Health Insurance FAQ

I’m young and in good health. Do I still need to get health insurance?

If you become ill or get into an accident, the medical expenses could be staggering. To protect both your health and your financial well-being, you should consider health insurance.

I am self-employed. Will my health insurance cover work-related injuries?

If you are self-employed, it is important to learn how your health insurance does or does not apply to work-related injuries. You may wish to consult an insurance adviser about how health insurance and/or workers’ compensation insurance applies in your situation. Some individual health insurance plans exclude all coverage for work-related injuries.

I recently left my employer and began a new job, and won’t be eligible for health insurance for several months. What should I do in the meantime?

Depending on the reasons for your departure, group insurance plans typically offer extended coverage after termination of employment — but you must apply. Don’t delay. You can shop for alternatives later, but it is important to enroll for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) extension immediately after termination for your coverage to continue without interruption. As an alternative, you may want to consider an individually purchased short-term health insurance plan.

I applied for health insurance but was declined. What should I do?

Some people have health conditions that prevent them from buying an individual health insurance plan from an insurance company. If you are in this situation, contact your state’s Department of Insurance. Many states have special programs to help people who cannot purchase health insurance.

I have Medicare, but should I consider a supplement?

Most people consider a supplemental health insurance plan to Medicare after age 65. Learn what is and is not covered by Medicare. If you are still employed, find out how your employer’s group plan coordinates with Medicare — and what happens when you retire. Most people only need one high-quality Medicare supplement policy.

What is the basic difference between individual and group health insurance coverages?

An individual policy is purchased by you directly from the insurance company.

With a group health insurance policy, the group is the master insured and the insurance company contracts with the group. Insurance certificates, issued to a participating member, act as your policy. Often group health insurance costs less than would have been charged had the insurance company sold individual policies to each member separately. In addition, group health insurance often contains special coverages that are not available or are very expensive on an individual basis. The purchasing power of the group makes this economically feasible.