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Choosing Health Care Group Plans vs Individual Insurance Plans

Author: Laura Caldwell

Published: 2008-12-31 : (Rev. 2013-06-15)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Group plans vs individual plans - tips to find the health care insurance plan you and your family need.

Main Digest

Many people need a health insurance plan, but don't know where to begin looking or feel that they can't afford it.

Here are some tips to find the health care plan that you and your family need.

Group Plans vs. Individual Plans

While many people think that it is cheaper to purchase health care through an employer or some form of a group plan, this is not always the case. The cost of your plan will depend on a number of different factors. If your employer is going to pay most or all of the plan's cost than of course it would be in your best interest to select that option and receive free or low cost health insurance. However, of you are a healthy individual and you can receive insurance through your employer but they are not going to foot the bill, then you will most likely be better of buying an individual plan on your own.

Group health plans, by state laws, must cover everyone on them, including preexisting conditions.

This means that healthy people on the plan balance out the costs that the insurance companies will have to pay for the people that have health problems who are also covered under the plan. While this works out well for people with health problems because the insurance company is required to cover them, it makes the cost of insurance for reasonably healthy people higher than if they were to purchase an individual plan on their own. So, don't just assume that your group or employer sponsored health plan is the most cost effective plan for you. Take the time to shop around and compare quotes and see if there is a more cost effective plan available to you.

Finding Cheap Health Insurance

While the temptation is great to find the cheapest health insurance plan available to you, your priority should be to find the plan that will best meet you and your family's needs. You will need a policy that has adequate coverage to protect your assets in the case of a medical emergency. Avoid looking for "discount plans." Work with an independent agent in your area who can help you look around and find a plan from a well known, trustworthy company.

Shop Around

The best way to find the cheapest health insurance policy with the coverage you need is by shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies. No one company is the best choice for everyone, so take the time to shop around and see what each company can offer you.

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