The Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Health Insurance

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Health Insurance

Most Americans have private health insurance. This is a big monthly expense and one that many would prefer to do without. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of a country using this type of health care system? Read below to find out.


1. You Choose Your Doctor

In the private healthcare system you often have more flexibility in choosing a doctor as well as medical facility. For patients that want the same doctor all the time, this can be a very important advantage of this type of system.

2. Shorter Wait Times

If you are having a surgery that is necessary but not life threatening, there are often long wait times. In a private health insurance system the patient will often have shorter wait times because the medical facility is less busy. And even if there are a lot of people waiting, you can often by pass the line by paying a little bit extra for faster medical attention.

3. Improved Facilities

Unfortunately, because the public system is funded with government money it does not have access to as much funds as the private sector one do. This means that public hospitals and health care facilities are often overcrowded, and lacking certain comfort amenities. Private health care facilities, on the other hand, are usually well maintained, with private wards, private bathrooms, phones, TVs, and better tasting food.


1. Private Health Insurance Costs More than Public Health Insurance

While the US government might be saving a marginal amount of money by having a private healthcare system instead of a public one; there is no doubt that American citizens are paying a lot more money to get a decent level of private healthcare coverage than they would be required to pay in a public system. Most Americans are paying around $200 or more for their monthly health insurance premium plus a co-pay and deductible. Public system costs: under $100 monthly with no co-pay or deductible.

2. Private Health Insurance Creates Inequality

Unfortunately when health care insurance is privatized the healthcare providers and insurance companies are always thinking about their bottom line. This means that if you are willing to pay, you can get priority treatment. In the public system everyone is treated equal, money or no money; order of treatment is based on severity of medical condition and who was there first.

3. Private Health Insurance Seldom Covers All Medical Services

When getting private health care insurance quote you choose the health insurance plan that best suits your needs and fits into your budget. Unfortunately no health insurance plan is perfect so policy holders are forced to pick and choose what health benefits are most important and
which ones they think they can do without. If you choose incorrectly, this could leave you with huge policy gaps that force you to go without treatment or pay the high costs.


  1. Finally, a straightforward explanation, using a simple table, to explain the advantages and disadvantages of Advantage plans vs Original Medicare. Thank you for providing this excellent explanation.

  2. As a retired physician, I would not recommend an advantage plan to anyone. There is tremendous value in the fact that traditional Medicare with a supplement does not lock you in to a particular healthcare network. You are free to choose any physician that accepts Medicare, and no referral is required to see a specialist. When I was working and had health insurance provided by my employer, I was locked in a network. More than once I paid the additional expense to go out of network to use the physician that I thought was best.

  3. This was very helpful. One question – can you changed plan options from year to year? For example, at retirement, the previous year’s income more than doubles the Part B premium. So, assuming you don’t have major health problems, you might be better off using the Advantage Plan to start but then change to Supplemental as your income comes down and you have more health issues. I think I heard there isa a yearly open enrollment, so I think it’s possible. Just curious if anyone knows for sure.


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