A Look at Individual Health Insurance
1. Your employee does not provide you any health coverage
2. You are not eligible to be included in your family plan
3. You are a student and your family insurance does not cover you in the state you studying.
4. You are between jobs and hence need an insurance on your own
5. You are self employed
Before actually buying individual health insurance, you need to be clear about a few points.
1. Do you need regular medical needs?
2. What is the premium that you can afford?
It is important to be clear on these two factors. Individual plans are usually expensive and you should not end up being with a policy that does not really cover your health needs.
Though there may be various sub-varieties, individual plans can be broadly classified into two main categories:-
a) Indemnity plan where one has to pay the bills upfront and get it reimbursed from the insurer later on
b) Managed health care plans that are comparatively cheaper and provide primary and preventive health care. These plans are fast gaining popularity and are replacing individual plans
Before deciding on the exact sort of individual plan, it is important to be clear about other details that are specific to the plan. These include:
- If your choice of doctor is included in the preferred network of healthcare service providers, then nothing like it. However, if you have to consult outside every time, then the plan will turn out to be much more expensive than what it originally was.
- If you are one who has to travel frequently, then make sure that your policy covers your health needs even when you are outside the home state
- Find out what impact will your existing medical conditions have on your future coverage
- Be sure of the exact premium, deductible, co-pay and co-insurance that you need to pay
- Also have a look at what are the benefits that will be specific to the plan in question
Since individual plans are one of the costliest, it is important to do a thorough quote comparison. Rates can vary by about 50% from company to company and it would be foolish to buy an expensive plan when the same is available at a cheaper price.
Buying individual health insurance, post the implementation of the Affordability Act has become a lucrative option for Americans. Residents applying for individual insurance will be eligible for tax credits. They would also be eligible for prevention and wellness benefits at no extra charge.
Purchasing a personal medical policy has never been the first preference for anyone. However, with so many benefits now being a part of the individual plan and if the right process is followed, then buying an individual plan has become an attractive proposition.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shaun is an authority on buying individual health insurance from the major carriers operating in the US insurance market like Aetna, MVP Healthcare, Blue Cross and the likes.