The Difference Between Private and Public Health Insurance: An Expert's Perspective

When it comes to health insurance, there are two main types: private and public. Private health insurance is coverage provided by a private entity, such as UnitedHealthcare or Kaiser Permanente, while public health insurance is offered by the state or federal government. Contrary to popular belief, evidence suggests that public health coverage is more affordable for families than private insurance and provides access to care that is just as good, if not better. No matter the type of health insurance plan, it is essential to make sure that the health insurance company you choose has a simplified, member-centered and digital-focused approach.

Policies that use federal funds for tax credits to purchase private insurance for children or for imprecisely designed premium assistance are likely to be less effective in strengthening coverage and access to health care for low-income children than policies that build on and improve current children's health programs.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is typically offered through an employer or union, or purchased directly from an insurance company. Group health insurance plans offered through workplaces are often the most affordable private health insurance plans because employers subsidize costs. The law also stipulates that the insured must receive special enrollment opportunities in the event of certain life or health events, and a guarantee of renewal for certain health insurance coverage.

Public Health Insurance

Public health insurance includes Medicare, which is a government-sponsored program for people over 65 and those with certain disabilities and illnesses. Medicaid is another form of public health coverage that provides access to care for those with limited incomes. The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is also available for children in families with limited incomes. You can visit the health insurance marketplace to complete an application and see what options are available to you.

The federal government offers its health insurance marketplace in most states, while some states have their own exchanges. The marketplace allows you to compare available health insurance plans and enroll through a variety of methods, including online, over the phone, and in person.


When it comes to choosing between private and public health insurance, it is important to consider all of your options carefully. Private health insurance may be more expensive but may offer more comprehensive coverage than public plans. On the other hand, public plans may be more affordable but may not offer as much coverage as private plans.

Ultimately, it is important to weigh all of your options before making a decision.

Lucy Anderson
Lucy Anderson

Friendly bacon ninja. Passionate zombie scholar. Friendly twitter fan. Evil music buff. Infuriatingly humble social media evangelist.

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