There are several reasons why an individual will move from a group insurance policy to an individual insurance policy. These reasons may include job loss or retirement. Another reason may be finding your group plan is more expensive due to an unhealthy group. Whatever the reason is, there are ways to make the transition from group policy to individual policy a little smoother.
This is probably the number one reason people will switch from a company run group insurance policy to an individual health plan. Loss of a job also means loss of group health coverage, which just worsens a terrifying experience. This is made even more terrifying if a pre-existing condition exists for anyone on the group policy.
If you lose your job, the best thing to do is to take advantage of the COBRA insurance law. What this law states, is that, for a certain period of time, you are able to maintain health insurance under the same group plan you had with your previous job. Whereas the company you worked for used to cover some of the premium cost, you will be responsible for paying the entire premium with COBRA.
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Electing to maintain your existing group policy under the COBRA insurance umbrella allows you more time to research and prepare for purchasing an individual health insurance plan. Signing up for continued insurance under COBRA is important for your family’s well-being during this stressful time. When everything else seems to be going wrong, health insurance is one thing you will not have to worry about for a while.
Unlike the loss of a job, retirement is something that can be planned. Believe it or not, many people will spend more time planning their retirement party than planning their health insurance situation after retirement. Usually at this point, COBRA goes into effect, but with a little prior planning, the newly-retired individual could be paying much less with an individual health insurance plan.
Taking as little as two months to educate yourself before retirement can prove to be one of the best investments you make for your retirement. By doing the research ahead of time on different insurance plans and rates, you can save yourself time and money, and be able to fully enjoy that retirement you worked so hard for.
Unhealthy Group versus Healthy Individuals
Group rates are usually based on the average health of all the employees covered in a certain plan. For instance, if there is diabetes, hypertension, or even obesity in your office, your rates will probably be quite a bit higher than an office which is generally healthy. A few people who are healthy in an unhealthy office, may find it cheaper to switch to an individual health insurance plan. That way, they are only paying for the premiums and deductible they are using.
No matter what the reason is for switching from a group plan to an individual health policy, make sure you take the time to research your options. Ask a lot of questions and make an informed decision that makes the most sense for you and your family.