Health Insurance for New Business Owners

Saturday, 18 June 2011

One of the biggest hurdles of women and men who go into in business for themselves is making good choices about medical insurance protection for themselves and their families. Adding to the confusion is the fact that pricing and access varies wildly by area, most there is no standardization for medical insurance plans. For most people this can really make it it a pain to choose the right medical insurance policy and contract options.

Unless one is aware of all choices and all the ramifications of each choice, it can be easy to make the wrong choice. Fortunately, licensed insurance professionals who specialize in medical insurance plans are available in all areas. 

Healthier people who start shopping around for a medical insurance plan, are likely to be pleasantly surprised to learn that they can buy private coverage for LESS than they may have been paying for coverage through an employer's plan. In many group policies, the younger, healthier employees subsidize the older, less healthy employees. On a group policy, this tends to be a great deal for the older, established, less healthy employees – but not so good for the young, healthy ones.

The flip side of that is that some option are available on a group policy BECAUSE people, who won't use those coverages, can subsidize those who do. Coverage for pregnancy is one example of this.

Many looking for pregnancy-related coverage will be disappointed if they need an individual plan. This coverage isn't available in most areas on non group plans.

Because there is no averaging on the individual policy, it's nearly impossible to find maternity benefits in any state. When maternity benefits are available, the pricing in combination with the “waiting period” before conception, effectively turn it into a prepayment plan.

At this time, health care insurance is regulated on a state by state basis. When considering which type of contract is desired, it's crucial to look at more than just the policy premium. There is no true "bargain" with health care insurance; you really do “get what you pay for”, and the lower premium quotes are usually for high deductible insurance plans; supplemental insurance plans; limited benefit policies; or even health discount plans, which aren't even regulated.

Some options available in many states for health insurance include the following:

Medicaid may be an option, but it is not the best option for most. This is a state run insurance program for low income, special needs, or children.

Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan – The Health Reform Act mandates every state to have this new program. These plans are for people who've been uninsured for at least six months, and cannot find an insurer willing to cover a preexisting condition that they have

High Risk Health Pool – state run program for people with preexisting conditions that can't get private coverage any other way; which is NOT Medicaid. Many states have closed their high risk health pools, in favor of the Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan, but a few still have both types of plans.

Private medical Insurance – an individual or family policy purchased either directly from an insurance company or through a licensed agent. These types of plans are best for most who qualify for them.

Insurance Carriers consider each person who applies separately, and may accept some and say no to others. Selecting the right contract can be a complex undertaking for the average individual. The services of a a health insurance agent familiar with the state options and the evolving health insurance industry, can help compare coverages and costs to find a balance between affordability and protection.

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