Tips for Buying an Individual Health Insurance Policy

There are millions of Americans across the country that do not have health insurance, but there are safe ways to seek out health insurance from a reputable source. No matter where you live, start with a visit to the State Department of Insurance. They are an excellent resource for finding the best rated insurance companies in your state, and a good place to start your search.

You should focus on finding the best plan to fit your needs. If you have pre-existing conditions, make sure that they are covered by the policy. Some states hold an “open enrollment” period where individuals can sign up for health insurance without being turned down for a pre-existing condition.

And when it comes to money, cheaper is not always better. Some insurance seekers focus only on the companies with the lowest monthly premiums, but this can also cost more money in the long run. Base your decision on the overall price; deductible, co-payments, prescription coverage, etc. A company that offers a very low monthly premium, may exclude emergency room visits or hospital stays, which can cost you a lot more money. Focus on the entire cost of the health insurance plan, and not just the monthly premium.

Many companies offer two forms of health insurance; an indemnity plan or managed care plan. An indemnity plan lets you make more decisions, but usually requires you to pay for those visits. With a managed care plan, the costs are cheaper because the company makes the main decisions including when and where you receive care. If you need less medical treatment, a managed care plan might be a better option.
You should also look for an insurance company that covers your current doctor/hospital, unless you want to find new medical providers.

The biggest thing to remember when it comes to buying individual health insurance, is to do your research and get quotes from available programs. Some of the biggest known companies offer free quotes over the internet (, and have customer service representatives available to discuss the pros and cons of their plans.

When it comes to filling out the application form, be as honest as possible. Lying about anything, from your job status to tobacco use, can be deemed as fraud and your policy can be cancelled at any time by the insurance company.

Be wary of any company that run pop-up ads over the internet. Many of these companies are not traditional insurance companies, but rather a “discount care card”, which supposedly provides discounted services at hospitals/doctors office for a one-time service fee, followed by a monthly charge. Only after purchasing the card do users learn that they are not accepted in their area.

The easiest states to find insurance are New Jersey, New York, and Vermont because all three states have laws in place that require everyone to be approved for health care coverage. However this also makes individual plans much more expensive.
If you are an individual looking to purchase health insurance, the costs are usually lower than a family plan, but depends on the provider. The company will ask a serious of questions, and your final cost will be determined by what coverage you seek. The more flexible you are, the more options you have and the cheaper your plan may be.