Five Notable Questions About Health Insurance Answered

  1. When is open enrollment for health insurance 2021?
  2. What is health insurance marketplace?
  3. How to get health insurance without a job?
  4. Why is health insurance so expensive?
  5. What does COBRA health insurance cost?

There are quite a few frequently asked questions when it comes to health insurance. And for a good reason, health insurance can be confusing and overwhelming. Fortunately, we have the answers that will help you to understand a little more about health insurance and feel more comfortable with choosing a plan.

When is open enrollment for health insurance 2021?

Due to the coronavirus, open enrollment has been extended through August 15th, 2021. Additionally, there are two other ways to receive insurance in 2021.

  1. If you qualify for a special enrollment period due to a life event
  2. If you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

What is health insurance marketplace?

The health insurance marketplace was created through the Affordable Care Act in 2010. It is an enrollment service for medical insurance. Also known as the Health Insurance Exchange and is for people without health insurance. It provides information on health insurance options and is where people can purchase health insurance plans.

How to get health insurance without a job?

If you are unemployed, the best option for you to acquire health insurance is most likely going to be the Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace offers savings based on income and household size. Additionally, your employment status does not help to determine your eligibility for coverage or how much assistance you will receive to pay for your plan.

Another possibility would be to try and keep a previous job-based insurance plan through COBRA. COBRA is a federal law which allows you to pay to keep your employee health insurance for an allotted time (typically 18 months) once your job ends.  You will be required to pay your premium and a small administration fee.

Why is health insurance so expensive?

Unfortunately, in the United States health insurance costs have increased tremendously. There are a few key reasons why this is happening.

Multiple Systems Create Waste

In the U.S, about 8% of healthcare dollars are spent on administrative costs. When compared with 10 other countries that were between 1-3%, that is very high.

Because the U.S healthcare system is so complex there is a large portion of the administrative costs going into activities such as usage, coding, and billing.

Drug Costs are Rising

The United states spends almost four times as much on pharmaceutical drugs than citizens of other industrialized countries. Compared to Europe, high drug prices are the single biggest are of overspending in the U.S. This is because in Europe drug prices are regulated by the government.

The U.S has little regulation on drug prices, which is reflected on how much the average person spends a year on pharmaceutical drugs.

Doctors and Nurses are Paid More

Currently, the amount that doctors and nurses make is way above average in comparison to other industrialized countries. A family doctor in the U.S makes an average of $218,173 a year and a specialist can make $316,000.

A nurse’s salary is significantly more than other countries as well. In the U.S they make about $74,250, whereas in Switzerland they make $58,041.

Hospitals Are Profit Centers

33% of the nation’s healthcare costs are due to hospital care. Surgical procedures in the U.S cost a significant amount more than those in other countries.

U.S Healthcare Practices Defensive Medicine

In an effort to prevent lawsuits, physicians and hospitals perform unnecessary tests and scans. In the United States these tests and scans are significantly more expensive than those in other countries. Therefore, people end up paying a high cost for an MRI, for example, that was done “just in case.”

U.S Prices Vary Wildly

The U.S has an extraordinarily complex system, and they lack in setting prices for medical services. This creates the problem of the providers charging what ever they can. Also, the prices vary depending on the payer and geographical area.

What does COBRA health insurance cost?

COBRA insurance is a health plan available to you if you lose your job or go part time. It costs a lot more than your previous employer-based health insurance plan. This is because in addition to your monthly premium you now must pay a 2% administration fee. Unfortunately, this can lead to an average monthly premium of $569 to continue your individual insurance plan and $1,595 to keep your family coverage.


There are the answers to a few of the more popular questions regarding health insurance. It is normal to have a bunch of questions when dealing with health insurance plans because they can be confusing. Working with an independent agent may be beneficial to you if you have more questions or concerns. They will be there every step of the way to make sure you succeed in finding health insurance for yourself and your family.