Individual Health Insurance Guidelines

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If you're not dependent on your family's plan or quit your job you will be hard pressed to be covered by a health insurance plan. Once you finally decide to go out and look for an individual health plan, you will gasp at how expensive they are. Individual health coverage does not mean one person, it can be for your whole family, but it is called individual health insurance because it is not tied to a business or self employed.

The rules and strict guidelines each individual health plan require vary greatly from state to state. Do not be tempted to go without health insurance if all the options overwhelm you, it is better to be covered should you get into a car accident or have a piano fall on your head. You will be financially ruined without a health plan. You will also lose pre-existing coverage if you are not covered for more than 2 or 3 months. Being covered at all times these days is imperative for staying healthy and out of debt.

If you've left your job, the answer to this problem is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). Some employers that offer you group health plans must offer most employees the option to continue it for up to 18 months. The downside to this is that the employee will have to pay far greater for this coverage that they would normally pay. You will have around 2 months (60 days) to enroll in COBRA or not. When you start to lose the group coverage, you will need to look for individual health plans for you and / or your family. You should apply to the individual health plans within the 60 days after you enroll in COBRA so that you can see if you've accepted or not before your coverage stops. If you find yourself after the group coverage expires, you will need to find some short term insurance fast so that you're protected.

Pre existing medical conditions will make your individual health coverage hunting more difficult and expensive. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) advances insurers from excluding people with pre-existing medical conditions from coverage only if they were previously part of a group plan, such as one provided by a former employer. There are also many requirements you must meet before putting HIPAA to work, therefore you should check with insurance agents before applying for one. If you had your group coverage terminated for any reason including fraud, or you've already used your COBRA benefits, you will not be able to get a HIPAA plan.

While all the choices within the individual health plan environment, there are even more choices in the grand scheme of health insurance itself. You will discover that individual health plans offer the same plans including HMOs PPOs and point of service places. Your spending limit, choice of doctor and plan type depends entirely on you. So get out there and start searching for that individual health insurance plan that is right for you and your budget.

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Source by Michael Bell

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