Sources of Health Insurance

There are a variety of sources in which people get health insurance. Use this table to understand each type.
What is it Called?What is it?What to know.
Employer-Sponsored InsuranceInsurance coverage provided to
employees and, in some cases,
their spouses and children,
through an employer. Also called
group insurance.
ESI is the largest source of coverage in the U.S. (more than 150
million non-elderly people). Typically exempt from state
regulation. More than half of all non-elderly Americans have ESI
(nearly 160 million people).
Health Insurance MarketplaceWeb-based service formerly known as the Exchange where individuals and small businesses can shop for comprehensive coverage that meets Affordable Care Act coverage standards and financial protections.Created by the ACA. Provides insurance to individuals who previously may not have had access. Premium and cost-sharing subsidies may be available, depending on income level.
MedicaidA publicly financed federal-state program that provides health and long-term care coverage to one out of five Americans.States design their own
programs within broad
federal guidelines. As of
September 2022, 38 states and D.C. have chosen, pursuant to the ACA, to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income adults.
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)A federal-state program that provides health coverage for uninsured low-income children who are not eligible for Medicaid.States can administer CHIP through Medicaid or as a separate program (or a combination of both).
MedicareA federal program that provides health coverage to people aged 65 and older, and anyone with permanent disabilities, such as end-state renal disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease.Part A of original Medicare provides coverage for hospitalization. Part B provides coverage for outpatient services and for infusion drugs. Part D provides prescription drug coverage through private plans. Medicare Advantage is an all-inone private alternative to original Medicare.
TricareProvides civilian health benefits for military personnel, military retirees and their dependents.Federally regulated.
Veteran's Health ProgramProvides hospital care and outpatient care services to eligible veterans and eligible dependents.Federally regulated.