A huge percentage of Americans depend on their employer-provided health plan for their health insurance. Still, there are certain situations when people would need to obtain private health insurance, especially with the most recent health reform law that mandates every American to get health coverage. When the time comes to find a private health insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind.
These days, the situations when people would need to acquire their own health insurance would have to do with their employment status. You may need to purchase your own health coverage if you are self-employed, unemployed, if you are working part-time, or if you are running your own business. Children leaving college can still be covered under their parents’ health plan until they reach the age of 26 or if their own employer provides them coverage.
Should you lose your job due to retrenchment, downsizing, or voluntary resignation, you will be eligible to get health coverage under COBRA but you will have to pay for the full cost of the policy. When COBRA coverage runs out and you still haven’t found a new employer who will provide you with coverage, then you would have to shop and purchase your own coverage. If in case you are not eligible for COBRA, then you need to find your own coverage immediately.
There are companies who offer limited health coverage for their part-time employees but mostly would not. So if you are working part-time, expect to look for and pay for your own health coverage. Similarly, if you are self-employed and cannot get coverage from your partner, you have to look for your own health coverage. If you set up a business and hire employees, you may be compelled to give your employees health insurance. But even if it is not legally required, you may want to consider offering health insurance because your competitors will most likely offer it and you do not want your employees to be lured away by these competitors just on the basis of a health plan. Small businesses today can obtain health insurance for their employees that are not too heavy on the budget; these are also considered group plans with their own special rates.
Sometimes insurance companies may decide to drop you from the plan if you have a chronic or serious medical condition. This can happen regardless if you have been a loyal plan member for years and years. You can seek the help of an agent who can find a health plan that will correspond to your particular condition.
It is hard to go about life without a health insurance since a slight emergency such as a fractured bone can cost you a lot of money if you’re uninsured. It is for these seemingly small accidents that health insurance really counts. Accidents cannot be predicted so you would be insuring against something that can take place just anytime.
Reading the news can sometimes turn you away from buying health coverage. All you see are news about the rising costs of health care, but what you may not be seeing is that health insurance comes in different forms and sizes and with varying prices. So while you may not be able to afford the health coverage provided by a large company for their employees, you can certainly find one that would suit your budget. Always remember that having health coverage, however limited, is always better than not having coverage at all.
The first thing to look at is the type of insurance you can get. You have the option to purchase a health plan from a preferred provider organization, health maintenance organization, high-deductible health plan, point of service plan, or a consumer-driven health plan. After picking a plan, you should establish a deductible that you can take on comfortable. The insurance deductible is that portion of the health plan that is shouldered by the participant. The rule is if you set a high deductible, your insurance premiums will go down. Think about the amount you can handle to pay for. If your cash flow is not that high, you may want to go for a high deductible plan.
Shopping for a health plan is so much easier these days with the Internet. Most plan providers offer their health insurance online and provide excellent customer service to guide prospective buyers in choosing a plan that suits them. Keep in mind that plans vary by location and the premiums for every plan can be different by zip code. When you get a quote from the website, what you are getting is the lowest price for a plan with the assumption that you are in tip-top shape. So give allowance for when you actually buy the policy and provide your medical history.
It will be very difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison with regards to health plans because companies really differ when it comes to plan features and costs. The idea is to get all the features you want at a cost you will be comfortable with. You should definitely go for the reputable insurance companies as they have the capacity to offer really affordable plans just because of the sheer size of their business.
What is in your plan must depend on what you need. It is very likely to find a plan that has all the features you want. There are just some considerations you need to think of such as whether you need prescription drug coverage and what type of prescription coverage you want. Look at the out-of-pocket expenses such as co-insurance and co-payment. Ask yourself if you need dental and vision coverage or if you require pregnancy benefits. If you already have a physician that you go to all the time, see if they are accredited with the plan you are getting so you would not have to pay the extra costs of going to a doctor that is not part of your plan’s network.