The Advantages of an Individual Health Insurance Policy

In most cases, I believe you are probably better off with an individual health insurance policy than by getting health insurance benefits through your employer. Most people are surprised by this and have never even thought about this alternative. Here are some reasons you ought to think about it:

1. Individual health insurance is usually cheaper. Most people assume the opposite is true, but they are generally incorrect. Because individual health insurance is underwritten (meaning the insurance company can deny applications or might exclude certain health conditions) and group policies are guarantee-issue, these policies are cheaper. Also, if you’re healthy, there’s a good chance you are paying a higher premium than you otherwise would because you are subsidizing those on the plan who are not healthy. The bottom line is this: If you’re healthy, you will almost certainly get a lower premium with individual health insurance.

The obvious exception here, of course, is if your employer is paying for your coverage. They’re probably paying 50% or so, but in that scenario my experience would say you ought to at least compare the prices because you may yet come out ahead. And you should definitely think about putting your dependents on an individual policy (most small employers don’t pay premiums for dependent coverage).

2. Individual health insurance policies are customizable. With employer-sponsored health insurance, the employer will decide on the plan for you, or perhaps give you the option of two plans to choose from. This one-size-fits-all approach is far from ideal. When you buy your own policy, you get to pick which company to work with, what type of plan to select, what kind of premium you want to fit into your budget, and other details. There are hundreds of options, so you can work with a broker to find the one that best fits your family’s needs, budget, and preferences.

3. Individual health insurance policies are portable. Don’t miss this distinctive because it is often overlooked. You own your individual health insurance policy – it is not tied to your job. If you lose your job or choose to go in a different direction, you will lose your employer-sponsored health insurance plan or pay elevated COBRA premiums for up to 18 months (and then it’s gone forever). That might not seem like a big deal now, but what if your health (or that of a dependent) changed dramatically between now and then? If something terrible happened, you could find yourself without health insurance when you need it most. But if you own your health insurance policy, it stays with you when you leave your employer for whatever reason.

Individual health insurance isn’t right for everyone, but if you haven’t thought about it, you owe it to yourself to at least consider it. If you’d like to take a look at your individual health insurance options, check out our online “quote engine” to run instant, no-obligation quotes or contact AC Forrest.