July 18, 2012

The Winding Journey of Buying Health Insurance Alone

It isn’t the idea choice for most people. Having a job with health insurance benefits is favorable, but not everyone is in the position to obtain that. If you’re unemployed or you have a job that doesn’t offer a health insurance plan and you want to be insured, the only real option you have is to purchase an individual plan. But how does one go about doing such a thing? Individual health insurance plans are acquired through private companies. It’s important to understand that these private health insurance companies do not have to accept you if you have a medical issue considered a “pre-existing condition” by the company. When buying an individual plan — despite the name — you can purchase one that covers your immediate family as well.

The process is complex and depends heavily on each person’s circumstances, but the list that follows will attempt to highlight some important tips and questions to consider if you’re looking to buy private health insurance.

  • Compare the costs of many policies. The more policies you investigate, the better off you’ll be. It’s going to be an arduous process attempting to figure out the best and most cost-effective plan for you and your family, but it’s worth the effort. Because health insurance is so expensive, every bit of savings you uncover is helpful.
  • Figure out who you want your primary care physician to be. You choice of insurance plans can be dictated by your choice of doctor. If you want to keep your regular physician, you might be forced to choose one plan over another depending on what kind of insurance your doctor accepts.
  • Ask yourself how much health care you usually need. If you’re purchasing health insurance for yourself alone and you’re relatively healthy, you may want to choose a lighter plan than if you had health issues or an entire family to support.
  • Compare what the policies cover. Some policies don’t cover X-Rays, visits to specialists, or out-of-network doctor visits. If these are important to you, it’s vital to find a plan that includes these amenities.