Types of Health Insurance
Some health insurance coverage offers short-term basic coverage, while others cover a wide range of services for a longer period of time. If you need services like maternity, dental or prescription drugs, check the plan details to make sure you get the coverage you need.
Individual and Family
Also called comprehensive or major medical, individual and family coverage is likely the first type of health insurance you might think of. It covers a wide range of services.
- Lasts 12 months or longer
- Can be renewed (in most cases)
- Meets the Affordable Care Act requirements and includes:
- Emergency services, hospitalization, and preventive care
- Maternity, newborn and pediatric care
- Mental health care & substance abuse treatment
- Laboratory services, prescription drugs, and disease management
- Rehabilitative services and devices
- You may be able to get help paying for this coverage
Also known as temporary health insurance, short-term plans protect you and your family against the medical costs of unexpected accidents or illness while you wait for other coverage to start.
- Lasts 1–11 months
- Can't be renewed (in most cases)
- Doesn't meet the Affordable Care Act requirements, so you may have to pay a penalty
- May be a good choice if you are between coverage and don't qualify for special enrollment
- Can be tailored to your time frame and budget. You choose your start date, length of coverage and deductible amount.
- You can't get help paying for this plan.
Dental insurance plans cover part of your dental costs for you and your family.
- Can cover a wide range of services or just basic care.
- Can be bought as part of your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois longer-term plan or by itself through a separate, stand-alone dental plan.
- Is required for children age 18 or younger under the Affordable Care Act.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people age 65 or older, or people under 65 with certain disabilities or illnesses.
- Medicare has 4 basic parts that, together, help with health care costs.
- Original Medicare has 2 parts: Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage)
- Part A and Part B don't cover everything, so you may want to buy Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (drug coverage) from a private health insurance company.
Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Based on your household size and income, you may be able to get low- or no-cost health coverage through a government program such as Medicaid or CHIP. You can apply any time of year.