Choosing Individual and Family Health Coverage

If you're in the market for a good health insurance plan, you have to consider the most cost-effective coverage while still finding one that meets your needs and the needs of your family. Check out different companies and different policies to compare the prices on an individual policy for yourself as well as a policy for your family.

Obviously, it's going to be cheaper to get an individual policy for one person than a policy that covers you, your spouse and your children. This is, of course, providing the individual does not have some serious health issues that might be considered as preexisting conditions. If this is the case, an individual policy might be quite costly. However, it's probably still going to be cheaper to get one family health insurance plan than four individual plans.

Whether you go with an individual or family health insurance plan, there are many things you need to consider while choosing the right policy for your family. Some important details to check are if you want to go to your choice of doctor or one from a list of providers given by your insurance company. Many insurance plans today have a network of doctors that you must see to be eligible for their benefits. As a rule, however, they have a large list to choose from. This type of individual and family health insurance plan will usually have a smaller premium than one where you see any doctor you want.

There are certain things that will make your insurance premiums higher – such as preexisting conditions like diabetes or asthma. In some cases, you might be denied coverage because it's categorized as preexisting condition. They may often waive this rule if you can prove that you've had previous coverage elsewhere, however. Further, most health insurance plans charge a much higher rate for smokers than they would for nonsmokers. Your age, gender and general health will play a part in how high your premiums will be.

Family insurance policies will cover the same types of medical expenses as individual plans – such as laboratory services, x-ray, surgery, prescription medications, hospital stays, ambulance service, emergency treatment and often mental health and dental care. Eye care is typically not covered but can be added for a small fee.

Also, most health insurance plans come with a deductible and/or co-pay. The deductible amount is the amount you have to pay each year before the insurance will begin to pay. Some people choose individual and family health insurance plans with higher deductibles because they come with a lower premium. But if the deductible is too high, you'll wind up only using your health insurance for hospital stays or large medical treatments that cost over $1,000.

Choosing an individual or family health insurance plan is not easy. There are many companies offering different policies. You need to determine how much you can comfortably afford to pay in premiums as well as how much your family usually incurs in medical expenses. You'll have to shop around for the best plan for your family. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your insurance agent so that you know what you're getting.

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