Individual Health Insurance

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In an age where medical facilities costs are on the rise, choosing a correct individual health insurance is very important. Following are some points which can increase are awareness about the market of individual health insurance.

Basics:

The name “Individual Health Insurance Plan” suggests that such coverage is meant for an individual and not a group. Generally an individual plan will cost more than a group insurance plan since there are no group discounts available in this case.

The application procedure is also different from a group plan wherein there are no medical examination takes place before issuance of the policy. In the case of an individual insurance plan, the proposer has to fill up a medical questionnaire along with the basic application. This includes disclosure of any existing diseases smoking or drinking habits etc. Post this a medical examination comprised of some basic tests, successful results for which will lead to issuance of the policy along with determination of the premium payable.

The Insurer would always reserve the right, to deny coverage based on individual current state of health, personal habits, medical history etc. This is done basis a risk assessment which is done on the above factors at the insurer’s end. In some cases policy is still issued, but with some limitations on the extent of coverage provided.

One can avoid the questionnaire and examination procedure and still be eligible for coverage if:

  • One is having group coverage within last 60 days
  • One has had group coverage within last 18 months
  • One is no longer eligible for any other insurance plan like Medicaid, Medicare or COBRA

How to avail Individual Health Insurance Coverage

Many individuals are provided insurance through their employer under a group. This is one of the most affordable kind of insurance sue to the fact that insurance is taken under a group and group discounts are therefore available.

However, one might not be fortunate enough to receive group medical insurance or one might be self-employed as well wherein one needs to use an individual health insurance plan from protection against exorbitant medical expenses. There is a number of health insurance coverage for individuals:

  • Medicare
  • Health Savings Account(HSA)
  • Medicaid
  • Service Plans(Blue Cross Blue Shield)
  • Managed Health Care Systems (HMO)
  • High Risk State Insurance Pools

Individual coverage can also be availed from private insurer, on an individual basis or group such trade associations.

Value for Money: Tips

The basic requirement for finding a good affordable plan is to do comparison shopping. Since the insurance market is a highly competitive one, a little of research can lead us to a complete insurance plan which gives us complete coverage and value for money.

Following are certain steps which one needs to follow for a complete individual insurance coverage:

  • Contact your employer for details of any insurance coverage, group orotherwise that can be availed. This would be the most cost-effective insurance plan that can be availed.
  • If your employer is not providing any coverage then start contacting several insurance brokers/agents. However, please do check if the agent is a licensed one or not.
  • Health Insurance companies can also be directly contacted for online insurance quotes. Please ask as many questions in regards to the extent of coverage that the companies will provide so that you do not end buying a cheap but incomplete policy.

A list of health care providers is given below for more help:

  • Aetna
  • Aflac
  • Assurant Health
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
  • Gel singer
  • Humana
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Celtic Insurance

However, it is important that before you take up an individual coverage please try and arrange for group coverage through organizations like credit unions.


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