Understanding Individual Health Insurance

Individual Health Insurance

Individual health insurance is coverage that you purchase independently. Although the majority of Americans receive coverage through their employer or government programs, ten percent of the population buys their own individual health insurance.

Who is individual health insurance best for?

Individual health insurance is ideal if you are:

  • Employed by a company that does not provide health benefits
  • Between jobs
  • Recently laid off, and COBRA is too expensive for you
  • Self-employed
  • A recent graduate, not covered under your parents’ plan

What are some benefits of individual health insurance?

The great thing about individual health insurance is the variety of options you can pick and choose from, to include in your plan. With the help of a good agent, you can determine what your needs are and pick the appropriate benefits you require, such as routine doctor’s visits, prenatal visits, maternity care, well-baby visits, prescription drugs, etc. You can also decide whether you want to pay a high deductible and low monthly premium, or vice versa depending on your needs. In this way, you can get affordable health insurance tailored to your needs. If you were recently laid off, opting for an individual plan might be cheaper than the high premiums associated with continued employer coverage via COBRA.

What are some risks involved with individual health insurance?

You pay higher premiums than with group insurance because you have to pay all of the premium, rather than your share as an employee.

Premiums can be higher in certain states because of that state’s health care usage history or particular state-wide legislative requirements. Similarly, premiums are also determined by estimating expected health care costs, so those who are less healthy, smoke or older can expect to pay more.

Individual health insurance plans are underwritten, so an insurer can reject or apply rate-ups or exclusions to your policy if you have preexisting conditions.

How do you buy individual health insurance?

You can find and buy the perfect individual health insurance plan with the help of a licensed agent. To start, enter some basic information about yourself on getinsured.com to view instant side-by-side comparisons of available plans in your zip code. Licensed health insurance agents can explain your state’s law and will help guide you through the buying process—from selecting an ideal plan to completing your application and receiving your policy. And, because this service is free, there is no reason to not take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity. Individual health insurance premiums are tightly regulated so whether you decide to buy online or from an agent or from a health insurance carrier, you will always pay the same price.

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