Individual health insurance: Is an individual plan worth the cost?

If you’re self-employed, in between jobs or working for a small business, and don’t receive group health insurance, you’ve probably battled with the question of what to do for coverage. The government’s health reform mandates will enact new coverage options, but many won’t start until 2014; only time will tell which future plan may be right for you.

Individual health insurance is an important and valuable route to consider, but many find the idea intimidating. Fear no more. Below, we’ve outlined the basics of individual health insurance so you can consider if it’s the right choice for you.

How Does It Work?

Individual health insurance is coverage you buy directly from a health insurance company. You work directly with the health insurance company or a licensed insurance agent to select the plan that best meets your coverage needs. Contrary to common perception, individual plans are not just for individuals. You can purchase a plan to cover you and your family. For more information on how individual health insurance works, visit the BCBSM website.

So, Is It Worth It?

People often assume that individual health insurance is very expensive, and not worth the cost. However, there are many affordable plans for your budget. And, by working directly with the insurance company, you can eliminate unnecessary costs by selecting the plan that best fits your specific coverage needs.

In addition, many people forget just how expensive medical bills can be. For example, the price of non-surgical treatment of a broken leg can be as high as $2,500. And if you add surgery to the equation, fees can range anywhere from $17,000 – $35,000. Without insurance, you are responsible to cover the entire expense of the treatment. To put this into perspective, at $35,000, the surgical treatment of a leg costs more than 75 percent of the median Michigan household income ($45,981 in 2011)!

The average cost of an individual health insurance plan is $183 per month ($2,196 for the year) and will provide significant coverage for appointments, treatments and other aspects of health care.

Individual health insurance is certainly an option worth considering when you take into account the above example. The fee to fix a broken leg is far more than what you would pay for one full year of individual health insurance, even if you have to pay a deductible and/or coinsurance.

Want to learn more about individual health insurance and if it’s the right choice for you? Talk to a Health Plan Advisor, ask questions, see answers and learn more about health insurance on Health Insurance Central.

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