Some consumers choose plans based solely on online research. But without guidance, it can be tough to fully understand the nuances of a plan and how it compares to other options. First, make sure you’re actually buying insurance, not some other product such as a discount card – one key way to tell is by checking with your state regulator that the company selling the product is considered a legitimate insurer. Be very careful about limited products such as temporary insurance, which last for a set period of time, since you may not be able to renew such a plan at the end of that period.

No matter your income level, HealthMarkets Insurance Agency can help you find an affordable health insurance to help you avoid paying the Individual Mandate. Our licensed agents are available to understand your unique medical needs and financial constraints to pair you with the right plan. With our network of over 180 insurance providers nationwide, we're confident we can find your family coverage.
Medicaid is a jointly-funded, Federal-State health insurance program that helps many people who can't afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. Medicaid is available only to people with limited income. You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid does not pay money to you; instead, it sends payments directly to your health care providers. Depending on your state's rules, you may also be asked to pay a small part of the cost (co-payment) for some medical services.
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and DC. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Sales agents may be compensated based on a consumer’s enrollment in a health plan. Agent cannot provide tax or legal advice. Contact your tax or legal professional to discuss details regarding your individual business circumstances. Our quoting tool is provided for your information only. All quotes are estimates and are not final until consumer is enrolled. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.
The chart above reflects both major medical (Obamacare) and short-term (non-Obamacare) health insurance plans based on the data on our platform. Prices vary by age, geographic area, and other factors, so please continue on our site for a personalized quote of what is available for your specific circumstances. Not all plans within a state are available in all areas of the state or to all residents in that state.

To find out if you can get on Medicaid now, go to HealthCare.gov. If the federal government is running the Marketplace in your state, you can fill out an application there. If your state is running its own Marketplace, you will be directed to another website where you can fill out an application. You can fill out one application to see if you qualify for Medicaid or for a tax credit to buy insurance on the Marketplace.


Telemedicine enables health professionals to provide services to you remotely, at lower costs, if you don't require physical contact with a doctor or nurse. Instead of coming into an office, you can communicate with doctors and nurses online. Doctors can help and diagnose far more patients this way, which is why purchasing a plan through eHealth that covers telemedicine may be more convenient and affordable.

We recommend beginning your search for the best health insurance with Celtic Insurance and Cigna if they're offered in the county you live in. These companies typically offer the cheapest Silver health plan in the counties where they're available (Cook, Dupage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall and Will counties). For instance, in Chicago's Cook County, Celtic's Ambetter Balanced Care 4 plan was the cheapest Silver health insurance policy offered.


You may be eligible for a subsidy from the government to purchase an Affordable Care Act-compliant individual plan. This can help save you money on your health insurance. You may be eligible for a subsidy if your employer does not offer affordable health coverage and your household income is no more than 400% above the federal poverty level. You can see if you might qualify and review Medical Mutual subsidy-eligible plans here. 
You can apply online on CoveredCA.com. This single application will let you know if you qualify for coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal. You can also apply in person at your local county human services agency or by phone by calling Covered California at (800) 300-1506. If you need help applying or have questions, you can Find Help for free. Find a certified enroller in your area.
Health insurance can be expensive, but before you decide to go without, take a careful look at the risks. For instance, according to WebMD, there’s a 1 in 5 chance you will land in the ER at some point between the ages of 25 and 44, a trip that could cost you as much as $1,450 a pop. If you need surgery on a broken arm, you could be on the hook for more than $16,000 if you’re without insurance.

How much you'll pay for a particular health insurance policy in Illinois is determined by the number of people covered and their ages. If you add your children to your health insurance plan, each child will cost a flat rate for coverage up through the age of 14, after which their premium will increase with age. If your spouse is covered by your health insurance policy, their price is determined by age—the same as your cost of coverage.
Medicare is a Federal health insurance program for people 65 years or older, certain people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Medicare has two parts: Part A, which is hospital insurance, and Part B, which is medical insurance. For information on Medicare, visit the website at or call toll free 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
There’s the Preferred Provider Organization, a PPO, and a Health Maintenance Organization plan, an HMO. There’s also an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) and a Point-of-Service Plan (POS) as well as a Catastrophic Plan, which we’ve covered. What’s the difference? Well, in a nutshell, PPOs tend to have more flexibility in what doctor and hospital you can see (and get your insurance to pay for), and HMOs lack that flexibility (you can only see certain doctors and hospitals within your insurer’s network).
To help you get started finding the best health plan available for your preferred level of coverage, we compared Texas policies by metal tier and identified the cheapest option available in the state. The set of insurers and health plans varies by county, so not all of those listed below are available in every region. We recommend using these as a starting point to assess the monthly premiums you can expect as compared to benefits and out-of-pocket expenses.
Short-term policies offer limited benefits compared with policies on the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces offered by each state. They don’t include maternity care, substance abuse, and mental health, and can charge more at the outset for people with pre-existing conditions. But, on the whole, they cost less than comprehensive policies without a subsidy. A 35-year-old could purchase a short-term policy with a $5,000 deductible and $500,000 in total available benefits for about $100 a month.
If you suffer an injury or illness, individual health insurance can help pay for the cost of health care. Health insurance can also help pay for a wide range of medical services including medical emergencies, routine doctor's appointments, preventative care, prescription drugs, and inpatient/outpatient treatment. You'll typically pay a monthly premium, plus a deductible or copayment.

If you’re looking for a metal plan outside of the annual open enrollment period, your wait for effective coverage will depend on whether you have a qualifying life event, unless you’re Native American (Native Americans can enroll year-round). If you do have a qualifying event, you’ll be eligible for a special enrollment period and will be able to buy a plan that puts coverage in force before January 1.

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The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), created in 1997, expands health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage. Through the national "Insure Kids Now" initiative, each state has its own SCHIP program that makes health insurance coverage available to children in working families. For more information, visit www.insurekidsnow.gov or call toll free 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). This website and toll free number also provide information on Medicaid.
SB4 – The California Senate passed SB4 in early June 2015, the Assembly in September, and on October 9, 2015, Gov. Brown signed it into law. The legislation, renamed the Health for All Kids Act, focuses on Medi-Cal access for undocumented immigrant children under the age of 19. SBF will take effect in May 2016, and it has been estimated that 170,000 undocumented immigrant children will then become eligible for Medi-Cal based on their household income alone.

For a chosen tier of coverage, your age will directly impact the premiums you pay for health insurance. A 40-year-old would pay 28% more for health coverage than a 21-year-old would pay, which would translate to an additional $92 per month for a Bronze plan but $123 more for a Gold plan in Texas. However, that 40-year-old would pay 53% cheaper rates than what a 60-year-old would pay for the same coverage.
You can apply online on CoveredCA.com. This single application will let you know if you qualify for coverage through Covered California or Medi-Cal. You can also apply in person at your local county human services agency or by phone by calling Covered California at (800) 300-1506. If you need help applying or have questions, you can Find Help for free. Find a certified enroller in your area.
Health care reform has made finding insurance more straightforward, but there’s no guarantee that what you find on the state or federal health exchanges will be your cheapest option. Shopping around is still important as you evaluate your options. Our online quote tool will help you begin searching for cheap health insurance providers in your area.
Native Americans can enroll in plans through the exchange year-round, although the coverage doesn’t take effect until the first of the next month or the first of the month after that, depending on the enrollment date (as is the case with special enrollment periods, Native Americans must enroll by the 15th to have coverage effective the first of the next month).

The cost of health insurance for your family will depend on the plan you choose, but the average cost to cover a family of three in Illinois with a Silver plan is $1,661, assuming two 40-year-old parents and one child. For each child added, the average health plan cost increases by $383, so the cost to cover a family of four is approximately $2,044.
Medicaid works slightly differently in each state, but to be eligible, you must meet low-income guidelines. In many states, you’ll qualify for Medicaid if your income is 138 percent of federal poverty level or less. However, some states have stricter eligibility criteria. In those states, you must meet low-income guidelines and also be a member of a medically vulnerable group such as a pregnant woman, an elderly person, blind, disabled, or a child.
The set of available insurers changes by county, so the best cheap health insurance plan available to you in Illinois will depend on where you live and your chosen level of coverage. Higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold policies, have more expensive monthly premiums but significantly lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. So, if you have costly prescriptions or are concerned about unpredictable costs during the year if you become ill, a higher metal plan will likely be your best health insurance choice. On the other hand, if you have a large emergency savings to cover cost-sharing, but have no expected medical costs and want to keep your monthly rates down, a lower metal tier plan may be the cheapest.
2 Telehealth providers participating in the Cigna Telehealth Connection program are independent contractors and separate from Plan network providers. Not all providers have video chat capabilities. Video chat is not available in all areas. PCP referral is not required. Refer to plan documents for a complete description of covered services, including other telehealth/telemedicine benefits. Program availability may vary by location and plan type. See vendor sites for details.
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