How to find an individual health plan

Health insurance basics

How to find an individual health planYour first step in getting health coverage is to contact an insurance agent in your area, or an insurance company. An agent should be familiar with the insurance companies that do business in your state, especially those able to provide the coverage you need.

You might do business with either a “captive” agent who works for one insurance company or an independent agent or broker who sells policies for a variety of companies. A list of agents can be found in your phone book or by contacting your state department of insurance.

You should discuss with your agent your own particular health insurance needs. Think carefully about what coverage you must have. Do you need health insurance for your whole family, or just yourself? Do you want to choose your providers? If you’re over 65, do you need insurance to fill the gaps in Medicare? Do you need — and can you afford — long-term disability and/or long term care coverage?

When you’ve found the right coverage, you need to fill out an application or give information to your agent to complete the necessary forms. Be honest. It’s important to

5disclose your medical history thoroughly and accurately. Report all of your health problems to your agent. If any of your health information is misstated or incomplete, the company might refuse to pay your claims and could cancel your policy.

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