Almost anyone who has ever had a job has enjoyed some form of employer sponsored paid medical insurance benefits. Many employees believed this type of benefit was actually a right. As premiums for these plans skyrocketed in the past years, many employers found it necessary to stop offering medical insurance to their employees. For anyone who felt they needed medical insurance coverage their only other option was to buy private medical insurance.
This type of insurance has been around for quite a long time. It has been historically expensive and used as a last resort for people who were perhaps self-employed or had no other way to purchase medical coverage. In many instances people have chosen to go without and pay for individual doctor visits and tests out of pocket because frequently it ends up to be less expensive.
Although private insurance premiums are much more expensive than premiums an employer would and for group insurance, the policies compared side by are usually very similar when all the details are taken into consideration. In other words, out of pocket expenses, copayments, deductibles, and lifetime maximum payouts are very similar if not the same.
The major difference between group insurance and private insurance is the cost. Even if an individual or family switched to a private insurance plan from the exact same one he had in a group insurance plan, there’s a good chance that the copayments, deductibles, and other related out-of-pocket expenses will be almost identical between the two plans.
Each individual insurance policy is the same, whether it is a group policy or an individual policy. The only difference is the amount of the premium. Private insurance premiums will always be much higher. If you read the details of each policy you will see that the various copayments, deductibles, and other out of pocket expenses and annual maximums are usually the same no matter what.
If you are purchasing a private plan for the first time, you may find that there is a very long waiting period in order to enjoy the full coverage benefits. You may be eligible immediately for routine doctor visits, etc., but for extensive testing or hospital stays you may not be covered or you could be covered at a reduced rate. Some private policies actually refuse coverage for any type of major pre-existing condition.
When applying with a new company it is important to understand how they deal with pre-existing conditions. Something as simple a diagnosis of high cholesterol years before could have you denied completely. Conditions like high blood pressure or even pregnancies are handled differently between companies, but do expect some sort of problems during the application phase.
Monthly premiums range between $ 100 – $ 400 or more depending on whether you need an individual or a family plan. The premium for some family plans is based on the number of individuals covered. Other family plans don’t take the number into consideration when determining the premium; you do need to keep them updated on new additions to the family, however.