Am I Purchasing Insurance Through an Employer or on My Own?

The most common ways to get health insurance are through an employer or on your own. But there are other types of health coverage available if you are a student, younger than 26, older than 65, have a low income, or have recently lost your job.

Employer plans

The most common ways to get health insurance are through an employer or on your own. If you have the option of getting insurance through an employer, it may be more affordable than an individual plan because your employer often shares some of the cost. However, you may see changes in the coming years. Some employers may turn to private exchanges that allow their employees to purchase insurance directly from a health insurer; others may stop offering insurance altogether. Some companies may offer insurance to their employees, but not cover spouses and dependents. If you have any questions about your employer’s group health plan , please contact your employer’s HR department or benefits representative.

Employer Plans

Individual and family plans purchased directly from a health insurer

If you don’t have the option of getting health care coverage through an employer, or you want to purchase a plan on your own, you can purchase an individual health plan. Even though it may be referred to as “individual” health insurance, you can buy plans that cover your spouse and dependents.

You can purchase individual plans directly from Independence Blue Cross or through the government-run Health Insurance Marketplace, which offers plans from various health insurers. The government offers subsidies that can lower your monthly rate, out-of-pocket costs, or both. If you qualify for a subsidy, then you will have to buy a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Check to see if you may be eligible for a subsidy.

When can I buy an individual and family plan?

Most people need to purchase an individual or family plan during the annual open enrollment period, which is determined each year by the federal government. Visit to see if the enrollment period is still open. If you miss the open enrollment period, you may be eligible for a special enrollment period if you experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, loss of coverage, or a recent move into a new coverage area. Learn more about the special enrollment period and qualifying life events.

Purchased Employer Plans

Other types of health insurance

Besides employer and individual plans, there are other types of plans you may qualify for. Learn more about Student Plans, Medicare, Medicaid, and COBRA.

No employer insurance?

Learn about our individual and family health plans that you can purchase on your own.
Learn more