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Who is it for?
Health insurance you buy on your own is called individual coverage. It could be right for you if you are:
- Self-employed, a small-business owner or have a home-based business
- In between jobs for more than three months
- Not covered through work or you're unable to get affordable coverage through your employer
- No longer covered by a parent's health care plan
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What is it?
A contract that requires a health insurer to pay some or all of your healthcare costs in exchange for a premium. A health insurance contract may also be called a “policy” or “plan.”
- Health insurer - A company that sells health insurance plans/policies.
- Benefits - The healthcare costs (e.g., medical services, treatments and supplies) covered by your health insurance policy.
- Premium - The dollar amount you pay to an insurance company for the benefits and coverage of an insurance policy. This is usually paid monthly and most experts advise that it be paid through a MBD (Monthly Bank Draft) to make sure that coverage does not lapse.
- Policy - The health insurance coverage purchased by an individual and provided by a carrier. Also referred to as a plan.
In other words, you buy a health insurance plan from a health insurance company. That plan is a contract that requires the insurer to pay a certain amount for certain types healthcare expenses you incur.
Why Should I buy it?
Like auto insurance, health insurance is a service you pay for but hope you will never need. It's there for the unpredictable, unexpected and fundamentally uncontrollable problems that come up in people's lives.
Most consumers want and value health insurance, but they are confused about the current laws, how health insurance works and what options are available to them. This is why most experts recommend using a licensed insurance agent to assist in the process.
Consider these consequences of not being covered by health insurance.
- You risk the chance of financial ruin. Unpaid medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcies in the United States.
- You severely limit your access to high quality health care providers.
- You risk your insurability. In other words, if your health changes in the future you may not be able to obtain health insurance on your own.