How Does Health Insurance Work for Families?

The act of raising children brings so much joy to a parent’s life, but there’s no denying that it costs a lot to bring up a happy, healthy kid. Whether you live in a country with socialized/public healthcare or privatized healthcare, health insurance plays a key part in your family’s success.

How Does Family Health Insurance Typically Work?

Fortunately, most family plans work the same as individual health care plans, but the way they work changes based on your country and the amount of people on your specific policy.

How do you Apply for Family Health Insurance?

Health insurance is usually applied by and for the individual who needs it, or it’s given to an employee as a benefit from their employer. Some countries will have a set time for when you can change insurance providers (U.S.), but most let you change whenever you need to.

What is the Purpose of Health Insurance?

The purpose of health insurance changes depending on where you live. For example, U.S. citizens have to get health insurance to make doctor’s visits affordable, whereas the Australian government covers most necessary health expenditures, so insurance is seen as an “add-on.”

Countries with socialized healthcare systems (i.e., Australia, Canada, UK) offer insurance for dental, vision, ambulance rides, or access to private hospitals. Others will reduce the cost of more expensive healthcare costs, like psychology, specialists, medication, or plastic surgery.

How Many Companies Offer Family Health Insurance? 

Most, if not all, health insurers will offer family health insurance. To apply for this coverage, you simply add another dependent under your insurance. Some insurers will have a limit to the number of people you can add to one account, but most limit coverage based on needs.

For example, Australians who can buy family private health insurance can access family hospital cover or extras cover. If they want both, they can apply for combination cover. U.S. employees who receive benefits from an employer can typically add 1 or 2 people to their plan.

Is Health Insurance Limited or All-Encompassing?

For the most part, health insurance is limited based on what you need or what you can afford. If you’re lucky, your insurer will let you individually pick and choose what you and each of your family members need, but you typically have to settle for a package or a “whole care” policy.

Some countries will limit your coverage based on your provider network (U.S.), while others will allow policyholders to seek care from any doctor (UK). If you want to receive healthcare overseas, you’ll need to ask for travel health insurance or take out supplemental coverage later.

How Much Do You Pay for Family Health Insurance?

Family health insurance is typically more expensive than individual insurance, no matter where you live. Most individuals have to pay for each person they add to their insurance. If you receive insurance from your employer, you’ll have a cap on who you can add before paying extra.

As a rule, you’ll want to find an insurance provider that doesn’t offer outrageously low premiums, as you’re going to have to pay a high deductible. If you’re healthy, lower premiums may be worth it, but keep in mind that some plans have separate deductibles for different services.

Does Family Health Insurance Offer Additional Benefits?

If you own a business, you may be able to add your spouse or children to your health insurance and write off your premiums. Health, dental, and qualified long-term care insurance premiums can be deducted, but you can’t deduct premiums from any employer-backed insurance plan.

 

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