If, for one reason or another, you end up without access to group insurance coverage through an employer, all is not lost. You have the option to purchase an individual health policy from a private insurance company. Although individual medical insurance may be expensive, it’s worth investigating the options.
Coverage availability and premiums will vary from state to state. It may depend on whether or not your particular state has enacted laws that prohibit the rate modification based on your medical condition.
For instance, the state of New York, health insurers that offer individual health coverage may not turn down a candidate because of poor health. Nor can they base their premiums on factors such as gender, occupation, age or health status. New York enjoys what is called community rating. Premiums are based on how many individuals in the family and in what part of the state you live.
However, in a state like Texas, insurers may deny coverage on the basis of poor health and are allowed to adjust the premium based on the very same factors of gender, occupation, age or health status. Conceivably, a healthy person in the state of Texas may pay less in premiums than a healthy New Yorker, because the Texan’s premium will be adjusted to reflect positive health status.
Some states, such as Washington are a hybrid of New York and Texas. So, when looking for individual health insurance you should take a good look at the current insurance reforms in your state.