Having health insurance is now mandatory in the United States because of the Affordable Care Act that was put into place in 2014. Many Americans will find that they have an array of options available to them when it comes to health insurance, and depending on their employment situation, as well as their financial situation, they will want to find the best insurance option to fit their lifestyle. With all the different ways to get health insurance, it can be confusing for a person to choose which option may be right for them. It is important to look at all your options.

There are three main ways of getting health insurance. You can get insurance through your workplace, from the government, or buy it yourself.  The first way to get your health insurance is through your workplace. About half of Americans will get their health insurance through their employer. With the changes that have come along with the Affordable Care Act, insurance through the employer will not change all that much. If you work full-time, you will be given the option of health insurance through your employer, and a portion of your paycheck will be taken out in order to pay for your insurance. With insurance through your employer you will have lower costs for preventative care. Employers who have more than 50 full-time employees will need to give their employees health care, or they will pay a penalty. Smaller businesses will not face the penalty that big businesses will face if they do not give their employees health insurance. Small employers will be encouraged by the government. There will be marketplaces that make it easy for small employers to set up insurance plans for their company, and some will be offered temporary tax breaks if they sign up for a health insurance plan.

The next way a person can get health insurance is through the government. About a third of Americans will get their health insurance this way. The two ways that a person can get health insurance through the government is through Medicare and Medicaid. For seniors who are on Medicaid, things will not change too drastically. They will still get help with prescriptions and preventative care. Medicaid, on the other hand, is expanding. It is going to now help people with low incomes get insurance. Medicaid will most likely cover you with a private insurance plan. When this plan was enacted in 2014, it was up to the individual states to decide if they wanted to expand Medicaid. If a state did agree, the federal government would cover almost all the cost. If they did not agree, citizens will only be left with the options that were available before the plan was enacted, if they have low income. Check your state’s specific decision to see if Medicaid is expanded in your state.

The next way people will get insurance is by buying it themselves, which is through the Affordable Care Act, or as many people call it, ObamaCare. About one in 10 people will get their insurance this way. This is a new way for people to get insurance if they are not covered by the workplace or the government, or they think that the plan offered to them is too expensive. People are able to get their insurance through things called health insurance marketplaces, although your state will have a specific name for it. Private insurers will be competing for your business to get insurance through their company. You are able to pick out how much coverage you want, and how much you want to pay for the coverage. No matter what level of coverage you decide to get, you will have the basics covered, like: doctor visits, hospital visits, maternity care, mental health care, and prescription drugs. If your state government is not on board with opening the health insurance marketplaces, the federal government will open one up there, so the option is still available to you. If you buy insurance through one of these marketplaces, the government will provide you with a tax credit. Most people will be able to get this tax credit, and may not have to pay the entire premium.

If you do not have the money, or are not provided a healthcare plan and you do not get a plan, there is a penalty and you can be fined. Make sure to look at all of your options for healthcare, and get the one that is best suited for you. There are many options and plans to choose from that will not cost you a lot of money, so make sure to take the time to research and look at all of your options.