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Quick Guide to Individual Health Insurance Plans

When purchasing an individual health insurance plan, understanding the terminology is more important than the cost of the insurance so you know exactly what you are receiving.

Shopping for individual health coverage can definitely be a bit overwhelming because of all the options available, all the different companies and the confusing insurance terminology they use. To help get you through this here are a few of the most common health insurance terms you will run across when shopping for your individual health insurance so you know what's being offered:

* Benefit - This is the amount payable by the insurance company to the claimant of the service.

* Carrier - The insurance company who is offering a health plan.

* Claim - The request made by the person holding the insurance or their care provider to the insurance company for payment of services rendered.

* Co-Insurance - This is the money the individual is required to pay for services received after the deductible has been met. A normal payout ratio is 80/20 with the insurance company paying 80% of the bill and the individual paying 20%.

* COBRA - This is a bit of federal legislation, which allows you to keep the insurance you had with a previous employer for a certain amount of time and a specific price.

* Deductible - This is the amount of money the insured will have to pay before the insurance company will begin coverage and cover the costs.

* Denial Of Claim - This happens when an insurance company refuses to pay for the services rendered to the insured.

* Dependents - Someone who is the spouse or child of the insured.

* Out Of Pocket Maximum - This is the amount an insured must pay before the insurance will cover 100% of all costs.

* Maximum Dollar Limit - This is the total amount an insurance company will pay for all claims in a specified time period. Once this number is reached, the insured is responsible for all related costs.

Now, there are a lot more terms you will run across when shopping for individual health insurance but these are some of the most important you will want to know about. These terms will help you understand what you are looking at and how they will affect you in the long run.

A couple of things to point out:

If You Are In Good Health

You may want to look for policies having a lower premium since you will most likely be going to the doctor only a couple of times a year.

If you are in poor health

You may want to look into plans with the lowest out of pocket expenses per year since. This way your visit expenses will be lower and you will not have to spend as much per visit.

What's The Worst That Can Happen?

Let's say you do a lot of traveling or have a play a lot of sports. This places you at some risk to accidents, which can be very costly in a hospital. You want to think worst-case possibilities when shopping for your individual health insurance so that, if the worst happens, you are prepared for it. has helped thousands of individuals, families & businesses find affordable medical insurance plans. Offering free research tools & health insurance quotes from many top insurance companies, which help consumers find the medical insurance plans that best meets their needs. The Better Business Bureau's "Online Reliability Program" rates A+. For more information visit,

Tom Carolan - EzineArticles Expert Author


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