YOU ASK:

How much does health insurance cost the average family?

WE ANSWER:

You may very well expect premiums of $1,000 a month for health insurance for your family. However, there is no cut and dried amount, it really depends on:

  • The set of benefits you select. Of course, the line-up of benefits and their maximum benefit limits will have a considerable effect on how much you have to pay in premiums. If you opt for a more comprehensive coverage, particularly one that is counted as a "Cadillac" plan, there will be an additional 40% in taxes for premiums. This tax will be levied for premiums in excess of a specified limit.
  • The amount of deductible and co-payments. These also determine the premiums. The lower the deductibles and co-payments, the higher the premiums. In contrast, the higher the deductibles and co-payments, the lower the premiums. This is especially true for Cadillac plans which usually don't have any deductibles or co-payments.
  • The kind of plan (whether you go with an HMO, a PPO or any other type of health insurance plan). HMO plans are commonly cheaper than PPO plans.

The best thing you can do to be sure about how much you stand to pay to get coverage for your family is to ask your HR department or if you are buying through the individual market, you can ask your agent for quotes for various plans and providers.

You can rest assured that with the healthcare reform bill, you will get affordable premiums, since insurance companies are barred from raising their premiums without justification and they can't also work in additional non-medical expenses into your premiums. When the healthcare reform bill is fully executed, insurance companies can only tack up to 20% of the premiums as administrative or non-medical expenses.

In addition, insurance companies cannot charge premiums based on health or any pre-existing conditions. Premiums will instead be based on age and other factors such as occupation and income.

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