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What does “voluntary health insurance” mean?

Keep in mind...
  • Any health insurance policy that you sign up with and willingly pay premiums for is considered a voluntary health insurance plan
  • Health insurance plans such as employer or organization sponsored group health, private, HSA’s, self-insurance and marketplace policies are considered voluntary, which means premiums will not be asked for, nor deducted from your pay without your full consent
  • Voluntary health insurance plans have become a desired commodity around the globe
  • Involuntary loss of voluntary health insurance coverage allows for full utilization of Special Enrollment Periods in the Marketplace
  • Small businesses struggle to offer employees voluntary health insurance options but can help encourage better spending habits and offer as much resource as possible

Any type of health insurance policy that you willingly choose to pay a premium for, partially, or in-whole, is considered voluntary. You have a choice as to whether you want the coverage and how much you are willing to spend for any added options.

Basic voluntary health insurance is one in which an individual is covered. It could be anywhere in the ranges of catastrophic care to a premium package of benefits.

Contrary to popular thought, there is no mandate to accept insurance coverage from an employer or to seek plans by private means. There is a mandated acceptance of financial responsibility assessed to those that refuse health care coverage altogether.

Fines are to be assessed and taken away from any tax returns that are due for uncovered months of the previous calendar year. This money is added to a pool that allows healthcare facilities to recoup some of the loss in treating those without adequate healthcare coverage.

Explore your health coverage options by entering your zip code above and comparing free online quotes from your state’s top providers!

What constitutes voluntary health insurance?

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Sources can vary in gaining access to voluntary health insurance. They can be purchased from employer-sponsored plans, groups and organizations, the ACA marketplace, or private health insurance agents and brokers. A few of the various voluntary health insurance types are:

– Group Health Insurance

A group policy can come through an employer, educational facility, non-profit agency, or other private professional organizations. These are normally great plans to volunteer funds toward since the premiums are lower due to there being a large pool of fellow insured members.

– ACA Marketplace Plans

Marketplace plans are designed to offer the required level of healthcare coverage but can be more affordable than some employer-sponsored plans due to tax credit incentives and subsidy assistance.

– Private Health Insurance Plans

Both health insurance agents and brokers can locate private healthcare plans that are voluntary, provide an affordable level of coverage and can surpass the options available to you at work, or in the marketplace.

Learn how to find a health insurance agent in our post “How to Find a Health Insurance Agent”!

– Self-Insurance

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One healthcare provision option for any company is to self-insure. The employer pays the approved medical expenses as they arise. You pay an affordable premium out of each paycheck. It is a way to save money if the group of individuals is relatively healthy and stays that way.

– Health Savings Account

This is a way to save money, tax-free, that can be towards large medical expenses. The amount saved is a voluntary amount determined by the individual.

Voluntary and Involuntary Pay Deductions

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Signing up for a health insurance plan requires filling out very specific paperwork. You are made aware of what the premium amount will be and agree to voluntarily pay that sum for coverage.

Employers have to make you aware of any change in premium price before it is pulled from your paycheck. They will only pull money for health insurance premiums if you have signed documents that you are voluntarily agreeing to the process.

Unlike health insurance premiums, there are pay deductions that are completely involuntary and you cannot avoid. Federal income tax, state income tax (where applicable), legal garnishments (such as child support) and Social Security/Medicare cannot be dodged. These will be removed from the paycheck before it ever reaches your hands.

These mandatory deductions can land an employer in trouble if they are not done and the money sent to appropriate agencies. You need to make sure you want the health insurance coverage before making an agreement. It can take a little time to stop the process of deductions, depending on their source of payroll management.

Marketplace Health Insurance Plans as a Voluntary Optio

Anyone has the ability to check out and get quotes for voluntary health insurance plans through the Marketplace during open enrollment periods. This is the time to make changes if you feel you may not be getting the best coverage for the price. Some plans automatically continue, but others do not. Make sure you understand this before signing up for any particular plan.

– Special Enrollment Period

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There are specific life events that allow for a Special Enrollment Period, which provides the opportunity to find affordable coverage outside of the existing enrollment period dates. Reasons for qualifying for a special enrollment period are:

  • Loss of coverage with an employer
  • Loss of CHIP or Medicaid Coverage
  • Loss of Medicare
  • Loss of private health insurance coverage
  • Change in family size
  • Change of address
  • Loss of COBRA coverage
  • Release from jail or prison
  • Becoming newly eligible for marketplace coverage

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World Health Trends in Voluntary Health Insurance

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Many nations in the world offer publicly funded health insurance plans, such as the Netherlands. The availability of voluntary health insurance and variety is limited in countries that have a low to medium income level. The best choices are typically found in countries that have a high average monthly, or annual salary.

The drive for better healthcare and options on coverage is not exclusive to any one area of the globe.

The World Health Organization, one of the biggest global monitoring agencies in existence, cautions that there are distinguishing characteristics between public funded health plan initiatives and private, volunteer health insurance plans.

The tapestry of world health insurance funding is a complex mixture of private and public ventures in nearly every segment of the globe.

ACA Marketplace Voluntary Health Insurance and Involuntary Coverage Loss

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The open enrollment dates for health insurance plan availability for everyone on the ACA marketplace are set in stone before the dates near. This is the time allotted that allows anyone to change plans, find different coverage, or leave the marketplace altogether. This was put in place in the hopes of keeping people from signing up at times they need services and cancelling for the remainder of the calendar year.

Involuntary loss of coverage is one of the best reasons designated to obtain a special enrollment period. You may sign up to a health insurance plan with the best of intentions but somehow lose coverage. As long as it was not through non-payment or fraud, you should qualify to find coverage in the marketplace. Below are a few reasons for involuntary loss of coverage:

  • Insurer drops your coverage for reasons other than non-payment, or fraud
  • Loss of a job
  • Changing jobs
  • Loss of, or inability to initiate COBRA coverage
  • Loss of CHIP, Medicaid, or Medicare

Small Business Voluntary Health Insurance Needs Fulfillment

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Small businesses might not have a large budget to work with, but there are some things that can be done to try and secure voluntary health insurance options for employees. The first step is to check the marketplace for small business owners and see if your company would qualify for the many tax breaks offered by choosing an ACA plan.

Encourage your employees to start a health savings account. You can have them voluntarily agree to a portion of income to be saved that is figured pre-tax.

Offer to deduct health care premium amounts out of their pay so that they can meet their monthly obligation without as much difficulty as self-savings.

Educate your employees about the woes of frivolous spending by setting a good example. Use recycled products, toss out the gourmet coffees and maintain a sensible, but comfortable work atmosphere.

Gather as much information as possible that can help your employees plan for purchasing the right voluntary health insurance policy. Consider it a partnership to help them look after their overall health. Healthy and happy workers will keep your business running smooth.

A Wealth of Options for Finding the Best Voluntary Health Insurance Coverage AdobeStock_56116135-1600x1600

Leaving no stone unturned is the new mantra for finding the best voluntary health insurance coverage possible. Employers have to balance their bottom line with the ability to attract and keep the best help possible. Inexplicably large and billowy benefits packages are a thing of the past.

Benefits have to be streamlined, which makes critical decision-making by HR managers and business owners important. The task at hand is to narrow down the choices to what are the necessary benefits to offer, versus those now considered frivolous and money wasters.

Employees are forced into a position to decide how much of their salary they are willing to part with for good coverage. There are some employees that are willing to pay full premiums out their own pocket to get the coverage they want and need.

Sources of private health insurance options are busier than ever trying to deal with the seemingly endless questions that surround the changing landscape of healthcare coverage. All employees and individuals know that there will be some out-of-pocket expense involved with securing mandatory minimum coverage.

The added focus and scrutiny on providing and getting healthcare plans that are affordable and worthwhile has created an increased influx of information that can help make better policy decisions.

Employers, employees and the public-at-large is much better educated towards the benefits of having healthcare coverage than ever before. Exploring all of the available options is what will help land the perfect voluntary health insurance plan possible.

Enter your zip code on our site today and find out what is available that will fit your budget!

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