How Do I Get Health Insurance?

There are many different ways to get health insurance coverage, the most common of which is through an employer-sponsored plan. Other options such as private network plans, marketplace plans, and government-sponsored plans are also available. Here are the details on each of those options.
How Do I Get Health Insurance?

Knowing how to get health insurance is essential for managing our health and well-being. Health insurance helps cover the cost of care, medications, tests, and treatments that we may need. It also helps us access preventive care such as annual checkups and vaccines, which can help keep us healthy in the long run. Understanding how to choose a health plan, what costs are associated with it and how to access it are all important steps to take when exploring our health coverage options.

With the number of options out there for health insurance it may seem like a mountain of options to choose from. Let's try to narrow those down by discovering the 4 main ways to get health insurance.

Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage

First and the most popular method is through your employer. Nowadays, almost all companies provide their workers with some kind of "group" health insurance coverage. The word "group" merely indicates that a big number of individuals are enrolled in the plan, which lowers the cost of the monthly premium for all participants. Depending on the policy, these policies may cover you, your spouse, and your family. Naturally, covering more people than just yourself results in a higher monthly cost, but having affordable family coverage is a major advantage. You should get in touch with your human resources department or the person in charge of benefits at your workplace if you want to get group health insurance through your employer.

Private Network

For those who do not have coverage via their employer, are self-employed, or are not qualified for government healthcare assistance, such as Medicare or Medicaid, health insurance companies do provide individual policies. Comparing individual health insurance policies to group health insurance plans, the cost difference is sometimes rather large. Family members and spouses can be included under these policies at an additional cost. Typically there will still be an open enrollment period and you may have to qualify for a special enrollment event.

Marketplace Plans

These plans are found on the federal exchange and adhere to the Affordable Care Act reform law. According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), those who were previously uninsured due to preexisting conditions or financial hardships as well as those who had high premiums or limited benefits may now be qualified for more reasonably priced health plans with essential coverage. Marketplace plans can be purchased from the federal exchange, state exchange, private exchanges, or through a qualified agent with proper certifications. Agents that are qualified to sell marketplace plans often have larger resources to offer more products such as dental, vision, accident, and life insurance. Coverage guru offers these plans and more to help families in any situation find the coverage that best protects them.

Government-Sponsored Plans

There are a bunch of government help programs in the USA such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Veterans Affairs (VA) program, and TRICARE programs. Although there are many options the most common we hear about are Medicare and Medicaid.


Is for Americans over the age of 65 and younger individuals who have been given a medical diagnosis for a disability or sickness are eligible for Medicare. You can enroll in Medicare through your local social security office, by phone, or through a licensed agent in your state.


Is a state-run program that provides financial assistance for health care costs for people who have low incomes and resources. It offers several programs for different demographics. Medicaid programs differ from state to state but adhere to federal benefit standards. To apply for Medicaid you will need to reach out to your state's Medicaid office by phone or through the state-run website. Visit your states Medicaid website

CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program)

Offers children in homes with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid low-cost health insurance. Pregnant women are covered by CHIP in some states. Each state has a CHIP program and collaborates closely with its own Medicaid program. To apply for Medicaid you will need to reach out to your state's Medicaid office or their state ran site by phone or through the state-run website. Visit your states CHIP website

VA (Veterans Affairs)

You can apply for VA Health Care if you are a veteran who served their country honorably. VA benefits can include some of the following, treatment of illness and injuries, prevent future health problems, improvement of your ability to function, mental health, prescriptions, and a whole lot more. Your benefits will differ and be unique to each individual. Many people on VA benefits do not have full medical coverage and may seek other sources to supplement the uncovered gaps in their medical needs. You will need to visit the Department of Veterans Affairs to enroll and make changes to your plan.


Is a global health care program for active-duty and retired military personnel as well as their families. All recipients of TRICARE receive complete coverage, which includes: Prescriptions, special initiatives, health plans, and dental insurance. There are different plans for TRICARE and each one will require a different enrollment path. Some plans will require you to enroll with a primary care manager or your regional contractor. Find out how you can enroll or contact your local office here: TRICARE enrollment