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Health insurance plans in the US


The United States operates two types of health insurance systems: public and private health insurance. The US government runs the public health care insurance system at the federal and state levels. In contrast, private insurance is owned by organizations and individuals who sell health insurance in the marketplace.

The public health insurance system is for every eligible citizen and resident of the United States and is provided through various channels. However, many families and individuals prefer to combine these two insurances to complement what one part lacks.

Public healthcare insurance has benefited many people who are not financially capable of purchasing expensive private health insurance due to low or no-income situations and other reasons we will discuss in this post.

Also Read:  Best 6 Health insurance for college students with no income

Public health insurance plans in the US

The United States government offers various healthcare insurance plans, such as Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, and the Veterans Health Administration. These programs cater to different individuals, and you must be qualified to enroll in them.

Kids are not left out. Many families enroll their children in the children’s public health insurance plan CHIP. Since the government can not provide health care for all US citizens and residents, it targets specific groups who will benefit from these programs.

They include children from low-income families, older people, and people with disabilities. Let us look at where each group fell in for the insurance plans.

  • Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal government health insurance program provided at the state level. It began in 1965 and was expanded in 2010 when the Affordable Care Act was passed.

State governments also put in funding to ensure all eligible candidates in the state rightly benefit from it. Those eligible for Medicaid are families, including children and adults with low income.

Medicaid also covers people living with some specific disabilities. The citizens and some qualified residents are the beneficiaries. Meanwhile, all the states in the US have different qualifying laws that make you eligible.

The program extends to services like nursing homes, elder care services, and personal care services. This program is one significant way the government provides health insurance coverage to the public.

  • Medicare

Established in 1965, Medicare is health insurance provided by the United States government for US citizens aged 65 and above. Medicare also covers young people living with disability, ALS, and end-stage renal disease.

Unlike its counterpart, Medicare is divided into four parts. Each part has a specific group or services it covers, and they are listed below.

Part A

Medicare Part A provides health care insurance coverage for hospitalized patients, hospice, and home health care services.

Part B

This part covers outpatient services, outpatient hospital charges, hospital office visits, and the administration of prescription drugs and some medical equipment.

Part C

Medicare Part C focuses its coverage on allowing patients to select their health plans, which almost comprise the two previously mentioned parts. People who are eligible for public health care insurance like Medicare must enroll in Medicare Part A and B before they can partake in the benefits of Part C.

Part D

Medicare Part D covers people who use self-administered prescription drugs.

  • CHIP

CHIP, the shortened form for Children’s Health Insurance Program, was passed into US law in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act. It is a health insurance program that focuses primarily on low-income families with children.

The government has done an excellent job providing health care insurance for over 8 billion children. Without this program, these kids would have remained uninsured because of their low income.


Another health insurance program is TRICARE. It benefits the US Department of Defense Military Health System and offers civilian benefits to force retirees, personnel, and their dependents.

  • Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The VHA is a health care plan from the US government for veterans. These veterans access health care through hospitals and clinics.

Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs owns and operates all the clinics and hospitals that offer veterans health care.


The private health care insurance system in the US has equally done well in serving and providing health care benefits for its customers. However, those who use its services are not classified as low-income earners because private health insurance is very expensive.


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