Individual health insurance is typically purchased by people who do not have health insurance through an employer, association or government program. You are able to buy this type of health insurance policy directly from an insurance company, and even though it is known as “individual” insurance it can provide protection for you, your spouse and your family. The vast majority of individual health insurance policies will ensure that you have access to quality health care, will provide you with major medical benefits which are extremely valuable, and will also protect you against the rising costs of health care.
There are various types of individual health insurance plan, and the type of policy you choose to purchase should always depend on your own individual needs. You can choose a policy that will help to pay for predictable health costs such as prescriptions or a doctor’s office visit. Individual health insurance plans can also pay for medical expenses that are due to treatment required for a serious illness or injury. Individual health insurance is most often recommended for people who are in between jobs, or are self-employed and run their own business.
You will also find the individual health insurance is suitable for workers whose employers do not offer group coverage, part-time, temporary and contract workers who may not be eligible for group health insurance benefits. It should also be considered by new employees who are not yet covered under their group policy, early retirees who are not yet eligible for Medicare, and even families who are in transition due to a divorce or loss of a job.
Many people believe that they do not need individual health insurance, as they can pay via out-of-pocket expenses for things such as doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and any other routine medical expenses. However, if ever you have any unexpected medical costs this can prove to be extremely expensive, and you will be solely responsible for paying your medical bills. You will also typically find that having an individual health insurance policy may be vital to protect your health. If you currently have no form of health insurance you may have to delay necessary medical treatment due to the costs. Unfortunately this can even result in far higher medical costs at a later date when your condition has worsened.
Individual health insurance basically works by you paying premiums to a health insurance company, who will then provide you protection against high medical expenses. The insurance company will specify the extent of the coverage provided within your policy. Prior to an insurance policy being issued, you will always need to complete and submit an application. This will generally have certain requirements to meet such age, health, residency, occupation, and medical underwriting requirements. Should you meet these a health insurance company will approve your application.
Health insurance companies will base their decision on an individual basis, and will typically take into account your medical background. Unfortunately, this will mean that not everyone is eligible for coverage. Many people often do not apply for individual health insurance until they know they have a medical problem, and this is often referred to as adverse selection. You will also find that if you have any pre-existing medical conditions you may incur higher premium costs, or the actual condition may be completely exempt from your policy.
You will generally find that each state will have its own individual requirements for health insurance policies. They will also regulate how health insurance will be priced, marketed and sold within the state. You may even find that in certain states that individual health insurance policies will be issued with an exclusionary rider. This will generally mean that an insurance company will not cover a specific condition for either a period of time, or for the complete life of the policy.
The cost of individual health insurance will depend on various factors. These were generally include your age, zip code, and the type of health plan you wish to have. Other considerations will be your height and weight, your tobacco usage, and indeed your health history. You will also find that although individual health insurance is specifically designed to protect you from the high cost of health care, you may also be required to share some of these costs. This will generally include co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance, and any medical expenses that are not covered by your plan.
The main things to consider when purchasing an individual health insurance plan is the benefits that you will require, the impact that the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses will have on overall budget, how convenient the plan is to you – such as the access you have to doctors and hospitals in your area, and any exclusions and limitations that the policy may have. You will need to consider whether the benefits that a certain plan is offers will enable you to pay monthly premiums that are within your comfort zone, whereas you may find a plan that has a lower premium that requires you to pay higher deductible. Generally, finding an individual health insurance plan that has the right balance of benefits and monthly premium will take a fair amount of research, although there is a wide choice available to you.