Health Insurance Center

Health Insurance Q & As

Question 4 of 7 in Basics
How can I get health coverage?
Employer-sponsored group insurance

Millions of people obtain their insurance through their employment. Upon reaching the eligibility requirement (such as a full-time employee working more than 40 hours per week for a six month continuous basis), the employee becomes covered under the employer's group insurance policy and the employee is issued an insurance certificate or health insurance card. Medical insurance is a very common fringe benefit of employment. Some employers will provide coverage solely for the employee, some employers pass along the cost of dependent coverage to the employee, while other employers pay the entire cost of medical insurance for the employee and his/her family.

Individual insurance

Health insurance which is purchased by the individual. Some major health insurance companies offer a broad range of coverages and options to individuals, who pay directly out-of-pocket for the cost of the insurance. Many insurance companies require completion of an exhaustive application and may require a medical examination before coverage will be offered to the individual.

Government-sponsored insurance

Some states offer health insurance benefits to their residents, often with certain income requirements for eligibility. These plans are designed for the "working poor" - individuals who are employed but no health care coverage is available where they work. This enables the state to protect its residents from catastrophic loss due to illness, disease or accident without placing an additional burden upon its program for the truly indigent.

Association-sponsored insurance

You may belong to a group or organization that offers health insurance as a benefit of membership. Check membership benefit statements, brochures, or ask organizations leaders to determine availability of health insurance through your group or organization.