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by James Tuck

Individual Health Insurance Plans: Understanding the Choices

Consumers can choose among a variety of individual health insurance options to fit most needs and lifestyles. Individual health insurance plans may be available from nationally known companies and typically range from comprehensive HMO-style plans to traditional deductible-based coverage. Health savings accounts and short term plans offer additional flexibility to individuals, but have additional requirements for set up and may not be suited to all consumers. With the rising cost of health care, some individuals may have difficulty finding affordable individual health insurance. Individual health insurance quotes are available to help consumers find the lowest rates for this necessary financial protection.

HMO Plans

For individuals who plan to stay in-network for most of their medical care, HMO plans offer lower premiums and more comprehensive benefits in most cases. Preventive care is usually covered at 100% of reasonable and customary charges. Copayments are required for more extensive medical services. Out-of-network care may be covered at a lower rate or excluded from coverage altogether, depending on the terms of the plan. Existing conditions may be excluded during the initial period of coverage, and group rates can significantly lower the overall cost of these individual health insurance plans.

Deductible Plans

Deductible-based plans pay nothing until the individual reaches a certain deductible, which varies according to the plan chosen. Lower deductibles typically require higher monthly premiums; consumers who can afford to pay a higher deductible level can often get better rates on these insurance plans. Some premium plans cover preventive services at 100% before the deductible is met. Like other types of individual health insurance, deductible plans may require a waiting period or may exclude existing conditions for new applicants.

Careful research and comparison of individual health insurance plans can help consumers find the most cost-effective policies. Sites offering online health insurance quotes can be helpful in determining which company is right for each individual’s unique medical needs.

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