If you are unemployed, self employed, a student, or simply not covered by a group health insurance plan, you might consider obtaining an individual health insurance policy.
Usually these plans are more expensive. However, unlike a group health insurance plan, you are not limited to a certain insurance company or program. In this sense, an individual health insurance plan can be custom fit for your particular situation. This gives you the benefit of comparing cheap insurance rates until you find the best coverage.
For example, for a young adult woman in her child bearing years, maternity coverage will greatly increase the premium you pay for your insurance. In a group insurance policy, you might not have an option to dis-include this provision.
The downside of an individual health insurance policy can be the costs and obtaining coverage. The underwriting process (which includes medical history and other important personal factors) is much more stringent for an individual than for a group policy. If you are uninsurable due to certain pre-existing conditions, you might find it impossible to obtain an individual policy, or you might find it extremely expensive.
If you must get an individual health insurance policy, I recommend you shop various companies to compare cheap insurance rates. To find cheap health insurance quotes, you can talk with a local agent or shop online.
You will have to fill out basic information and also complete medical exams. The premium for your policy will most likely be just an estimated cost until you complete the necessary medical requirements.
If you are self employed, but you have a spouse who is eligible for group health insurance, you might first consider whether it is cheaper (and or better coverage) to join in on their plan, rather than purchase individual coverage. Most companies allow benefits to be extended to the employee's spouse, children, and other dependents.
You might also consider combining a high deductible health insurance plan with a Health Savings Account.