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Is Group Insurance Enough?

When you are shopping for a health insurance quote one of the things you might consider is a group health insurance policy. But you should know that there are many drawbacks to group health insurance policies that can adversely affect you and your family.

The Difference between Individual and Group Policies

Before you get a health insurance quote you should understand the difference between group and individual health insurance policies. Group health insurance policies are those issued to employer, fraternal or trade groups. They have advantageous rates because there is a distribution of policies to both sick and healthy people. In addition, group insurance policies are not individually underwritten so your individual health problems are not taken into consideration when you buy into a group health insurance plan.

Individual insurance policies are issued to individuals and families. The rates are based on the health history and potential health future of the individuals the policy is issued to. The policy issuance is not dependent on being a member of any particular group. You can be denied coverage if you have certain illnesses unless you live in a state with guaranteed issue policies.

The Drawbacks to Group Health Insurance Policies

You can only keep a group health insurance policy for as long as you are a member of the group. Once you leave the group you may have access to COBRA, which allows you to carry the group insurance coverage up to 36 months after you leave the group. If you get a group policy while you are healthy and then you become chronically ill while you have the policy, you may no longer be able to get your own individual policy.

Additionally, while you may be able to choose between plans in your group’s benefit profile, there is no guarantee that the group will offer the type of policy or coverage options that you and your family really need. You may be subject to a restrictive set of doctors and treatment centers, may not be able to see doctors that you are used to seeing and may not have certain care options that you are used to getting.

In short, if group health is the only kind of policy you can get due to poor health or financial issues, then it is a good choice. Otherwise, an individual policy may be a better bet.

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