Over the past few years, with companies cutting back on expenses, many people who previously had health insurance through an employer have found themselves seeking coverage elsewhere.
But for those who still have the option of obtaining health insurance through an employee benefits plan, there may still be good reason to at least compare the plans that are offered with an individual health insurance plan.
In fact, today more people are purchasing private health insurance coverage that is custom-designed to better fit their individual insurance needs. And in some cases, these more personal policies may be even more affordable.
When comparing an employer’s health insurance offering to an individual plan, there are several factors to consider:
Co-Payments and Co-Insurance: Most health insurance plans will charge a certain amount of out-of-pocket charges – referred to as a co-payment – for doctor visits and other types of healthcare services.
Deductibles: A health insurance deductible is the amount that an insured will need to pay out of pocket before the policy will pay for coverage. Deductibles may range from a very small dollar amount up to thousands of dollars per year. There are some plans that offer a $0 deductible, but the premiums for this type of coverage can be quite costly.
Customized Coverage: In most group health insurance policies, the coverage tends to be a “cookie cutter,” one-size-fits-all approach. Yet each individual requires different types of healthcare services. Therefore, many employer-sponsored plans may not fully meet the needs of the participants.
Premium: Premiums on employer-sponsored health insurance plans may be lower in most cases due to the fact that there are many insureds, creating a group discount. However, it may be surprising to note that even a more customized individual plan may still be more affordable – while also offering more personalized coverage. Therefore, it definitely pays to compare.