An individual health insurance plan pays for a person’s health care in his time of need. However, buying an individual policy might be a difficult endeavor, and one should consider the cost before purchasing an individual policy, as the premium on this type of plan is usually higher than with a group policy. Sometimes people also get baffled because of the insurance purchasing process, which involves many people, including the customer, agent, and underwriter to the insurance company. Therefore, to make the buy easy, one should learn more about the process of buying an individual health insurance plan.
Individual insurance policies are distinct from group policies in the nature of evidence of insurability. An individual can purchase a policy by answering a health questionnaire and undergoing a medical examination to provide evidence of insurability to the insurance company. An insurance company may decline a policy on the basis of the applicant’s lifestyle, health, medical history, age, income or other factors that bear on risk acceptance. On the other hand, most group insurance does not require a medical examination or other evidence of individual insurability.
One can buy individual health insurance plans under federal and state government-sponsored programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, service-type plans such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or through alternative health care systems such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Policies can also be purchased through mass purchasing groups such as credit unions and professional or trade associations.
However, before purchasing an individual health insurance plan, one should research policy options online to compare dozens of plans side by side, and should choose a health insurance plan that balances cost and coverage offered by a policy.