Why do Americans pay their health premiums through their employer?

According to The New York Times the practice began during WWII. Wage controls were put into place by Congress. However, they did not restrict fringe benefits so employers started to offer health insurance as a fringe benefit to employees and still stayed in compliance with the wage control freezes.

Since the 1980ʼs the American public has been trending towards purchasing health insurance themselves. Today, there are dozens of plans to choose from. Often times the consumer will actually have more options available on the individual market where as an employer may offer only one or two different plans. Individual health insurance premiums will vary with a family’s specific needs and medical history. Be sure to use the services of a licensed insurance broker to shop around for you to find a plan that fits both your needs and budget. Since individual medical insurance is not tied to an employer you may keep it as long as you like.

Here are some things to consider about individual family plan insurance choices. In most states, if you are over 18; it is possible to be denied coverage for an individual family plan coverage based on your medical history. If you are laid off from your job you may be eligible for COBRA. COBRA is a great choice if you have pre-existing conditions. You must pay the entire cost of the insurance yourself and a lot of people find the cost to be very expensive. You may keep COBRA for 18 months. A good option would be to apply for an individual family plan and keep the COBRA as a back up just in case you are denied for coverage. Another great option if you recently lost your job and are on tight budget, look into a high deductible health plan.