and individual plans as of 2014. While Large Group Plans are currently not guaranteed supporters of essential benefit packages, many support working individuals with coverage. The ACA also offers several health insurance plans for individuals, which includes benefits such as ambulatory patient services, emergency services, and hospitalization, preventative services, among others.

Help Paying for Health Insurance

Under the ACA, individuals and families are required to obtain and maintain health insurance. For individuals and families who cannot afford monthly premiums, financial subsidies, such as the premium tax credit, are available. Individuals who make between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the premium tax credit subsidy.

In addition, free or low-cost coverage is available through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Available in all states, Medicaid provides free or low-cost health care for low-income families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Also available in all states, CHIP provides affordable health care to children in families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.