Individual Health Insurance The Future of Health Care

Individual Health Insurance The Future of Health Care - The new health care reform law is changing the way you buy health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that was signed into law in March is prompting insurance companies to focus on individual policies. As we get closer to the 2014 deadline where everyone needs to have health insurance or pay a penalty, insurance companies are discovering a whole new market, the individual policy holders. That means health insurance companies are developing new programs to compete for your health care dollars.

Health insurance can cost hundreds of dollars a month and yet a majority of us allow our employers to choose our plan, instead of choosing the one that fits our needs and budgets, but that's starting to change.

"There is a lot of control that you can have over how you spend those dollars," said Debra Cooper with Priority Health. She says they've seen a growing need for individual health insurance. That's why they developed a policy called My Priority to service the individual plan customer base. "As the economy comes back there's a lot of folks who are starting their own businesses and they will for the first time purchase their own health insurance that's been provided by an employer in the past," said Cooper.

And they're not alone. Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana have also developed individual policies. Lody Zwarenstyn with Alliance for Health in Grand Rapids says the individual health insurance policy is the future of health care, "We have three years until 2014 when the mandated reform hits. So companies are starting to jockey for position now."

And individual policies will not only become more affordable, Zwarenstyn predicts there will be more to choose from. "Because of the reform movement now the insurers have a lot of incentive to come out with more products with more price variations," said Zwarenstyn.

Individual insurance policies can range from $25 a month to hundreds depending on your needs. It will be like finding an auto insurance policy, comparing rates and understanding your coverage. "Is the coverage appropriate, do you have preventive care, drug coverage, is the doctor in your network and is it a trusted health plan," said Cooper. He continues, "There is a lot of control that you can have over how you spend those dollars."

One other benefit to having individual insurance is that you don't have to worry about changing jobs because it's your insurance not your employers.

There is a common misunderstanding about the new health care reform law; the federal government is not going to come out with an affordable health insurance plan for you to buy. They may endorse several different ones but it will still be up to you to research them and purchase the one that's best for you.

To compare individual health care plans of six different Michigan insurance companies click here.

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