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Does my company health insurance cover my family too?

young father seeks family health insuranceThe best way to find out whether your company health insurance plan covers your family too is to ask the person at your company who handles the employee benefits; usually a Human Resources representative. Depending on your company’s size, there might even be a dedicated benefits administrator. You can also look at your plan’s description, or call up your insurance provider directly, with your policy ID number at the ready.

Health insurance rates for individuals differ from rates for families. Whichever policy you need, find rates now by putting your ZIP above!

If you have dependents that you need to insure, you should make sure that you sign up for the right plan during the enrollment period at any new company. Expect to pay most, if not all, of your family’s coverage out of your own pocket.

There was a time when companies could afford to foot the bill for their employees’ health insurance, as well as the insurance for their employees’ families, but those days are long gone. These days, employees are being asked to foot at least part of the cost of their own health insurance coverage, in addition to the coverage for any dependents.

How much will I pay for health insurance to cover my family?

According to results from the 2011 Employer Health Benefits Survey conducted by the Health Research & Educational Trust in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual health insurance premium for family health insurance coverage is just a little more than $15,000. Of that, employees contribute just over $4,000 while employers dish out more nearly $11,000.

Family health insurance coverage will cost approximately $300 on a monthly basis, assuming that:

  • Your employer will deduct your portion from your paycheck
  • You are paid every two weeks
  • Use the survey average as a gauge

This number will vary slightly depending on the size of the company, as well as the type of family health insurance plan in which you’re enrolled. High deductible health plans will run you about $400 less each year, while POS plans will run you more than $1,000 more.

What are the benefits to purchasing family health insurance?

Obviously, the biggest benefit to purchasing family health insurance is to protect your entire family in the event of a medical event. Nevertheless, family health insurance also ensures that you will take care of your family’s healthcare needs and not have to weigh treatment costs into every health decision. For instance, should you take your daughter to the doctor for the croup cough, or just “wait it out” so you don’t have to pay for the doctor visit.

Purchasing family coverage is also more economical than insuring each member of your family individually. The only time that insuring each family member separately would be a smarter decision is when one family member has a medical condition that causes the insurance company to raise your family’s rate. Additionally, family health insurance policies typically have a lower deductibles and higher coverage caps than individual plans.

What if I’m currently unemployed and can’t afford family health insurance?

If you don’t have the funds to purchase family health insurance there are resources available in your state to help you whether you’re:

  • Unemployed
  • Underemployed
  • Have to choose between food and healthcare for your family

You should contact your state’s Department of Health and Human Services to find out your options.

For instance, if you live in New Jersey, the state has the NJ FamilyCare program that provides no-cost or low-cost healthcare coverage to children under 18. Some low-income parents and guardians might also qualify for the FamilyCare coverage. The program is contingent upon the household income, which takes into account child support and unemployment wages. To be eligible for the program, the household income where the child lives must be 350% of the federal poverty level, or less.

Parents and guardians in households that make more than that designated amount can still purchase health coverage for their children through the NJ FamilyCare Advantage program. For more information, please read the guidelines and benefits information available on the NJ FamilyCare website. Illinois offers a similar FamilyCare program.

All states offer some type of low or no-cost health insurance coverage for children under the age of 18. Many of these plans are branches of the federal government’s children’s Medicaid program, or a similar CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) plan.

Compare family health insurance quotes from insurance providers in your area by typing your zip code into the box on this page now.