Instant Individual Health Insurance

By: John C Alzza

Shopping for individual health insurance can be confusing. Having a basic understanding of what types of individual insurance coverage are available is important.

Group discounts that are applied to insurance policies available to employees aren't applied to individual health insurance policies. If you are looking for an individual policy you are going to pay more for your plan than you would if you were insured as part of a group through your employer or even going COBRA. It is almost always a better idea to go with group coverage if it is available to you. Even COBRA rates are lower than those for individual policies.

Just like group policies, individual insurance coverage has the option of health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO), and indemnity (fee-for-service) plans. When choosing coverage you need to decide what you want from your policy. If you are looking for more freedom of choice then traditional policies are probably better. If you want to save money and you don't mind being restricted to certain service providers then managed care types such as HMO and PPO may be a better choice for you.

Managed care is a type of insurance plan that allows you to use providers from a select group. This type of health insurance plan is usually less expensive and more restrictive than indemnity plans. If you are looking for an individual health insurance plan that allows you to use a specialist you probably aren't looking for managed care. Check to see if your doctor is on the list, if not it is possible you may have to change doctors. Sometimes talking to your doctor can also get him/her to join the group so you are able to still see the same providers you have been seeing all along with a better priced plan than an indemnity plan.

Indemnity plans are usually a little more expensive but allow you to make more choices about your healthcare. When it comes to what services are covered and what is not covered indemnity plans are usually better. If you want more control over your healthcare then this type of plan may be what you are looking for.

If you are looking into purchasing individual health insurance you should write down exactly what you will be using your health insurance for. Keep track of what you want covered and what coverage isn't important to you. Services such as vision, maternity care, and dental may be something you are willing to go without to keep your rates down.

The cost of an individual health insurance plan is usually roughly what it would cost you if you had to pay for your routine care out of pocket. Insurance companies set premiums for individual policies close to what they expect health care to cost for the individual. If you have gone without health for an extended period of time you may be given restrictions for the first year of your policy. If given these restrictions your insurance won't cover pre-existing health conditions.

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