How much does health insurance cost?


Where you live and work are the only two factors that affect price.
How much does health insurance cost? Across the United States, Americans pay varying premiums monthly for Medicare coverage. While these premiums are not determined by gender or pre-existing health conditions due to the Affordable Care Act, several other factors affect your payment. We explore those factors below to help you understand how much you might pay for health insurance and why.

Employee health insurance premium
If you work for a large company, health insurance can cost as much as a new car, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2020 Employer Health Benefits Survey. Kaiser found that the median annual premium for family coverage in 2020,2 was $21,342 which was roughly the same as the base manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 2022 Honda Civic—$22,715.3

Workers contributed an average of $5,588 toward annual costs, meaning that employers raised 73% of the premium bill. For a single employee in 2020, the average premium was $7,470. Of that, workers paid $1,243, or 17%.

Individual health insurance premiums on exchanges
The federal insurance plan marketplace at, aka Obamacare, is alive and well in 2021, despite years of efforts from its political enemies. It offers plans for around 175 companies. Some 12 states and the District of Columbia operate their own health exchanges, which basically mirror the federal site but focus on the plans available to their residents. People in these areas sign up through their state rather than through a federal exchange.

Each available plan offers four tiers of coverage, each with its own cost. In order of price from highest to lowest, they are labeled platinum, gold, silver and bronze. The Benchmark plan is the second-lowest-cost silver plan available through a health insurance exchange in a given area, and it can also vary within the state where you live. It is called the benchmark scheme because it is the scheme that the government uses to determine your income as well as your premium subsidy, if any.

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