Things To Look For When Choosing An Individual Health Insurance Company


 Things To Look For When Choosing An Individual Health Insurance Company

If you're not covered by your employer, or if you're not eligible for Medicaid, chances are that you'll be shopping for an Individual Health Insurance plan to cover yourself and the dependents on your tax return. It's important to know what it is that makes one health insurance company different from another. Here are some things to look for when shopping for an Individual Health Insurance plan.
There are many more than just the "Big Three" health insurance companies. Here in Missouri, we have about 24 different companies that offer individual health insurance plans, and that doesn't count the COBRA company I work for. A good place to start is this website , which lists nearly all of the major health insurance companies in the US, and also provides links to them so you can get a quote from each one. I've compared quotes from every company on this list, and there are some big differences in prices.
Look for the details of your coverage in the small print. This is an area that all of the health insurance companies are trying to find ways to cut costs that won't break their promises to pay for your care under your policy. Here's a list of things to keep an eye on, compiled by this blog : Don't pay too much for "free" gold-tier benefits . The companies count on you transitioning into a less expensive plan and forgetting all about those "free" benefits. (I fell prey to this myself when I started buying my own insurance. I ended up paying twice as much over the next several years after my plan changed.)
Ask what's going to be covered before you buy the insurance . Don't assume that your plan is automatically going to cover everything. The providers and doctors have their own requirements, which the insurance companies can choose to honor or not. I've heard stories of people who were told they could have a double bypass at one hospital, only to find out that it wasn't covered under their plan. (For more information, see this article in Consumer Reports .)
A "free" policy won't provide maternity coverage until you get pregnant. You'll pay for maternity care by yourself until then. Don't be fooled! If you're in a serious relationship, or married, and not using birth control, this is an important thing to look into.
For a more detailed list of questions to ask before you buy a health insurance plan, read this article on NerdWallet . They've compiled a great list of things that you should know before you buy individual health insurance.
Don't assume that your employer will accept your state's Individual Health Insurance plan if you move. It's possible that the insurance offered through your company-sponsored group plan will not work as well for you as the new plans available through the Marketplace exchanges. You may have fewer doctor choices and higher copays or premiums if it isn't accepted under your new plan. Get all of the details about your insurance coverage before you make any decisions.
Learn more about the new health care law and changes that are coming to health insurance. It's easy to focus on whether or not you have health insurance, but it's much more important what you're actually covered for when you need it. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will require all individuals who don't purchase a state-based plan to get coverage through an "Affordable Insurance Exchange" in each state, and how that plan will be purchased has changed since the passage of the ACA. Learn more about these changes , like what a Health Savings Account is and how it can help you pay for medical expenses if you're having trouble affording the health care expenses.
Be safe in the kitchen. Your loved ones depend on you to make sure that they are getting the advice and medical attention that they need. These are some of the common questions I get from clients and others who are looking to buy individual health insurance: How do I know whether or not my current doctor will accept my new plan?
Can anyone see my records?
If you have any questions about individual health insurance, you can always contact me at or 636-903-1570. You can also email
If you'd like to learn more about how I can help you shop for the right health insurance plans in Missouri or whether you would like me to showcase my expertise at your next meeting, please get in touch !
Posted by Stacie McCarthy at 2:27 AM
One of my clients has been shopping for a new individual health insurance plan to get through the year. She was just told that she has to pay for her current medical coverage until the end of the year. If she files her taxes with TurboTax , will it be able to flag this for her? When we filed our taxes last year, we had our first child and they took care of everything on our behalf. I can't remember if I told them to do this, but they tax our medical coverage as if we did not have any insurance at all. We just received a letter in the mail saying that we had to take care of it this year. It made me mad, so I called and got the details. She has been paying for it all year, but now has to pay until the end of the year for coverage that she has already paid for (even though she was still on her current policy). She got the nasty wording of "If you think you are entitled to a refund for this policy, you have until December 31, 2014" because she has already paid for the coverage. I think TurboTax may be able to help her with this, but I'm not 100% sure. Reply Delete
I'm sorry that your client is getting runaround on her taxes from TurboTax.


It's an important time of year, when many people are submitting their tax returns and figuring out a way to pay their taxes. For some people, this is the first time that they'll be filing returns with a new option for health insurance coverage. If you need help with your taxes, it would be a good idea to contact an accountant . Most CPA's can help you prepare your return and may have their own unique way of handling any issues that arise from the new health care law.
In addition to TurboTax, there are other independent tax preparation services you may consider using at the same time that you can use these links:
My son is on Medicare.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post