You should consider private health insurance coverage in certain circumstances such as unemployment or other situations in which you are not able to get insurance through an employer. Health insurance is something that is required by all individuals so it is important to have some type. The good news is there are a lot of choices to fit all needs and budgets.
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Although it is good that there is a variety of options for private, or individual, health insurance, it can also make things confusing. There are a number of different terms to be aware of as well as exclusions and other details that are important to know before signing a policy.
Who is private health insurance for?
Not everyone should get private health insurance. In fact, there are quite a few negatives to individual health insurance policies, so if you don’t have to go that route you shouldn’t. A health insurance policy through your employer is usually a better choice, if it is available.
Private health insurance is usually for those who don’t have the option of an insurance plan through their place of employment.
Most self-employed individuals need to get some type of individual health insurance unless they are insured through their spouse. If the business you work for is small, it may not offer health insurance as a benefit and you will be responsible to get private coverage.
If you are unemployed you will need to consider getting private health insurance. If you work part time, most employers will not provide health insurance so you will need to get insurance another way.
If you have insurance through your employer and have a family, there are circumstances in which you will want or need to look for individual insurance. Some employers do not extend health insurance benefits to dependents such as your spouse or children. Others may offer it to the rest of the family but it is expensive and individual plans may be a better choice.
For more information on individual policies, check out this article from the Insurance Information Institute.
How does private and group health insurance differ?
There are a number of differences between group and private health insurance. One is cost. Private health insurance is usually more expensive than group insurance. With a group health insurance plan, some employers will pay for 100% of the premiums while others pay for a portion and pass the rest to the employees.
Another difference between the two is that most group insurance plans are guarantee issue. This means that you as an individual cannot be denied coverage because of a certain health condition. With private insurance, you can be denied coverage because of certain conditions that are pre-existing. Even if you are not denied coverage your premiums will more than likely increase and/or the condition will be excluded from coverage.
The benefits of a private health insurance plan policies may be limited and more costly. The deductible is often higher than many group plans and often the copayment is higher as well, although it depends on the type of plan that you choose.
How can you find private health insurance?
There are a number of sources to get an individual health insurance quote. You can do a general search for health insurance companies or compare quotes on one site, such as this one. You can call each of these companies and ask a representative your questions or you can just purchase it on your own online.
According to the National Association of Health Underwriters, a better way to find private health insurance is to use a professional advisor or broker. Insurance can be very confusing and entailed and a professional insurance advisor is well equipped to educate you on the different policies. Most professional advisors have taken a number of classes to increase their knowledge about the insurance industry. They can sit down with you and go over coverage options and help you manage risk.
Most advisors and health insurance brokers work independently so they are not trying to sell you a particular product from one company. This is usually beneficial for you because they can really focus on your needs and budget. With all of the options available, it is a good idea to have a professional help you out.
A quick way to compare private health insurance quotes is to enter your ZIP code into the FREE search tool now!