Individual group health coverage is not an oxymoron. Often, group health plans are couched as solely an employer-based system. In fact, many people can find ways to enjoy the benefits of these larger pool health plans by finding new or innovative ways to find individual group health coverage. This may mean qualifying for specific entrepreneurial status or looking for private group health coverage. In fact, family health insurance is just the most common form of private, individual group health coverage. Here's what you need to know to see what options are available to you.
Individual Group Health Coverage: "Groups of One"
If you're self-employed, or a small business owner without employees, you may mistakenly believe that you're left to shop for health insurance on the individual market. In many cases, this is still true, but some states are changing the rules. Sole business proprietors in Delaware, Maine, and New Hampshire can find individual group health coverage, according to Gary Claxton, vice president of the Kaiser Foundation. Not only will you be able to enjoy some of the lower costs associated with group coverage, but in many cases, you can also enjoy the protection that group coverage offers to people with pre-existing conditions. And, although the passage of healthcare reform has outlawed the practice of denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, some health insurance companies have sought out loopholes within the legislation.
Individual Group Health Coverage Strategies
Obviously, there are certain benefits enjoyed by employees of large companies that have unmatched purchasing, bargaining, and lobbying power, but you don't need a specific group label to enjoy many of the benefits of group health insurance. You might be able to find enough uninsured individuals in your neighborhood, through a homeowners association, with a local newspaper ad, among other strategies.
You might be able to find enough uninsured individuals in your place of religious worship to form a suitable group to solicit one of these plans. Beware, however, this particular strategy can carry certain exclusions and drawbacks. Although it's not actually insurance, Medi-Share, for example, offers a type of group-based health plan for evangelical Christians, who promise to refrain from activities ranging from cigarette smoking to homosexual activities to extramarital affairs. And as a consequence, health coverage for HIV/AIDS is not provided, no matter how the disease was contracted. That said, any faith-based group can solicit group health quotes from an actual insurance company, assuming they meet the basic requirements of a "group," which will vary from state-to-state or even insurer-to-insurer.
Moreover, often the most difficult obstacle in establishing one of these individual group health plans is not finding people willing to go in together for a group rate, but rather building a consensus on what the premiums, deductibles, and coverage should be. Yet, a willingness to compromise can be invaluable in these situations, as the benefits of group health insurance coverage are hard to ignore.
Individual Group Health Online Quotes
No matter what type of group health plan you're searching for, looking for group health online is often incredibly beneficial to the costs and ease of finding the best health insurance plan for your group. Not only do group health online quotes help insurance companies reduce overhead costs and, consequently, your rates, but shopping for group health online will keep give the ability to review several or even dozens of group plans from the comfort of your own home and on your own time. In fact, you can make a preliminary request for a group health online quote, gather information from several local companies, and then review this information with your group to determine the best plan for everybody involved.