Tips for Buying an Individual Health Insurance Policy

Nothing is more stressful than finding a comprehensive insurance policy. The first step to finding a suitable plan, is enlisting the help of an insurance agent. A reputable agent will not charge you any money and can assist you find a plan that is suitable for your circumstances.

When working with an insurance agent, they will normally ask you some straight forward questions about yourself to assist their search. Name? Age? Smoker or non? Pregnant? Plan on getting pregnant? Any diseases? STD’s? Single? Medication? Do you consume alcohol? Drugs? Abortions? Are you a risk taker? By answering questions honestly up front you will help your odds of finding an appropriate policy.

The next thing you will have to decide is if you would like to get an HMO or a PPO. HMO’s are cheaper policies that will normally have lower deductibles and smaller co-pays, however you have to be treated by one of their health care professionals, and in cases of high cost medical treatment, there are often caps, or loose ends they may not cover. If you are temporarily paying for your own insurance between jobs, this may be a viable option to cover small emergencies and office visits.

A PPO is more equivalent to that which an employer would provide you with. Charging a higher monthly rate and higher co-pays enables you to go to the doctor of your choice. These plans are usually more comprehensive in long term care or high costing medical treatments and cover a wider range of diseases and medical conditions.

Upon deciding which policy is right for you, you will have to opt for a high deductible and lower monthly rate, or a low deductible but higher monthly rate. If you accrue a lot of costs medically, choosing to pay a little more each month may be to your advantage so your insurance will cover costs after you reach your low overheard. For a healthy individual, choosing a higher deductible but lower monthly rate will be more cost effective.

Read the fine print on any policies. I was surprised to learn non of my lab costs were covered during any exams of tests. By reading everything, you will be able to access how much your plan will truly cost you. Women, beware. While searching for a health insurance policy I was stunned that about 80% of the policies did not include maternity. Of the policies that did offer pregnancy and well child care, almost all of them required that you be on their plan anywhere from a few months to a full year before any maternity coverage would become effective.

If you do your homework, ask questions, and compare several plans and companies, you are sure to find a plan that fits into your budget and lifestyle. Trust your gut. Enlist a company with a reputable name and knowledgeable costumer service. By protecting your health, you protect yourself, and potentially your family from incurring a mountain of medical debt.