What is Private Health Insurance?
Emergency care, on-going hospital stays, preventative car and prescription medications have all become prohibitively expensive thanks to rising healthcare costs. As technology improves, the quality of medical care will improve even as the cost continues to rise. In order to compensate for this, many people buy health insurance.
Most people get health insurance through their employers. This insurance, called group health coverage, is purchased in bulk by the employer and offered to all employees. Group health insurance is usually very affordable, but it has some major drawbacks. First, coverage is not very flexible, and an insured may not be able to get all of the insurance they need through a group plan. Second, group health plans are only effective for as long as an individual is working with the employer. Finally, group health plans function on shared risk; this means that a healthy person may end up paying more for insurance to cover the medical conditions of fellow employees.
In order to avoid some of the flaws with group health plans, more people are turning toward private health insurance. Unlike group plans, private health insurance is not mediated through any central employer or group. Instead, the insured pays the insurance company directly for the policy. Private insurance is a good choice for people who are self-employed or who simply want the flexibility of choosing their own insurer.
Benefits of Individual Health Insurance
Although private insurance isn’t new, it has gained in popularity recently, thanks in part to the role of the Internet in making it easy to find an affordable policy. There are several ways that individual health coverage is advantageous over group policies:
– An insured can maintain the policy indefinitely regardless of employment
– It’s possible to buy the insurance if you are unemployed or self-employed
– You don’t share risk with your coworkers
– You have the ability to buy exactly the policy that you need
– You can comparison shop between multiple companies for the best deal
Drawbacks to Individual Health Insurance
Despite its numerous valuable qualities, private health insurance is not perfect, and it’s not right for everyone. There are a few definite drawbacks to private insurance:
– Policies usually cost more than group plans
– It may not be possible to obtain insurance if you have a preexisting condition
– The coverage you can afford might not always be the coverage that you truly need
Choosing the Best Insurance Plan
For some people, group health insurance is not an option. They may be unemployed, self-employed or otherwise unable to obtain a group health policy. Of course, there are some government-funded healthcare programs for low-income families, but it can be hard to qualify for these and the quality of healthcare is not always ideal. Purchasing affordable private health insurance is usually a much better option whenever possible.
For others, the decision between group and private health insurance is one that can be made by carefully weighing the pros and cons and deciding on the best plan. When choosing health insurance, it’s important to consider more than just the cost of coverage. You should also take the time to ensure that you’re getting the coverage that you need.
Health insurance won’t help you if it doesn’t cover you and your family’s expenses. Take stock of what’s important in your life and choose a policy accordingly. For example, some people require prescription drug coverage and insurance that will pay for preventative care. Other people may only want insurance to cover emergency expenses. In any case, choosing appropriate coverage will help ensure that the insurance is worth the expense.
Also take care to choose a policy with a reasonable deductible. Although high-deductible policies are less expensive, they may not be the best choice for all people. Many individuals pay a substantial sum for insurance that they can never use due to the high cost of the deductible.
Where to Find Private Health Insurance
The best way to shop for a private health insurance policy is to search online. By comparison shopping online, you can see the widest variety of health insurers that can provide coverage to you. This allows you to quickly compare rates and check for the most affordable company. You can then discuss your specific needs with the customer service department of any insurer that you choose.
By comparison shopping for private health insurance, you guarantee that the rates you pay will be affordable and that you’ve chosen the best company to suit your needs.