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Health System Options for Families

  • By: Didem Bernard
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Health insurance protects families from high medical costs in case of illness. This discussion summarizes the private and public health insurance options available for nonelderly and elderly families in the United States. There are two main sources of private health insurance for families: employer-sponsored (group health insurance) and individual (nongroup) health insurance. Most of the nonelderly population has health insurance through their jobs or through someone in their family who has access to insurance through their job. Employer-sponsored insurance is generally less expensive than individual insurance because health risks are pooled over large groups. Those without access to employer-sponsored coverage may purchase insurance in the individual insurance market. Most of the elderly population, people aged 65 and over, have Medicare coverage. In addition, some ...

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