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Exam Code: SCNS-EN SCNS Tactical Perimeter Defense health January 2024 by Killexams.com team

SCNS-EN SCNS Tactical Perimeter Defense

Exam Detail:
The SCNS-EN (Tactical Perimeter Defense) test is designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills of individuals in tactical perimeter defense concepts and practices. Here is a detailed overview of the exam, including the number of questions and time, course outline, test objectives, and test syllabus.

Number of Questions and Time:
The SCNS-EN test typically consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. The duration of the test is 90 minutes.

Course Outline:
The SCNS-EN certification course covers various courses related to tactical perimeter defense. The course outline may include the following components:

1. Introduction to Tactical Perimeter Defense:
- Understanding tactical perimeter defense concepts and principles
- Components and functions of a secure perimeter
- Threat landscape and evolving attack techniques

2. Network Security Fundamentals:
- Overview of network security principles and protocols
- Common network security vulnerabilities and threats
- Network security controls and technologies

3. Perimeter Defense Strategies and Technologies:
- Defense-in-depth strategy for perimeter security
- Firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems
- Secure remote access and VPN technologies

4. Network Traffic Analysis and Monitoring:
- Traffic analysis techniques and tools
- Network monitoring and log analysis
- Incident detection and response

5. Secure Network Design and Configuration:
- Secure network design principles
- Secure network device configurations
- Hardening techniques for network devices

6. Wireless Network Security:
- Wireless network vulnerabilities and threats
- Wireless security protocols and encryption
- Wireless intrusion detection and prevention systems

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the SCNS-EN certification test are to assess the candidate's understanding and knowledge in the following areas:

- Tactical perimeter defense concepts and principles
- Network security fundamentals and technologies
- Perimeter defense strategies and technologies
- Network traffic analysis and monitoring techniques
- Secure network design and configuration
- Wireless network security best practices

Exam Syllabus:
The SCNS-EN test syllabus covers the following topics:

1. Introduction to Tactical Perimeter Defense
2. Network Security Fundamentals
3. Perimeter Defense Strategies and Technologies
4. Network Traffic Analysis and Monitoring
5. Secure Network Design and Configuration
6. Wireless Network Security

Candidates are expected to have a solid understanding of these courses and their practical application in the field of tactical perimeter defense. The test assesses their ability to analyze network security requirements, implement perimeter defense strategies, configure secure network devices, and monitor network traffic for security incidents.
SCNS Tactical Perimeter Defense
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SCNS Tactical Perimeter Defense
A. The MAC Address, the IP Address and the IP Protocol ID
B. The IP Address, the IP Protocol ID and a Port number
C. The MAC Address and the IP Protocol ID
D. The MAC Address, the IP Protocol ID and a Port number
E. The Ethertype and a Port number
Answer: B
Question: 224
In an ICMP Message, what is the function of
the first eight bits?
A. To define the source port number
B. To define the type
C. To define the destination port number
D. To define the IP Version
E. To define the upper layer protocol
Answer: B
Question: 225
You are introducing a co-worker to the security systems in place in your organization. Early in
the discussion you begin talking about the network, and how it is implemented. You decide to
run a packet capture to identify different aspects of network traffic for your co-worker. In the
packet capture you are able to identify Protocol IDs. Which of the following is the IP Protocol ID
for UDP?
A. Protocol ID 51
B. Protocol ID 21
C. Protocol ID 6
D. Protocol ID 17
E. Protocol ID 11
Answer: D
Question: 226
In order to properly manage the network traffic in your organization, you need a complete
understanding of protocols and networking models. In regards to the 7-layer OSI model, what is
the function of the Network Layer?
A. The Network layer allows two applications on different computers to establish, use, and end a
session. This layer establishes dialog control between the two computers in a session, regulating
which side transmits, plus when and how long it transmits.
B. The Network layer manages logical addresses. It also determines the route from the source to
the destination computer and manages traffic problems, such as routing, and controlling the
congestion of data packets.
C. The Network layer packages raw bits from the Physical (Layer 1) layer into frames (structured
packets for data). Physical addressing (as opposed to network or logical addressing) defines how
responsible for transferring frames from
devices are addressed at the data link layer. This layer is
waits for an acknowledgment
one computer to another, without errors. After sending a frame, it
from the receiving computer.
D. The Network layer transmits bits from one computer to another and regulates the transmission
of a stream of bits over a physical medium. For example, this layer defines how the cable is
attached to the network adapter and what transmission technique is used to send data over the
E. The Network layer handles error recognition and recovery. It also repackages long messages,
when necessary, into small packets for transmission and, at the receiving end, rebuilds packets
into the original message. The corresponding Network layer at the receiving end also sends
receipt acknowledgments.
Answer: B
Question: 227
You are using Network Monitor to capture some traffic for later analysis. When you do begin to
look at your captured data, you examine the TCP traffic you captured. In a TCP Header, what is
the function of the first sixteen bits?
A. To define the type
B. To define the IP Version
C. To define the destination port number
D. To define the upper layer protocol
E. To define the source port number
Answer: E
Question: 228
If you configure an access-list to block the following networks, what are you trying to protect
against? Network, Network\0, Network\8, Network\16,
and Network 168.0.0\16.
A. You are trying to protect against hijacking
B. You are trying to protect against spoofing
C. You are trying to protect against sniffing
D. You are trying to protect against splicing
E. You are trying to protect against capturing
Answer: B
Question: 229
You are a host in a network segment that has IP addresses in the range of
168.16.1~ You need to create an access control list that will filter your segment
of addresses. Which of the following is the wildcard mask that will be used to filter your network
Answer: E
Question: 230
The exhibit represents a simple routed network. Node 7 is a Windows NT 4.0 Workstation that
establishes a TCP communication with Node 10, a Windows 2000 Professional host. The routers
are Cisco 2500 series running IOS 11.2. While working at Node 10, you run a packet capture.
When Node 10 receives a packet sent by Node 7, what will the capture reveal is the source MAC
A. Interface for Node 7
B. Interface E0 of Router A
C. Interfaces for both Nodes 7 and E0
D. Interface E0 of Router D
E. Interface for Node 10
Answer: D
Question: 231
During a network capture, using Wireshark, you capture some ICMP traffic for analysis. In an
ICMP Message, what is the function of the first eight bits?
A. To define the source port number
B. To define the type
C. To define the destination port number
D. To define the IP Version
E. To define the upper layer protocol
Answer: B
Question: 232
A router has two active Ethernet interfaces. Interface E0 is connected to network
while Interface E1 is connected to network You are configuring access control lists
to manage specific access, which is disallowed on these segments. The configuration of the lists
are as follows:
router(config)#access-list 123 deny tcp eq 20
router(config)#access-list 123 deny tcp eq 21
router(config)#access-list 123 deny tcp eq 20
router(config)#access-list 123 deny tcp eq 21
router(config)#access-list 123 permit tcp
router(config)#Interface Ethernet 0
router(config-if)#ip access-group 123 in router(config-if)#Interface Ethernet 1 router(config-
if)#ip access-group 123 in Based on the above list configuration, which of the following
statements is true on the router?
A. All packets will be dropped
B. All packets that match the deny statements will be forwarded to the console port
C. All packets that do not match the deny statements will be allowed
D. An Access List cannot simultaneously be implemented upon two or more interfaces
E. We do not know if this is a standard or extended access list, therefore there is not enough
Answer: A
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Exin Perimeter health - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/SCNS-EN Search results Exin Perimeter health - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/SCNS-EN https://killexams.com/exam_list/Exin Lesbian Health

A: Lesbians face unique challenges within the health care system that can cause poorer mental and physical health. Many doctors, nurses, and other health care providers have not had sufficient training to understand the specific health experiences of lesbians, or that women who are lesbians, like heterosexual women, can be healthy normal females. There can be barriers to optimal health for lesbians, such as:

  • Fear of negative reactions from their doctors if they disclose their sexual orientation.
  • Doctors’ lack of understanding of lesbians’ disease risks, and issues that may be important to lesbians.
  • Lack of health insurance because of no domestic partner benefits.
  • Low perceived risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases and some types of cancer.

For the above reasons, lesbians often avoid routine health exams and even delay seeking medical care when health problems occur.

  • Heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer of all women. Factors that raise women’s risk for heart disease — such as obesity, smoking, and stress — are high among lesbians. The more risk factors (or things that increase risk) a woman has, the greater the chance that she will develop heart disease. There are some factors that you can't control such as getting older, family health history, and race. But you can do something about some of the biggest risk factors for heart and cardiovascular disease — smoking, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.
  • Exercise. Studies have shown that physical inactivity adds to a person's risk for getting heart and cardiovascular disease, as well as some cancers. People who are not active are twice as likely to develop heart and cardiovascular disease compared to those who are more active. The more overweight you are, the higher your risk for heart disease. More research with lesbians in this area is needed.
  • Obesity. Being obese can make you more likely to get heart disease, and cancers of the uterus, ovary, breast, and colon. Many studies have found that lesbians have a higher body mass than heterosexual women. Studies suggest that lesbians may store fat more in the abdomen and have a greater waist circumference, which places them at higher risk for heart disease and other obesity-related issues such as premature death. Additionally, some suggest that lesbians are less concerned about weight issues than heterosexual women.

    At this time, more research is needed in these areas: physical activity in lesbians; possible dietary differences between lesbians and heterosexual women; if a higher BMI is a reflection of lean tissue and not excess fat; and if there’s a different cultural norm among lesbians about thinness. In addition, other important factors for researchers to consider are race/ethnic background, age, health status, education, cohabitation with a female relationship partner, and having a disability. Studies have reported that among lesbian and bisexual women, African American or Latina ethnicity, older age, poorer health status, lower educational attainment, lower exercise frequency, and cohabiting with a female relationship partner increases a lesbian woman’s likelihood of having a higher BMI.

  • Nutrition. Research supports that lesbian and bisexual women are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables every day. More research on food consumption and dietary differences in relation to health and lesbians and bisexuals is needed.
  • Smoking.Smoking can lead to heart disease and multiple cancers, including cancers of the lung, throat, stomach, colon, and cervix. Lesbians are more likely to smoke, compared to heterosexual women. Researchers think that high rates of smoking in this population are a consequence several things, like social factors, such as low self-esteem, stress resulting from discrimination, concealing one’s sexual orientation, and tobacco advertising targeted towards gays and lesbians. Studies have also found that smoking rates are higher among gay and lesbian adolescents compared to the general population. Smoking as a teen increases the risk of becoming an adult smoker. We know that about 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking as teens.
  • Depression and Anxiety. Many factors cause depression and anxiety among all women. Studies show that lesbian and bisexual women report higher rates of depression and anxiety than heterosexual women do. This may result from the fact that lesbian women may also face:
  • Social stigma
  • Rejection by family members
  • Abuse and violence
  • Being treated unfairly in the legal system
  • Hiding some or all aspects of one’s life
  • Lacking health insurance

Lesbians often feel they have to conceal their lesbian status to family, friends, and employers. Lesbians can also be recipients of hate crimes and violence. Despite strides in our larger society, discrimination against lesbians does exist, and discrimination for any reason may lead to

depression and anxiety.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse.Substance abuse is as serious a public health problem for the lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people (LGBT) as it is for the general U.S. population. Overall, exact data suggest that substance use among lesbians — particularly alcohol use — has declined over the past two decades. Reasons for this decline may include greater awareness and concern about health; more moderate drinking among women in the general population; some lessening of the social stigma and oppression of lesbians; and changing norms associated with drinking in some lesbian communities. However, both heavy drinking and use of drugs other than alcohol appear to be prevalent among young lesbians and among some older groups of lesbians.
  • Cancers. Lesbian women may be at a higher risk for uterine, breast, cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers because of the health profiles listed above. However, more research is needed. In addition, these reasons may contribute to this risk:
  • Lesbians have traditionally been less likely to bear children. Hormones released during pregnancy and breastfeeding are believed to protect women against breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.
  • Lesbians have higher rates of alcohol use, poor nutrition, and obesity. These factors may increase the risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers, and other cancers.
  • Lesbians are less likely to visit a doctor or nurse for routine screenings, such as a Pap, which can prevent or detect cervical cancer. The viruses that cause most cervical cancer can be sexually transmitted between women. Lesbians have similar rates of mammography testing (for breast cancer) as heterosexual women.
  • Domestic Violence. Also called intimate partner violence, this is when one person purposely causes either physical or mental harm to another. Domestic violence can occur in lesbian relationships as it does in heterosexual relationships, though there is some evidence that it occurs less often. But for many reasons, lesbian victims are more likely to stay silent about the violence. Some reasons include fewer services available to help them; fear of discrimination; threats from the batterer to “out” the victim; or fear of losing custody of children.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is the most common hormonal reproductive problem in women of childbearing age. PCOS is a health problem that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, heart, blood vessels, and appearance. Women with PCOS have these characteristics:
  • high levels of male hormones, also called androgens
  • an irregular or no menstrual cycle
  • may or may not have many small cysts in their ovaries. Cysts are fluid- filled sacs.

An estimated five to 10 percent of women of childbearing age have PCOS (ages 20-40). There is evidence that lesbians may have a higher rate of PCOS than heterosexual women.

  • Osteoporosis. Millions of women already have or are at risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis means that your bones get weak, and you’re more likely to break a bone. Osteoporosis in lesbian women has not yet been well studied.
  • Sexual Health. Lesbian women are at risk for many of the same STDs as heterosexual women. Lesbian women can transmit STDs to each other through skin-to-skin contact, mucosa contact, vaginal fluids, and menstrual blood. Sharing sex toys is another method of transmitting STDs. These are common STDs that can be passed between women:
  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV). Although we don’t know for sure that BV is caused by a sexually transmitted agent, BV occurs more commonly among women who have recently acquired other STD’s, or who have recently had unprotected sex. For reasons that are unclear, BV is more common in lesbian and bisexual women than heterosexual women, and frequently occurs in both members of lesbian couples. BV happens when the normal bacteria in the vagina get out of balance. Sometimes, BV causes no symptoms, but over half of affected women have a vaginal discharge with a fishy odor or vaginal itching. If left untreated, BV can increase a woman’s chances of getting other STDs such as HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can cause genital warts and abnormal changes on the cervix that can lead to cancer, if it is not treated. Most people with HPV or genital warts don’t know they are infected until they have had a Pap test because they may not have symptoms, but the virus can still be spread by contact. Lesbians can transmit HPV through direct genital skin-to-skin contact or by the virus traveling on hands or sex toys. Some women and their doctors wrongly assume that lesbian women do not need a regular Pap test. However, the virus can be spread by lesbian sexual activity, and many lesbians have been sexual with men so it is recommended that lesbian women have a Pap test. This simple test is an effective method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer. Begin getting Pap tests no later than age 21 or sooner if you’re sexually active. These recommendations apply equally to lesbians who’ve never had sex with men, as cervical cancer caused by HPV has been seen in this group of women.
  • Trichomoniasis “Trich”. It is caused by a parasite that can be passed from one person to another during sexual contact. It can also be picked up from contact with damp, moist objects such as towels or wet clothing. Trich is spread through sexual contact with an infected person. Signs include yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge (often foamy) with a strong odor; discomfort during sex and when urinating; irritation and itching of the genital area; and lower abdominal pain in rare cases. To tell if you have trich, your doctor or nurse will do a pelvic test and lab test. A pelvic test can show small red sores, or ulcerations, on the wall of the vagina or on the cervix. Trich is treated with antibiotics.
  • Herpes. Herpes is a virus that can produce sores (also called lesions) in and around the vaginal area, on the penis, around the anal opening, and on the buttocks or thighs. Occasionally, sores also appear on other parts of the body where the virus has entered through broken skin. Most people get genital herpes by having sex with someone who is shedding the herpes virus during periods when an outbreak is not visible. The most common cause of recurrent genital herpes is HSV-2, which is transmitted through direct genital contact. HSV-1 is another herpes virus that usually infects the mouth and causes oral cold sores, but can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral sex. Lesbians can transmit this virus to each other if they have intimate contact with someone with a lesion or touching infected skin even when an outbreak is not visible.
  • Syphilis. Syphilis is an STD caused by bacteria. Syphilis is passed through direct contact with a syphilis sore during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If untreated, syphilis can infect other parts of the body. Syphilis remains uncommon in the general population, but has been increasing in men who have sex with men. It is extremely rare among lesbians. However, lesbians should talk to their doctor if they have any non-healing ulcers.
Sun, 31 Dec 2023 15:20:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.webmd.com/women/lesbian-health
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10 Best Diets Of 2024, According To Experts

The first thing to consider when deciding on a diet is: What’s my goal? Am I trying to lose weight or body fat? Or am I trying to Strengthen a specific aspect of my health or my life? A 2014 study in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine found that examining the intersection of life goals and dietary goals can have an impact on your ability to achieve and maintain diet-related changes . Once you know what your desired outcome is, it’s time to delve into the details.

Dr. Cheskin says to determine if you’re likely to stick with a diet, it’s important to “know yourself—the more you can be introspective, the better.” After all, a 2018 study in JAMA Network found people achieved similar weight loss results on a healthy low-fat diet and a healthy low-carbohydrate diet. So the diet that’s likely to work for you is the one you’re most likely to stick with .

To that end, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the diet have foods I like to eat?
  • What is it about my habits and preferences that might make this particular approach work for me?
  • What am I going to change to help me lose weight or lower my cholesterol or my _____?
  • Are the foods on this diet affordable?
  • Do I have time to shop for and prepare the recommended meals?

“The practicality of what you’re choosing is really important because there are still only 24 hours in a day,” says Bonci.

It’s also wise to consider your dieting history, including what has worked for you and what hasn’t—and why. “There are very few people in this world who haven’t been through this a few times before,” Bonci says.

There may be valuable lessons in your previous experiences. If you were tired and miserable on a low-carb approach in the past, you should probably look at a different one. On the other hand, if you were successful with a plan that included mini meals throughout the day, that approach might be worth trying again.

Also, think about what’s realistic for your lifestyle. While a rigid, calorie-cutting plan may be appealing initially because it takes the guesswork out of what to eat, it may be hard to stick with it for an extended period of time.

“If there isn’t some flexibility built in, it probably won’t work for you in the long term because life throws us curveballs,” says Dr. Cheskin. “It should be adaptable to different situations and personalities.” In other words, it needs to be a plan you can live with.

It’s also important to consider a particular diet’s safety and effectiveness. For example, is there research or science behind the diet? Or is it based on unproven assumptions? Look at statistics or clinical studies to gauge its success for other people, Dr. Cheskin advises. In general, experts say that a healthy, sustainable weight loss plan should include:

  • A healthy number of daily calories. That means no less than around 1,500 for women, or 1,800 for men—although that number varies based on factors like your weight and activity level.
  • A variety of foods from different food groups. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean protein and healthy fats, says Dr. Cheskin. The diet should include appropriate proportions of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) to provide your body with energy, as well as sufficient micronutrients (like vitamins and minerals) for optimal function. It shouldn’t rely on supplements to provide these nutrients, says Dr. Cheskin, because that suggests the plan is nutritionally unsound and not sustainable.
  • An afternoon snack. Snacks “keep people fulfilled,” says Dr. Cheskin. “Part of eating is not just to fill the fuel tank; it’s also the pleasure of food.”

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Mon, 01 Jan 2024 19:49:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/health/body/best-diets/ Buying Private Health Insurance

If your employer doesn’t offer you health insurance as part of an employee benefits program, you may be looking at purchasing your own health insurance through a private health insurance company. It is common to be concerned about how much it will cost to purchase health insurance for yourself. However, there are various options and prices available to you based on the level of coverage that you need.

Key Takeaways

  • You may need to purchase individual healthcare coverage if you just turned 26 years old, are unemployed or self-employed, work part time, are starting a business that will have employees, or have recently retired.
  • If you do not have the option of enrolling in an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, a good source for gaining insurance coverage is through the Health Insurance Marketplace that was created in 2014 by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • If you are at least age 65 or disabled, you can enroll in Medicare, with the option to add additional coverage through a private Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan.

How Buying Private Health Insurance Works

A premium is the amount of money that an individual or business pays to an insurance company for coverage. Health insurance premiums are typically paid monthly. Employers that offer an employer-sponsored health insurance plan typically cover part of the insurance premiums. If you need to insure yourself, you’ll be paying the full cost of the premiums.

When purchasing your own insurance, the process is more complicated than simply selecting a company plan and having the premium payments come straight out of your paycheck every month. Here are some tips to help guide you through the process of purchasing your own health insurance.

Some Americans get insurance by enrolling in a group health insurance plan through their employers. Medicare also provides healthcare coverage to people 65 years or older and the disabled, and Medicaid has coverage for low-income Americans.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older. Certain young people with disabilities and people with end-stage renal disease may also qualify for Medicare. Medicaid is a public assistance healthcare program for low-income Americans regardless of their age.

If your company does not offer an employer-sponsored plan, and if you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, individuals and families have the option of purchasing insurance policies directly from private insurance companies or through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Scenarios When You Might Need Private Health Insurance

There are certain circumstances that make it more likely that you will need to purchase your own health insurance plan, including:

A Young Adult 26 Years of Age or Older

Under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, young people can be covered as dependents by their parents’ health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old. After that, they must seek out their own insurance policy.


If you lose your job, you may be eligible to maintain coverage through your employer’s health insurance plan for a period of time through a program called the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA allows eligible employees and their dependents the option to continue health insurance coverage at their own expense. 

While coverage through COBRA can be maintained for up to 36 months (under certain circumstances), the cost of enrolling in COBRA is very high. This is because the formerly employed person pays the entire cost of the insurance. Typically, employers pay a portion of healthcare premiums on behalf of their employees.

A Part-Time Employee

Part-time jobs rarely offer health benefits. A part-time job is any position that requires employees to work a lower number of hours than would be considered full time by their employer, or 40 hours per week. If you work part time, you usually must enroll in your own health insurance.


A self-employed person may work as a freelancer or own a business. Some self-employed people can get health insurance through a spouse’s plan. If not, they must provide their own health insurance.

A Business Owner Who Has Employees

If you start a business and you have employees, you might be required to offer them health insurance. Even if it’s not required, you might decide to offer health insurance to be a competitive employer that can attract qualified job candidates. In this situation, you will be required to purchase a business health insurance plan, also known as a group plan.

If You Retire (or Your Spouse/Parent Retires)

When you retire, you will likely no longer be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance. If you are under age 65 and not disabled, you will need to purchase individual private health insurance until you turn 65 and can apply for Medicare. Many retirees choose to purchase private Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans in addition to Medicare as a way of guaranteeing more comprehensive coverage. Some retired people may also decide to completely replace Medicare coverage with a private Medicare Advantage plan.

It is important to note that Medicare, Medigap, and Medicare Advantage plans are only for the individual—your spouse, partner, and any dependents cannot be insured through your Medicare plan. This means that if your family was previously insured through your employer’s plan, and you retire, your family members may need to enroll in individual insurance plans.

Dropped by Your Existing Insurer

Although the ACA prevents insurers from canceling your coverage—or denying you coverage due to a preexisting condition or because you made a mistake on your application—there are other circumstances when your coverage may be canceled. It’s also possible that your insurance may become so expensive that you can’t afford it.

Why You Should Purchase Health Insurance

If you find yourself in one of the above situations and lack health insurance coverage, it’s important to enroll in an individual plan as soon as possible. (The fine for failing to obtain coverage was canceled in 2019.)

Even though you’re not required to have insurance, you cannot predict when an accident will occur that will require medical attention. Even a minor broken bone can have major financial consequences if you’re uninsured.

If you purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may be eligible for income-based premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions. The marketplace is a platform that offers insurance plans to individuals, families, and small businesses.

The ACA established the marketplace as a means to achieve maximum compliance with the mandate that all Americans be enrolled in health insurance. Many states offer their own marketplaces, while the federal government manages an exchange open to residents of other states.

While you may not be able to afford the same kind of plan that an employer would offer you, any amount of coverage is more advantageous than none. In the event of a major accident or a long-term illness, you will be prepared.

Choosing the Best Insurance Plan for You

There are several different kinds of health insurance plans, and each of these plans has a number of unique features.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

A health maintenance organization (HMO) is a company with an organizational structure that allows them to provide insurance coverage for their subscribers through a specific network of healthcare providers.

Typical HMO features include paying for insurance coverage for a monthly or annual fee. Premiums tend to be lower for HMOs because health providers have patients directed at them, but the disadvantage is that subscribers are limited to accessing a network of doctors and other healthcare providers who are contracted with the HMO.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

A preferred provider organization (PPO) is a type of insurance plan in which medical professionals and facilities provide services to subscribed clients at reduced rates. Healthcare providers that are part of this network are called preferred providers or in-network providers. 

Subscribers of a PPO plan have the option of seeing healthcare providers outside of this network of providers (out-of-network providers), but the rates for seeing these providers are more expensive.

Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)

An exclusive provider organization (EPO) is a hybrid of HMO and PPO plans. With an EPO plan, you can only receive services from providers within a certain network. However, exceptions can be made for emergency care.

Another characteristic of an EPO plan is that you may be required to choose a primary care physician (PCP). This is a general practitioner who will provide preventive care and treat you for minor illnesses. In addition, with an EMO plan, you usually do not need to get a referral from your PCP to see a specialist physician.

High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

A high-deductible health plan (HDHP) has a couple of key characteristics. As its name implies, it has a higher annual deductible than other insurance plans. A deductible is the portion of an insurance claim that the subscriber covers themselves. HDHPs typically have lower monthly premiums.

This type of plan is ideal for young or generally healthy people who don’t expect to demand healthcare services unless they experience a medical emergency or an unexpected accident.

The last defining feature of a high-deductible health plan is that it offers access to a tax-advantaged Health Savings Account (HSA).

HSA subscribers can contribute funds that can later be used for medical costs that their HDHP doesn’t cover. The advantage of these accounts is that the funds are not subject to federal income taxes at the time of the deposit.

Consumer-Driven Health Plan (CHDP)

Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) are a type of HDHP. A portion of services that subscribers receive is paid for with pretax dollars. Like other HDHPs, CDHPs have higher annual deductibles than other health insurance plans, but the subscriber pays lower premiums each month.

Point-of-Service (POS) Plan

A point-of-service (POS) plan provides different benefits to subscribers based on whether or not they use preferred providers (in-network providers) or providers outside of the preferred network (out-of-network providers). A POS plan includes features of both HMO and PPO plans.

Short-Term Insurance Policy

A short-term insurance policy covers any gap that you might experience in coverage if, for example, you change jobs and your new company plan doesn’t kick in immediately.

It typically lasts for three months. Term lengths vary by state, and in some U.S. states, you may be eligible for a short-term plan for up to 12 months.

Short-term health insurance is also called temporary health insurance or term health insurance. It can be useful if you’re changing jobs, waiting to become eligible for Medicare coverage, or waiting out the designated open enrollment period for a plan.

Under a short-term insurance plan, your spouse and other eligible dependents may also be covered. However, one important caveat of a short-term insurance plan is that in some cases, preexisting conditions can disqualify you from coverage. The definition of a preexisting condition varies depending on the state where you live, but it is usually defined as something you have been diagnosed with or received treatment for within the last two to five years.

Catastrophic Coverage

Catastrophic health insurance is a type of insurance plan that is typically only available to adults ages 30 or younger. To qualify, you must receive a hardship exemption from the government. Catastrophic health insurance typically has lower premiums than other health insurance plans.

These types of plans are intended for people who cannot afford to spend much money every month on insurance premiums but don’t want to be without insurance in the event of a serious accident or illness.

While catastrophic health insurance plans may have low monthly premiums, they typically have the highest possible deductibles.

Choosing a Deductible

Once you’ve decided on the type of plan that is best for you, you’ll need to determine how much you can afford to pay as a deductible. This is the predetermined amount that you pay for covered healthcare services before your insurance plan starts to pay.

What can you afford to pay in out-of-pocket medical expenses each year? With most health insurance plans, the higher your deductible is, the lower your monthly premium will be. If your monthly cash flow is low, you might have to opt for a higher deductible.

Another key consideration when selecting an insurance plan is the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum. After you’ve spent this amount on deductibles and medical services through co-payments and co-insurance, your health plan will pay the entire cost of covered benefits.

How Much Does Private Health Insurance Cost?

While many people are scared by the prospect of purchasing their own insurance versus enrolling in an employer-sponsored plan, some studies have shown that it can end up being more affordable than employer-sponsored plans.

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average annual premium for an employer-sponsored insurance plan for individual coverage in 2023 was $8,435 per year. This total increases to $23,968 per year for family coverage.

In addition, if you end up purchasing coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may qualify for a Cost-Sharing Reduction subsidy and Advanced Premium Tax Credits. These can lower your premium payment amounts, your deductible, and any co-payments and co-insurance for which you are responsible.

Where to Go to Buy Private Health Insurance

You have several options when it comes to buying private health insurance.


If you are (or are soon to be) retired, you can begin on the Medicare website. It is recommended that you see what the standard Medicare plan covers and then look at options for ways to supplement Medicare through Medigap and Medicare Advantage policies.

When considering Medigap or Medicare Advantage coverage, it’s important to understand how both work types of coverage work in conjunction with standard Medicare coverage.


As a result of the ACA, the Health Insurance Marketplace was created in 2014. You can visit the Health Insurance Marketplace website to find out more about the options for health insurance coverage that are available where you live. You can also determine if you qualify for any subsidy and apply for it.

The marketplace has a specific open enrollment period. Typically, it is from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 every year, although various events may lead to the open enrollment period being extended or reopened.

The website includes information about private plans that are available for purchase outside of the marketplace. However, if you purchase a plan outside of the marketplace, whether during open enrollment or not, then you will not be eligible for any subsidies available under the ACA.

Under certain circumstances, an individual may be eligible to purchase a healthcare plan through the exchange even if it is outside of the specified open enrollment period. This is called a Special Enrollment Period. You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if you experience a household change, including getting married or divorced, having or adopting a child, a death in your family, moving, losing your health insurance, being in a national catastrophe, or experiencing a disability.

The American Rescue Plan of 2021 increased subsidies for ACA plans for lower-income Americans and broadened subsidies to include some subsidies at higher income levels.

Private Health Insurance Companies

You can visit the websites of major health insurance companies in your geographic region and browse available options based on the type of coverage that you prefer and the deductible that you can afford to pay.

The types of plans available and the premiums will vary based on the region where you live and your age. It’s important to note that the plan price quoted on the website is the lowest available price for that plan and assumes that you are in excellent health. You won’t know what you’ll really pay per month until you apply and provide the insurance company with your medical history.

Pricing and the type of coverage can vary significantly based on the health insurance company. Because of this, it can be difficult to truly compare the plans to determine which company has the best combination of rates and coverage. It can be a good idea to identify which plans offer the most of the features that you require and are within your price range, then to read consumer reviews of those plans.

If you are choosing a family plan or are an employer who is choosing a plan that you’ll provide to your employees, then you’ll also want to consider the needs of others who will be covered under the plan.

Key Factors for Choosing a Plan

Health insurance plans offer a variety of different features. While it may be hard to find a plan that offers everything you desire, consider which of the following features are the most medically and financially necessary. Here are some questions to consider when you are researching plans:

  • Does the plan offer prescription drug coverage? Does it only cover generic versions of prescription drugs? What is the co-payment (also referred to as the co-pay) on generics and name-brand drugs? Check the medicines you’re already taking, if any.
  • What is the office visit co-payment, and does the plan have instituted a maximum number of office visits that it will cover per year?
  • What is the co-payment for specialized services, such as X-rays, lab tests, and surgery? How about for an emergency room visit?
  • Do you want a plan that allows you to add vision and dental coverage?
  • Do you need pregnancy benefits?
  • Do you already have a doctor who you like? If so, you might want to find a plan that includes your doctor in its insurance company’s provider network.
  • Do lifetime and annual maximum benefits apply? The ACA effectively eliminated lifetime and annual maximums for essential medical services, but this does not include dental and vision coverage, for example.
  • Does the plan offer free or discounted services for preventive care, such as an annual checkup? Most plans under the ACA provide free coverage for most preventive care services. Short-term insurance plans and catastrophic coverage may not.
  • Does the plan cover specialty services such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and acupuncture visits?
  • What hospitals are included in the network?
  • For PPOs, what is the cost for out-of-network services, should you want or need them? Can you afford this?

When Can I Buy Private Health Insurance?

Most types of health insurance have an open enrollment period during which you can sign up for private health insurance. This is true whether you buy insurance via the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance exchange in your state, sign up directly through the insurer, enroll in the plan that your employer offers, or sign up for Medicare.

Certain life events can trigger a special enrollment period, which will allow you to change your health insurance coverage outside of the normal enrollment period. These events include getting married or divorced, having a baby, losing your job-based health insurance, or moving out of your health plan’s service area.

What Does Private Health Insurance Cost?

In 2023, the average national cost for health insurance per year was $8,435 for single coverage and $23,968 for family coverage. However, this cost can vary considerably depending on your healthcare needs, the state where you live, and what level of coverage you require.

Where Can I Buy Private Health Insurance?

A good place to start looking for coverage is the Health Insurance Marketplace created in 2014 by the ACA. On the marketplace for your state, you can look through the details of private health insurance plans and compare the cost and benefits of each. If your state does not have its own marketplace, use HealthCare.gov.

The Bottom Line

Getting your own health insurance policy is not as easy as signing up for an employer’s plan, but at least you have control over the plan that you get. Once you figure out what you need and become familiar with the terminology used to describe health insurance plans, your research will become easier. With the number of options available, you can probably find a plan that meets both your needs and your budget.

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 10:04:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/private-health-insurance.asp
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Sat, 30 Dec 2023 10:01:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/science_society/public_health/
Best Health Insurance Companies Of 2024

Most pre-retirement Americans get health insurance through an employer. If you’re under age 26, you could get health insurance through an employer, a spouse’s plan or a parent’s health plan.

From an Employer

Group health insurance through an employer is how most pre-retirement age Americans get health insurance. Employers often offer health insurance as part of their benefits.

Group coverage is usually more affordable than buying health insurance in other ways since employers typically pay more than half of costs.

Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace

The ACA health insurance marketplace at Healthcare.gov offers health insurance to people who don’t qualify for an employer-sponsored health plan. Some states have chosen to operate their own exchanges at different websites, but you can find the right exchange for your state through Healthcare.gov.

The federal marketplace and state exchanges allow you to compare plans available in your area. You can enter your income and family information. The marketplace website uses your income to provide you cost estimates for each plan that considers subsidies and premium tax credits that reduce ACA plan costs.

Directly from a Health Insurance Company

You can buy an individual health insurance plan directly from an insurer without going through the federal marketplace website. These plans could be the same as those offered on the ACA exchange. If you go this route, you won’t benefit from subsidies found with ACA plans.

Health insurance companies could also sell plans not offered on the ACA exchange and that don’t comply with federal rules. You might be able to find a cheaper plan directly through an insurer, but it might not be as comprehensive as the plans you will find on the federal health insurance marketplace.


Medicare is a federal health insurance program for senior citizens, some people with disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease.

Medicare has multiple parts including Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Part D.

  • Part A covers hospitalizations, skilled nursing facilities and hospice care.
  • Part B covers doctor services, outpatient care, preventive services and medical supplies.

Members with Parts A and B can also buy a Part D plan, which provides prescription drug benefits.

Medigap plans will cover some of the gaps in Medicare.

Another alternative is Medicare Advantage, which is offered by private health insurance companies. Medicare Advantage members get the benefits found in Parts A and B and usually prescription drug benefits, too. Medicare Advantage plans often offer expanded benefits like dental care, vision care and assistance paying for meals and transportation.


Medicaid is a federal/state low-income health insurance program for people who are eligible. Eligibility varies by state. Medicaid bases costs on a person’s income, but those eligible pay little to nothing for comprehensive health insurance coverage.

The Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) is a similar federal/state program for pregnant women and children. Some states combine Medicaid with CHIP, while others keep them as separate programs.

Short-Term Health Insurance

Short-term health insurance offers limited coverage at low costs in most states. Some states don’t allow short-term health insurance and critics say these plans don’t provide enough coverage.

Short-term health insurance plans are meant as a stop-gap to bridge other health insurance plans. For instance, a short-term plan may be a low-cost solution if you’re between jobs.

Most states let insurance companies offer short-term health plans for a year and members have the chance to renew a policy twice. But some states limit short-term health insurance plans to shorter periods.

One drawback to short-term health insurance is that it doesn’t offer the same level of coverage as standard health insurance. You may have trouble finding a short-term plan that covers maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health.

Catastrophic Health Insurance

Catastrophic health insurance is available only to people under age 30 or those going through severe financial problems, such as homelessness.

Catastrophic health plans, offered through the ACA marketplace, have low premiums and high out-of-pocket costs when you need care. Unlike short-term health plans, which have limited benefits, catastrophic health insurance has the same level of care found in an ACA plan.

Wed, 03 Jan 2024 00:38:00 -0600 Les Masterson en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/health-insurance/best-health-insurance-companies/
Best affordable health insurance plans of 2024

Kaiser Permanente is the best affordable health insurance company, according to our analysis.

We evaluated health insurance companies based on cost, coverage options, NCQA quality rating and consumer complaints. Use this rating as a starting point to compare providers and find the best cheap medical insurance for your situation.

Affordable health insurance companies of 2024

Why trust our health insurance experts

Our team of insurance experts evaluates hundreds of insurance products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 129 health insurance companies analyzed.
  • 864 health insurance plan rates reviewed.
  • 5 levels of fact-checking.

Compare the best cheap health insurance companies

We analyzed the average rates of Bronze health insurance plans offered by the best health insurance companies across the nation. Those with the cheapest average cost made our rating of the best and most affordable insurance companies.

To first determine the best health insurance companies, we compared providers that sell individual health insurance plans. Each health insurance company was eligible for up to 100 points, based on its performance in the following key categories:

  • Cost (30 points). Health insurance companies with the lowest average monthly premium and deductible for Silver tier health insurance plans received the highest score.
  • Consumer complaints (25 points). Health insurance companies with the lowest levels of complaints received the highest score. We collected complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which shows the volume of health insurance consumer complaints against each company.
  • NCQA quality rating (25 points). Health insurance companies with the highest quality ratings received the highest score. We collected data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits health plans and produces ratings based on specific metrics.
  • Variety of health insurance plans (10 points). Health insurance companies with the greatest variety of health insurance plans (HMO, EPO, PPO) received the highest score.
  • Metal tier offerings (10 points). Health insurance companies with the most options of metal tier plans received the highest score.

How to get affordable health insurance

The best way to get the cheapest health insurance is through your workplace. Many employers offer group health insurance to their employees and families. Group health insurance is cheaper than getting individual health insurance, and most employers pay a portion of the health insurance premium, making your cost more affordable.

If you can’t get coverage through your workplace, the Health Insurance Marketplace may offer low-cost health insurance. There are usually several Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant health plans in your area, and the website can help you choose one.

You might be eligible for even cheaper health insurance through Marketplace subsidies if your household income is at or lower than 400% of the federal poverty level for your household size.

Medicaid may be another option if you have a low income. This health insurance program can offer you comprehensive health insurance coverage at little or no cost.

Another option is going directly to a health insurance company. Plans may not be ACA-compliant, however. It’s worth reviewing and comparing the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) for each plan to determine which will best fit your needs.

How much does health insurance cost?

Health insurance costs an average of $974 a month for a Bronze plan (the lowest level plan) on the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace, which is where you can buy a health insurance plan via Healthcare.gov. The monthly average cost increases to $1,269 for a Silver plan, $1,383 for a Gold plan and $1,724 for a Platinum plan.

There are several factors that affect how much you’ll pay for health insurance, including:

  • Your age and the ages of your dependents.
  • The health insurance plan copays, deductibles, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums.
  • The health insurance coverage and metal tier you choose.
  • The health insurance company and plan you choose.
  • The type of health insurance policy (EPO, HMO, PPO, etc.) you buy.

The more the health insurance company covers, the more you’ll pay in health insurance premiums. If you choose a higher health insurance deductible and out-of-pocket maximum, you could save on your premium. Just be prepared to pay more out of pocket for your health care in exchange for that lower premium.

Average cost of health insurance by age 

Average monthly cost based on unsubsidized ACA plans. Source: Healthcare.gov.

If you’re shopping for cheap health insurance, there are multiple things to consider, including the plan type, tax credits and coverage choices. We break down the most important factors to consider when comparing quotes to find cheap medical insurance.

Bronze Plans 

Of all the metal tiers, Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, though you’ll pay the most for your health care costs. With a typical Bronze plan, the insurance company pays 60% of covered expenses, while you pay 40%. Expect deductibles for Bronze plans to be thousands of dollars per year. 

This plan is best for someone who wants health insurance coverage for severe injuries or illnesses but can afford to pay for preventive and routine care out of pocket.

Silver Plans

Health insurance companies usually pay around 70% of health care costs on a Silver plan, while you pay 30%. This metal plan offers lower deductibles than Bronze plans but has a higher monthly premium costs. Still, Silver plan deductibles can still be in the thousands. 

“If you qualify for a subsidy and reduced cost-sharing, Silver plans may be the most affordable option for you,” said Evan Tunis, president of Florida Healthcare Insurance. 

If you don’t qualify for a subsidy but are willing to pay a slightly higher premium to cover more routine care, consider a Silver plan.

Gold Plans

A Gold plan might be worth the cost if you go to the doctor regularly or have high health care costs. Although it has higher premiums than Bronze and Silver plans, your deductible is lower and the insurance company pays about 80% of your cost of care.

Platinum Plans 

The metal tier plan with the highest cost is the Platinum plan, but it comes with the lowest deductible. Nearly all your health care costs will be covered, as the health insurance company generally pays around 90% of your covered expenses. 

Tax credits for affordable health insurance 

Some people qualify for a premium tax credit, which can unlock cheap medical insurance. When you apply for health insurance on the health exchange, you’ll enter your estimated income on the application. You could receive a tax credit depending on your income and household size. You can find out if your estimated income qualifies for a subsidy on the Marketplace website.

“If your income or household makeup changes during the year, you’ll want to update your application to see if it affects your credit,” said Tunis. 

Gaining a household member or losing an income could increase your credit. Losing a household member or increasing your income could lower it. Taking more of a tax credit than you’re eligible for could mean you have to pay some of it back when filing your federal tax return.

HSA vs. FSA 

HSAs and FSAs are two tax-advantaged savings vehicles you can use to pay for health care expenses. 

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is available if you buy a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a minimum deductible of $1,500 for an individual or $3,000 for a family plan.

If you’re considering an HSA, check to see if the Marketplace plan has an “HSA eligible” label.

You can make pre-tax contributions and use the funds to pay for qualified medical expenses and costs to meet your deductible. 

The HSA will also accrue interest, and the balance rolls over yearly. You can keep the HSA no matter your employment status and it acts like a retirement account once you turn 65. If you withdraw funds before 65 for non-medical purposes, they will be taxable.

A Flexible Savings Account (FSA) is an employee benefit some employers offer on employer-sponsored group health insurance plans. A predetermined amount of money is set aside pre-tax, which can be used for health care expenses and eligible dependent care.

Out-of-network coverage 

Going “out of network” means seeing a health provider not contracted with your health insurance company or plan. If you go out of network to see a doctor, you’ll usually pay a higher coinsurance amount — the percentage you pay for covered services after you’ve met your deductible — than you would to see an in-network doctor. 

“Knowing your out-of-network coverage can help you save money in the long run, especially for those who travel frequently or live near a state border,” said Tunis. 

Out-of-network coverage can vary depending on the type of health insurance plan you buy. For example, if you have a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, your insurance might not cover out-of-network care unless it’s an emergency. 

If you like your doctor or specialist and want to keep going to them, make sure they’re in network for the health insurance plan you’re considering. 

Out-of-pocket maximum 

Your out-of-pocket maximum is the most you’ll pay toward covered health care for your plan year. Once you’ve paid your deductibles, coinsurance and copayments and have met your annual out-of-pocket limit, your plan will pay 100% for covered expenses.

The following expenses do not go towards your out-of-pocket maximum:

  • Health insurance premiums.
  • Out-of-network expenses.
  • Costs your provider charges above the allowed amount.
  • Cost of services not covered. 

The 2023 out-of-pocket limit varies for Marketplace plans but cannot exceed $9,100 for individuals and $18,200 for family coverage.

How to find the best affordable health insurance for your needs

Comparing health insurance quotes can be overwhelming, but these tips can help you find the best cheap health insurance plan for you.

  • Consider your health care needs. If you don’t anticipate going to the doctor much, you could save by choosing an HDHP. But a Gold or Platinum plan may be worth it if you have chronic health conditions or expect to see the doctor regularly.
  • Which plan type is best? An exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan only covers in-network care. A health management organization (HMO) plan will cover out-of-network care, but only for urgent or emergency care. A preferred provider organization (PPO) plan will cover out-of-network care without a referral for an additional cost.
  • Check for pharmacy benefits. A formulary, or drug list, is a list of prescription drugs your insurance will cover and what category and cost a particular drug falls under. Todd Ackerman, president of World Insurance Associates, advises considering, “With prescription drug costs rising like they are, what are your prescription costs, and where do your prescriptions fall in the formulary on the plan you’re moving to?” 
  • Ask your healthcare providers what insurance plans they accept. Before you buy a health plan, call your doctor to make sure they take the specific plan. The health insurance company’s online directory could be out-of-date or not accurate.
  • Verify the health plan cost. The cost isn’t just the premium. You should also consider the coinsurance, copay, deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Are there other options? You might be able to get health insurance through your employer or get added to your spouse’s or parent’s plan. These options may be cheaper than getting an individual health insurance plan.

Cheap health insurance FAQs

Kaiser Permanente has the best cheap health insurance, according to our analysis. But it is only available to members in eight states and Washington, D.C. The next best options are Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, which offer health insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The cheapest health insurance for you may vary because the age of all household members and income factor into health insurance costs. Bronze and catastrophic plans offer the least coverage but have cheaper rates. Choosing a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can also make health insurance more affordable.

The least expensive way to get the best health insurance depends on your income level.

  • If you qualify for Medicaid or Marketplace subsidies, you could pay little to no cost for health insurance. 
  • If you don’t, a catastrophic or high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can be less expensive than other Marketplace plans. 

The more health care costs an insurer pays, the more you’ll pay in health insurance premiums.

Medicaid is a government-based health insurance program for low-income people and is usually the least expensive. With a low income, you may not have any premium costs with Medicaid and minimal cost-sharing. 

Qualifying for a subsidy through the Health Insurance Marketplace can lower your health insurance premium and cost-sharing, sometimes down to $0. 

Short-term health insurance plans, employer-based health insurance or catastrophic plans may be the cheapest options if you don’t qualify for Medicaid or subsidies.

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The Bottom Line

If you’re shopping for health insurance while unemployed, Blue Cross Blue Shield is our top recommendation. BCBS offers plans in every metal category (plus catastrophic plans), and it has the lowest copay for bronze plans. It also has the largest coverage area among the providers we reviewed, and its plans are highly rated for customer satisfaction. 

However, BCBS doesn’t have the lowest plan costs. Kaiser is a better option if you want the most affordable health insurance and you’re in a state where Kaiser operates. Kaiser has the best premium-deductible scores, but few plans are eligible for a 100% tax credit. If you’re eligible for the premium tax credit, Aetna might be your best option.

Health Insurance Options When You’re Unemployed
ACA Plans: Metal-Tiered Plans Plans purchased through the federal or state Health Insurance Marketplace are available in four metal tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum (expanded bronze often counts as a fifth). If you lose employer-based health insurance, you can get an ACA plan during a special enrollment period.
ACA Plans: Catastrophic Catastrophic plans are available to individuals under age 30 or people over age 30 who qualify for an affordability or hardship exemption. These plans have low premiums and very high deductibles ($9,450 for an individual in 2024). You can purchase a catastrophic health plan through the Marketplace.
Medicaid  Medicaid provides free or low-cost health insurance to qualifying individuals and families, regardless of employment status. The exact income requirements are different in every state. If you qualify, you can enroll in Medicaid at any point during the year. 
COBRA COBRA allows you to stay enrolled in your employer-based health insurance plan after you leave the job. If your employer offers COBRA benefits, you can keep the same plan but you must pay the entire premium out-of-pocket. You can typically stay on COBRA for up to 36 months. 
Family Member Plan If you lose health insurance through your job, you may have the option to join a family member’s plan. For example, your spouse could add you to their employer-based or Marketplace health plan. If you’re under 26, you could get added to a parent’s health insurance plan. 
Medicare  Medicare is available to individuals over age 65 and people under age 65 with certain disabilities. It includes three components: Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance, and Part D (Prescription Drug Insurance). You can enroll in Medicare starting seven months before your 65th birthday and until three months after you turn 65. There are several exceptions for special enrollment periods.
Short-Term  Short-term health plans provide temporary coverage for up to three years. You can purchase short-term health insurance through some private insurance companies. These plans are not available on the Marketplace and are not required to be ACA-compliant, which means some essential health benefits may not be covered. Several states have limited or banned the sale of short-term health plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If you lost your health insurance due to unemployment, you can purchase a Marketplace plan during open enrollment or through a special enrollment period after a qualifying life event (losing your job is one of these events). You can also get health insurance through Medicaid if you meet your state’s income requirements. Other ways to get health insurance while unemployed include enrolling in COBRA benefits, joining a family member’s health insurance plan, and buying short-term health insurance.

  • Employer-based health insurance usually ends on your last day of employment or the last day of the month that you stop working. If you choose to get health benefits through COBRA, you will continue to have coverage under your current plan after you leave the job, but you’ll start paying the premiums. COBRA benefits typically last for 18 to 36 months. If you become unemployed and want to purchase a Marketplace plan, you have 60 days after leaving your job to enroll in a plan through a special enrollment period.

  • The Health Insurance Marketplace is a website where eligible individuals and families can shop for and purchase health insurance. The Marketplace makes it easy to compare plans based on premium, out-of-pocket costs, and plan categories. All health plans sold on the Marketplace must cover 10 essential health benefits, which include services such as hospitalization, emergency services, pregnancy, and mental health and substance use treatment.

  • Health insurance premiums are based on personal factors, such as location, age, tobacco use, plan category (metal tier), and the number of dependents on your plan. If you qualify for the advanced premium tax credit, you can save money on your premium. Another factor that impacts the cost of health insurance is the company you choose.

  • The premium tax credit is a federal subsidy that lowers your health insurance premium if you purchase a health insurance plan through the Marketplace and meet the eligibility requirements. To use the tax credit, your household income must fall within a certain range, you cannot be claimed as a dependent by someone else, and you can’t use the tax status “Married Filing Separately."

How We Chose the Best Health Insurance Companies for the Unemployed

To identify which health insurance companies to review, we analyzed business and market insight databases, considered health insurance company market share, and researched user-generated data from Google to determine public interest and trends in health insurance companies and plans. 

We collected data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), an independent organization that rates healthcare plans on quality and patient satisfaction. We also gathered data from state and federal government healthcare marketplace websites and databases, and directly from companies via websites, media contacts, and existing partnerships. The data collection process took place between Sept. 29 and Oct. 23, 2023.

We then developed a quantitative model that scores each health insurance provider based on 27 criteria that fall into five major categories and are crucial in evaluating the company’s offerings and benefits. We weighted the five categories as follows for this article:

  • Plan Quality & Customer Satisfaction: 15%
  • Plan Features: 45%
  • Cost: 25%
  • Availability: 10%
  • Premium tax credit reduction: 5%

We favored companies that get High Score for customer satisfaction; offer a wide variety of plan types and metal categories, especially catastrophic; have relatively low premiums, deductibles, and copays; provide coverage in a large number of states; and whose plans have premiums that are 100% eligible for tax credits.

Read more in our full methodology, which explains in depth how we choose the best health insurance companies.

Mon, 21 Sep 2020 08:15:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/best-health-insurance-for-unemployed-5077508

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