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Whether you’re self-employed, don’t have insurance at work or are retired but not yet eligible for Medicare, there are affordable health insurance options for you.

Having health insurance means that, if a medical emergency comes up, or if you need to visit your doctor for a routine checkup, you’ll be covered.

“If you don’t have medical insurance, you can be faced with large bills for medical care,” explains Craig Shively, sales manager at Geisinger Health Plan.

Here’s how you can find an affordable health insurance plan on a fixed budget. 

Buying health insurance: How and when?

You may lack access to insurance for many reasons, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be covered. 

“A lot of people who don’t have medical coverage avoid getting care when they need it,” says Shively. “But options for affordable coverage are available, so no one has to compromise on their health.”

You may need to buy individual health insurance if you: 

  • Are self-employed 
  • Work for a company that doesn’t offer health insurance
  • Are retired but are not yet eligible for Medicare (retired before you turn 65, for example)


If you’ve found that you need to buy your own health insurance, an annual period called open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 15. During this time, you can shop for health insurance. 

Some special circumstances and life changes may also enable you to enroll or buy health insurance on your own outside of this period. “Some of these circumstances include getting married and losing previous health insurance,” says Shively. “In this case, you would qualify for a special enrollment period.”

If you’re worried about the cost of individual health insurance, programs exist to help you keep your costs low.

What is the Affordable Care Act? 

When you enroll in individual health insurance for yourself or your family, you can find out if you qualify for subsidies or assistance. This can help you find affordable health insurance for you and your family through the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act (ACT) offers subsidies that help people gain access to high quality and affordable health insurance. This program is based on household income and the number of people who live in the home.

“If your income is more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) or under 400 percent of the FPL, you may be eligible for financial help for premiums,” says Shively. “In some cases, this can even help cover out-of-pocket costs.”

Geisinger Health Plan can help you find affordable health insurance 

Regardless of your healthcare and financial needs, options are available to keep you and your family covered.

“Take Geisinger Health Plan for example,” says Shively. “We offer 15 different plans so you can find one that fits your needs and your budget.” 

He adds that plans range from individual to family coverage and income-based plans including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and GHP Family (Geisinger Health Plan’s Medicaid plan).

This year, Geisinger Health Plan is moving away from the federally facilitated exchange and moving to state-based exchange called “Pennie.” 

What does this mean for you? Pennie is a program that provides people living in Pennsylvania with access to health insurance and financial assistance if needed. Geisinger Health Plan has partnered with Pennie to help make sure you get the coverage you need at a rate you can afford. If you want to learn more about Pennie, call them at 844-844-8040.

“If you’re looking for an individual health insurance plan, Geisinger Health Plan can help,” adds Shively. “And if you aren’t sure which plan is right for you, our dedicated, trained advisors will partner with you from start to finish.”

Next steps: 

Find insurance that works for you with Geisinger Marketplace

Learn more about Geisinger Health Plan

Call a Geisinger Health Plan representative today at 800-918-5154

Find a health insurance plan

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