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What are the basics of individual health insurance?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Individual health insurance is health insurance you buy for yourself from a health insurance company. This means you are responsible for paying the entire premium yourself. Individual health insurance plans vary quite a bit in which products you can choose and how much the different options cost. Shop around to find the plan that gives you benefits you need at a price that won’t break your bank. Whip out that magnifying glass and read the fine print carefully to make sure you understand all the detailed ins and outs of the plan.
Individual health insurance is the most expensive option for people who have insufficient (or nonexistent) coverage through employers. Physical exams and questionnaires are usually required, so poor health can make a huge difference in cost and eligibility.
Types of plans include fee-for-service, preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations and catastrophic insurance. Many companies offer health insurance for individuals and specialize in short-term coverage to fill in between employer coverage.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.