Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Public and private health insurance provide the same functions but operate very differently
  • Public health insurance can be difficult to obtain and stay on
  • Private insurance is much easier to get in the first place, and you don’t have to worry about losing eligibility

While public and private health insurance serve the same purpose, the way they operate is very different. An extensive look into the pros and cons of both private and public health insurance shows that private health insurance is the better option for most people.

Private health insurance often covers more conditions, and it allows the people covered under its policies to choose their health care providers with more freedom than people covered by public health insurance.

Of course, there are situations in which public health coverage may be the better option for some people. People who are struggling financially can save a great deal of money by getting coverage under public health insurance, as private health insurance can be costly when not provided by an employer.

Public health insurance is especially good for low-income families.

No matter what your budget and needs, enter your zip code above to compare quotes from your state’s favorite providers!

An Overview of Public Health Insurance

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Public health insurance is funded by the government and is intended to help out people who have relatively low incomes.

It has certain regulations on who qualifies for coverage under the programs, and often applicants have to submit a great deal of proof and do a large amount of paperwork to be admitted to a public health insurance program. It is also worth noting that if a person’s situation changes during their term of public health insurance coverage, they may be dropped from the public plan and forced to purchase private insurance.

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An Overview of Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance, on the other hand, is quite different. It is not funded by the government, although it is heavily regulated by government legislation, especially federal legislation. The person who is covered under a private health insurance plan is required to ensure the plan is paid for.

The majority of people with private health insurance coverage have their employers pay for some or all of the costs associated with the plan.

Some people purchase their plans themselves. It is a good idea for these people to compare insurance quotes online to make sure that they are getting the best deal possible.

Why You Need Private Health Insurance

Reason #1: You Don’t Have To Worry About Qualifying

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One of the biggest headaches for people seeking coverage under Medicaid, Medicare, or similar programs is qualifying. Public health insurance plans have strict regulations regarding who qualifies for them, and even those who meet these regulations sometimes find actually getting coverage started to be a long and painful process. The government requires a great deal of proof to submitted to accept someone into the program.

Even those who do submit the proof and paperwork as instructed sometimes run into miles of red tape. This common situation turns many people who might qualify for public heath insurance towards private health coverage.

It is also important to note that those who do qualify and start public health coverage can be kicked off the program if their situation changes and no longer technically qualify, even if they could still use the assistance.

Sometimes people are kicked off public health coverage mistakenly and find it difficult to get back on. This problem doesn’t exist with private health coverage.

Reason #2: You Don’t Have To Worry About Losing Eligibility

As previously mentioned, it is possible to lose eligibility for public health insurance. It is important to note that increases in income are not a problem with private health insurance. At no time will an increase in income result in being removed from a private plan. This is true no matter how large the increase is.

There are certain other situations in which a person on public health insurance could be kicked off that do not apply to private insurance. For example, some jurisdictions have passed a law stating that those who fail a drug test lose their public health coverage. This does not happen with private health insurance.

Reason #3: You Can Choose Your Doctor

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Another problem that many people have with public health insurance is the limited number of healthcare providers that take it. The amount paid by the government to these health care providers keeps going down relative to their expenses, and many doctors, therapists, and others have stopped accepting public health insurance as a result.

While many people have commented on this issue and lobbied for it to be corrected, this does not seem likely to happen anytime soon.

Most experts think that the trend of fewer and fewer healthcare providers accepting public health insurance will continue.

This will influence more people to choose private health insurance. Most private health insurance plans have a network of doctors that accept the plan, along with some that don’t. However, there is almost always much more choice with a private plan.

Comparing Quotes and Purchasing Private Health Insurance

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Now that you have heard about the pros and cons of public and private health insurance, you should be closer to making a decision. If it sounds like private insurance is the way for you to go, the next step is to compare quotes online. You can input the criteria that match your situation and needs and choose from a variety of different quotes that come up in seconds.

Once you’ve narrowed down the options available to you to the couple that best fit what you’re looking for, you can look into purchasing the policy. Most policies available in this day and age can be bought completely online in just a few minutes.

We offer free online health insurance quotes based on your income, preexisting conditons, and other needs. Click here to get started!