Individual Health Insurance

Individual health insurance is a critical element of your overall health and wellness. Typically, those who do not have health insurance are less likely to receive the medical care and attention they need in a timely fashion.

How Can I Get Individual Medical Insurance?

Individual health insurance is usually acquired in one of two ways. The most common way is through an employer. Many employers provide optional medical plans for their employees, usually after they've worked for at least 3 to 6 months. A portion of the costs would be deducted from your paycheck automatically, but a significant percentage of the insurance costs are covered by the employer.

The other method of purchasing individual health insurance is choosing a private plan. There are dozens of health insurance providers who can work with you to choose a plan that fits your needs and budget. Most of these providers also offer free health insurance quotes to make it easier for you to shop around.

What Should I Look for in an Individual Health Insurance Plan?

By taking advantage of the free health insurance quotes offered by providers, you'll be able to compare the premiums, deductibles, and service they offer. There are a few important things to look at before making a decision.

First, be sure that your current doctor is part of the provider's network. Most insurance plans require that you choose a physician in their network, or they won't pay all or any of their fees. Unless you plan on switching doctors, you'll want to be certain that your doctor is in their network.

Second, choose a moderate deductible. The deductible is how much you'll have to pay before the insurance starts covering your medical expenses. A deductible that is too high may mean you're paying out-of-pocket for almost everything, especially if you are relatively healthy. On the other hand, a deductible that is too low may cause your premiums to be unaffordable.

Finally, compare premiums. Individual health insurance through a private provider is usually expensive. A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found the average monthly premium for individual health insurance plans was $173. If you have a pre-existing health condition or if you are over 35, your premiums are going to be higher. Premiums for family insurance coverage are also higher.

Individual Health Insurance Resources and References

Learn more about family coverage by reading our "Family Health Insurance" article. Learn more about how to choose a health plan for yourself or for your family at the Insurance Information Institute. You can also find additional guidance regarding your options for purchasing individual health insurance policies at The National Association of Health Underwriters' web site. Coverage plans and options vary by state - for example, California health insurance options are substantially different than those in Texas, Georgia, or other states.