If you have the option to participate in your employer’s health insurance program, in most cases you should. Health plans that employer-sponsored have many benefits such as being priced lower than individual health plans, you can usually extend coverage to your dependents, and you typically cannot be denied coverage for your pre-existing conditions.
The reason why employer-sponsored health plans are less expensive than individual plans is because the plan is group rated and your employer pays a portion of the premium. If you are given a choice of plans by your employer, you need to be sure that you fully understand the choices and coverage options that are available, so that you can choose the plan that is most affordable and appropriate for you and/or your family.
In some cases, your spouse will have coverage through his/her employer. In these cases, you will have to determine which of you has the more comprehensive and affordable plan. If you are already covered under your spouse’s plan and would like to keep that coverage, there is nothing wrong with that. It might be worth your time to look at the plans offered under each employer to be sure that you are getting the best and/or most affordable coverage. Remember that an employer cannot force you to utilize their plan if you don’t want to unless they are paying 100% of the premium and not deducting anything for it from your paycheck. If you have any questions about this particular practice, you can learn more by contacting your state’s department of insurance or the actual insurance company.
Employer-sponsored health plans have been providing workers and their dependents with coverage for a long time. Those who do not have health insurance through their employer typically obtain individual health insurance plans. Individuals who are not insured tend to have poorer health over the long-term and a lower life expectancy than individuals who have health insurance and use it properly. This is why having health insurance is so important. It is not simply for catastrophic injuries and illnesses, but is also intended to keep you healthy and live longer through health promotion and wellness.