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Pick the Best Health Care Plan for You

What you need to know about buying medical insurance on your own

Health Insurance Brokers

If you are having a hard time finding insurance, or can't decide which insurance plan is best for you, you might want to consult with a health insurance broker.

An independent broker sells many different kinds of health insurance. Other brokers sell plans from just one company, so it's best to talk to a few such brokers before choosing one. Be sure you understand how the broker is paid — whether you pay or the insurance company pays the broker a commission. The compensation arrangement may influence what plan a broker recommends.

If you decide to use a broker, make sure the broker will work in your best interest. Also know that, sometimes, going through a broker costs more than buying insurance in other ways, and that not all insurance products are available through a broker.

Other Types of Policies

Numerous kinds of insurance policies are on the market, including many that should not be mistaken as being a type of comprehensive health insurance.

For instance, specific disease policies, such as "cancer policies," provide coverage only for a specific disease. Hospital indemnity policies pay you a set amount of money for each day you are in a hospital. These policies may sound good but don't really help with your overall health care costs.

Another option: A few states require insurance companies to sell health coverage to people who have not been able to get health insurance on their own due to existing health problems. Check with your state insurance department to learn the rules in your state.

You may also like: Uninsured and want medical care? Local health clinics can help. >>

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