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         Why You Should Consider Individual Health Insurance? If your employer does not have group health insurance scheme or if you are ineligible to become a member, you should consider buying an individual health insurance policy. Individual coverage may be more difficult to obtain, more expensive, and less consumer-friendly than jobbased coverage - but it is better than being uninsured. Any major illness, prolonged hospitalization or an accident can ruin you financially if you are not covered. To avail individual health insurance policy, you may look for an independent insurance agent who is registered with the state department of insurance. This agent will have a list of people licensed to sell health insurance in your state and will guide you to select the one most suited to your requirements. You can also visit the website of National Association of Health Underwriters to identify a reliable independent agent in your state. Although they call them as individual health insurance plans, they can actually cover you, your spouse and your children. You can also search for individual health insurance coverage online. For instance, eHealthinsurance.com will let you compare policies from different insurance companies which you will find helpful to arrive at a decision. Most insurance companies will allow you 10 days time to thoroughly study the individual health policy documents and decide whether or not to avail this coverage. If you decide against the terms of the policy, you can cancel the coverage and get refund of your premium. A disheartening fact is insurance companies may cancel individual health insurance policies if they find the insured becomes sick too often. Unfortunately, this type of cancellation is deemed legal in many states. So try to find out if you can obtain a policy which cannot be cancelled midway and renewal is guaranteed each year. Individual plans are medically underwritten and the insurance companies may reject your application or attach exclusions to your policy if you have health problems. Under guaranteed issue laws, some states disapprove this practice and require that health insurers offer you a policy, no matter whatever your health condition. The Kaiser Family Foundation has a list of guaranteed issue policies. Alternately, try to find a conditionally renewable policy, which means that the insurance company reserves the right to cancel all policies that are similar to yours, but cannot single out your policy alone for cancellation. Before finalizing the policy, make sure to know in unambiguous terms, what is covered, what is not covered and from when the coverage will commence. Ascertain if the plan covers prescriptions and X-rays. Prescriptions are one of the most used benefits of health plans. Study the coverage of any individual health plan to know if your current prescriptions are covered as also X-rays. The level of coverage available under individual health insurance policies varies widely, and you will have more options available to you because your employer is not deciding the policy for you. It is therefore critically important that you understand all the terms of your individual policy. If certain terms are not clear to you, ask your agent and/or the insurance company to explain them. People enrolled in individual plans pay premiums determined by their expected health care costs and as such, premium will be higher for those who are older and those subject to frequent illnesses.


Why You Should Consider Individual Health Insurance?