Individual Health Insurance In Florida
Although many think of it as a myth, there really is such a thing as affordable individual health insurance in Florida. However, if you were to look at the statistics, you would no doubt assume that this is yet another urban legend. More than 20% of Florida residents have no health insurance and about 25% of Florida’s workforce does has no medical coverage. Since the state is home to over 6 million uninsured workers, it’s hardly surprising that interest in the proposed health care reform being debated by the federal government is at an all-time high.
Why are so many Floridians uninsured?
There are many different answers to this question, but most uninsured people in the state say that they don’t anticipate becoming ill (of course, most people don’t), or that they have no idea where they can find affordable individual health insurance in Florida. While it may be difficult to convince someone that they are not, in fact, invincible, there are some simple ways to find affordable health coverage in Florida.
Starting with Individual Health Insurance
An individual health plan is different and separate from any health insurance plan provided by your employer. An individual health plan is one you purchase on your own, and it can be a lot less expensive than group health insurance. Since the insurer is not obligated to sell you a policy, you may find it difficult to buy coverage if you have one or more preexisting conditions. The premiums (which are the monthly ‘dues’ you’ll pay) for individual plans are typically calculated based on anticipated medical costs. Typically older people, overweight people and smokers will tend to pay much higher premiums than younger, healthier people.
Finding the Right Individual Health Plan
There are a couple of things to think about before you start looking for an affordable health insurance plan in Florida. For example, would you like to stay with your current physician? If so, then you should probably look for a PPO plan. These plans usually allow you to see any physician you choose, but you’ll want to find a plan which includes your doctor as a preferred provider. You can simply call your doctor’s office and ask which insurance plans they accept before you choose your plan. However, if you choose an HMO plan, then you’ll have to use the HMO’s physician network.
The next thing to think about is the cost of your premiums and out-of-pocket expenses under the plan. Out-of-pocket expenses are the costs which you must pay for first before your insurance company kicks in to pay for medical expenses. Generally speaking in Florida, the higher the out-of-pocket expenses, the lower your premiums and vice-versa. If you frequently need to see your physician and take prescription medications regularly, then opting for a plan with a higher premium and lower out-of-pocket expenses makes sense; you’ll often find these plans offered by HMOs. However, if you’re in good health and only see your physician rarely, you’ll likely do better with a PPO plan which features higher out-of-pocket expenses and lower premiums.
Where to Start
Finding individual health insurance in Florida that fits into your budget starts with knowing what you need from your medical plan. You’ll also want to know where to search efficiently for coverage. A great place to start is a website like www.medicoverage.com, where you’ll find a Florida health insurance quote engine. One quick search will pull up dozens of results for insurance plans from some of Florida’s top insurance companies. With a little shopping around and some research, you’ll discover that affordable health insurance really does exist in the Sunshine State.