Offering More Provider Options: Individual Health Care Insurance

Individual health care insurance is usually pricier than group health care insurance, but also usually offers more choices in the types of providers that can be used by the individual. Since the entire premium is paid by the individual rather than the employer or organization paying part of the premium, the plan is normally more expensive. In addition, a managed care plan usually has better rates because the employer or organization has gotten a group rate from the insurance company for insuring multiple users at a time, so in addition to paying part of the premium, the rate itself is also lower to begin with most of the time. One benefit that an individual might get when he has an individual health care insurance plan is to be able to deduct the premium from his Federal income tax, and possibly his state income tax, if he is self-employed.

Questions to Ask

Those seeking individual health care insurance should see that the following information is fully known before deciding on a provider. It is a good idea to compare many different providers before deciding on one so that the best health care insurance can be obtained according to the individual's needs. The first thing an individual should decide on is how much he is able to pay per month for an individual health care insurance plan. This will start to narrow the choices down from the start. In addition, he also needs to know how many people will be covered by the plan and what their ages are, since that also affects the rates and benefits of the various individual health care insurance plans.

Once he has determined those things and has chosen a few different plans to compare, the next issues to look at are what types of access the plans give to various doctors, hospitals and other providers such as chiropractors and massage therapists. Depending on what the individual wants to have covered by the plan, he must look carefully at the fine print to see what must be done to get specialized services under each plan. Often, the plans require that the individual choose a primary service provider who will give referrals to different specialists depending on the need. Some individual health care insurance plans do not require this, so it is important for the individual to know so that he can file the claims appropriately and be reimbursed. If he does not follow the requirements of the plan, he would owe all of the cost of the claim and not have any help at all from the individual health care insurance.