Individual Health Insurance
While some people obtain their health insurance through the group insurance plan that their employer provides, there are certain circumstances where individual health insurance is most appropriate. Whether you are between jobs, employed by a company that doesn’t offer a health insurance plan, or self-employed, you will want to maintain health coverage in the event that you should become ill or need a medical procedure. Without adequate individual health insurance, you could face costly doctors’ bills.
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Things to Keep in Mind About Individual Health Insurance
Keep in mind the following when shopping for an individual health insurance plan:
- The premiums will be higher than a group health insurance policy.
- You must provide proof of your health – for those with health conditions or those older consumers, be aware that some insurers may reject your application for individual health insurance (some states require that any insurer must offer health insurance, regardless of medical problems).
- Options such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), point-of-service (POS) plans, and fee-for-service options all exist; choose the plan that offers the best fit for your individual health insurance needs.
Review pricing for each plan, the reliability of the company, and whether or not a medical exam is required to be approved for coverage. You will also want to determine the amount of coverage and the deductibles required. Depending on what state you reside in, there may be different regulations for individual health insurance – be aware of your state’s regulations.
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Individual Health Plan Coverage
Overall, your budget will play a large role in which individual health insurance plan you ultimately decide on. Review coverage options, with attention to coverage for:
- Hospital expenses, including room and board
- Surgical expenses for fees and costs of surgery
- Doctors’ expense for office visits and hospital visits
- Coverage for catastrophic illness or injury
Additionally, you may be interested in an individual health insurance plan that includes:
- Prescription drugs
- Maternity care
- Vision coverage
- Mental health benefits
In some cases, you can customize individual health insurance to best meet your needs and budget.
Individual Health Insurance Costs
Individual health insurance plans can be more expensive than group plans, but smart consumers can discover that individual insurance coverage can actually be quite affordable. Group insurance is able to offer people discounts because of the volume of other employees in the plan. Individual health insurance doesn’t have the luxury of volume discounting, but there are certainly affordable options available. When you compare the costs of doctors’ visits and medical procedures without individual insurance, you could easily be buried by medical costs.