Individual health insurance involves one individual obtaining health coverage, based on the individual’s prior health history. For self-employed or unemployed individuals, individual health cover is usually the only option available. Applying for individual health insurance involves filling out an application and taking a physical exam. Current poor health or past health issues and problems can make the cost of individual health insurance very expensive. In some cases, an individual who is a poor health risk can be denied health insurance coverage altogether or eligible for a very limited policy at great expense.
Group health cover is insurance obtained through an individual’s employer and rates are usually much more affordable because a group of people is being insured rather than just one individual. Part of the premiums are paid by the employer when an employee is covered by a group health insurance policy as one of the benefits of their job with the employee also paying part of the premium. Although an individual can be refused coverage when applying for individual health insurance, the same is not true for group health insurance which cannot discriminate against high-risk individuals or individuals with previous health risks or issues.
Individual insurance can be tailored to fit the individual either by adding or eliminating policy riders for certain situations. In group health insurance, the employer decides what kind of coverage is best for the majority of individuals who will be covered by the policy, to the benefit of some employees and to the detriment of others. Group health coverage policies often cover a range of services, including doctor’s visits, emergency care, dental care, vision care and disability or accident, with the deductible cost, or the amount the employee must pay up front, varying.
Affordability is usually the best reason to be covered by a group health cover plan rather than an individual health insurance plan because the rate set for a group of people is always less expensive than the rate set for just one individual. Because group health insurance is usually very comprehensive, the individual does not need to pay additional fees unless they want coverage for some aspect of healthcare that is not offered to the entire group of employees. Employees who participate in a company’s wellness plan can sometimes see their premiums reduced over time because the overall medical costs incurred by the insured group tend to go down when staying healthy is emphasized.
Individual health cover should only be investigated by individuals who are self-employed or unemployed and have no group affiliation that guarantees insurance coverage.