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If you live in Nebraska, you have several affordable health care insurance programs to choose from. Employers provide many Nebraska residents with health insurance; however, you might also be eligible for Medicare or other programs. You can also shop for your own plan on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace.
This guide will show you the cheap health insurance options in Nebraska, the range of prices you can expect, and how you can enroll in a plan.
Nebraska uses Healthcare.gov for ACA-compliant plans. Although you’ll buy Affordable Care Act plans through the federal site, the state oversees various aspects of those plans. If you’d like to purchase a plan from the exchange, visit HealthCare.gov to create an account.
Once you have an account, you can apply for health insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace checks your eligibility for Medicaid and uses the information you provide to determine if you qualify for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit. Make sure you have the full name, birth date, and Social Security number of every person in your family who needs coverage before you start the application process.
The application will ask you several questions related to your income and family, including the following:
After entering the required information, you’ll be able to view a list of available plans, including monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and coinsurance requirements. HealthCare.gov also allows you to make side-by-side comparisons of up to three plans at a time. Once you pick a plan, you’ll be able to complete the enrollment process.
There are some important considerations when shopping for individual coverage, whether for yourself or multiple people. These considerations include:
If you’re buying a plan for yourself, the choices are less complex. If you have minimal health concerns and need few or no prescriptions, you should look for a plan that provides a low-monthly premium and a high deductible. If, on the other hand, you have a chronic health condition and need to make regular visits to a doctor or a specialist, you should investigate a plan that offers a higher monthly premium but a lower deductible which will help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
There are several different kinds of plans from which you can choose:
The main difference between an off-exchange plan and one offered on the ACA Marketplace is that you can earn premium tax credits on the Marketplace if your income is between 100% to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. These benefits are not available on off-exchange plans. If you select a Silver plan on the Marketplace, you may also qualify for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which would lower your out-of-pocket costs.
Questions about health can be more complex when dealing with a family. Your children may be healthy, but what if you or your spouse have a chronic health condition like asthma, hypertension, or diabetes. It’s important to sit down with an agent or a representative of a healthcare company who can help you navigate these issues and find the plan that provides you with the best health care and suits your budget.
Another consideration for family plans is that many plans have an individual deductible and a family deductible. An individual deductible applies to each person covered by the plan, while the family deductible applies to the entire family. If one of your family members is hospitalized or undergoes an expensive surgery, it’s possible to meet the family deductible before every person on the plan has met their individual deductible.
|Average premium in Nebraska||2020||2021||2022||2023|
|Most affordable Bronze plan||$380||$358||$343||$414|
|Most affordable Silver plan||$506||$470||$445||$549|
|Most affordable Gold plan||$510||$464||$435||$579|
In 2018, voters in Nebraska approved the expansion of Medicare under the Affordable Care Act to include adults between the ages of 19 and 64. Nebraska residents also have access to CHIP, a program designed to aid children from low-income families without health care and who don’t qualify for Medicaid.
If you belong in the Medicaid expansion group (individuals aged between 19 and 64 and whose income is less than 138% of the federal poverty level), there are two packages available: basic and prime. As of October 1, 2021, all recipients of Medicare in Nebraska will receive equal coverage. Some of the services provided include doctor’s visits, ambulance services, family planning, chiropractor services, and much more.
You might also be eligible for Medicaid in Nebraska if you fall into one of the following categories:
Whether you qualify for Medicaid depends upon your income which is calculated as a percentage of the federal poverty level. For pregnant women, it’s 202%, for parents, it’s 63%, while for seniors and people with a disability, it’s 100%.
Resources can also be considered when determining eligibility for Medicare. Your home, one vehicle, and machinery or equipment used to operate a business will never be counted against you. Resource limits to receive the full subsidy for an individual are $9,090, while for a couple, it’s $15,160. Children under the age of 18 and eligible pregnant women don’t face resource limits.
CHIP is an expansion of Medicare designed to aid children from low-income families without health care and who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Families can make up to 213% of the federal poverty limit and qualify for CHIP. They shall receive the same services under CHIP that Medicaid recipients in Nebraska receive, including preventive care, regular doctor visits, immunizations, hospitalizations, dental care, ambulance services, and many more.
If you are aged 65 or older or have a qualifying disability, you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare, the federal government’s health care insurance program for eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare and are concerned about out-of-pocket costs, you can purchase a separate Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. These plans help with deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. These plans will also provide you with travel insurance for trips outside the United States. They don’t cover vision, dental, hearing, or long-term care. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans also will not work with any Medicare Advantage Plan.
If you start receiving your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Otherwise, you must fill out an application online or contact your local Social Security office. You can enroll in Medicare during the following periods:
Nebraska provides resources for seniors, their families, or their caregivers to help answer questions about how to enroll in Medicare and which is the best plan to choose.
Senior Health, also known as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), provides free, unbiased, and confidential counseling on Medicare options for seniors, their families, or caregivers in Nebraska. You can call a trained, certified agent or arrange for a one-on-one visit. No counselor will ever try to sell you an insurance program.
Yes, short-term health insurance policies are available in Nebraska, and they follow federal guidelines in terms of length (364 days) and how many times you are allowed to renew (three times).
However, Nebraska also put in place several other requirements for short-term insurance plans:
Short-term plans do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, pregnancy, or mental health care. They’re designed for people between jobs, who have missed the ACA open enrollment deadlines, or uninsured. Plans are normally only sold to individuals under 64 and in good health.
Originally the Affordable Care Act mandated that every adult in the U. S. was required to have health care or pay a tax penalty. In 2019 this part of the law was repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Nebraska doesn’t have its own state law that requires citizens to have health care.
No, you can also purchase health care in Nebraska through a broker, online, or from a private health insurance company.
The most commonly available cost-sharing plans are faith-based religious plans. These plans share costs between members. You don’t need to belong to a religious group or even be religious. While these plans are relatively inexpensive, they may not cover pre-existing conditions or other forms of essential healthcare. Neither Nebraska nor the federal government requires these plans to be ACA-compliant. Before you sign up for a faith-based plan, check to see what the plan covers and if it has any cost restrictions on coverage.
Yes. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to save enough money to pay for a serious medical emergency with an HSA/FSA account alone. However, these accounts can pay for deductibles, co-pays, or coinsurance.
Disability coverage pays for everyday household expenses such as mortgage payments, utilities, or groceries. Health insurance will not pay these costs. If you have a job where injury is a possibility, short-term disability coverage is a good idea.
Health insurance does not pay for the same things that disability coverage does. If you work in a job, like construction, where serious injury is a real possibility, then purchasing a long-term disability plan is a good idea to help cover costs such as a mortgage payment or groceries.
CHIP provides medical coverage for children whose families don’t qualify for Medicare but which are still low-income. CHIP in Nebraska provides the same services available to adults who qualify for Medicare, including preventative services, dental care, vision, doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, ambulance services, immunizations, and more.