How many times have you put off going to the doctor for what you gathered could be a serious cold, infection or the flu simply because you were not insured? I have experienced battling the common cold, backaches, headaches, a severely sore throat and a minor allergic reaction to seafood all on my own with home remedies, Vick’s Vapor Rub, and Theraflu. For years, I managed to shun the thought of going to the doctor for fear of the bills I would obviously acquire for said illnesses. Luckily, I am in a position now that awards me with health and dental benefits, and I am always eager to utilize them. But, how many people can also say this? Most people who are insured under the age of sixty-five are either insured through their employer or under a family member who acts as the insured (cardholder). For those who are uninsured, the likelihood of them obtaining individual health insurance is probably a distant thought.

CareforAll.net exclaims that, nationally roughly 30 percent of workers in businesses with less than 25 employees are uninsured. One of the reasons smaller firms do not offer medical benefits to their employees is because the premiums for a smaller staff are unbelievably high. The site goes further and states that, close to 63 percent of people with no insurance are laborers or those who offer services to others. I have been employed within the medical industry for four years and the bulk of my affiliation with this industry has been with insurance. While working as a Check-Out Receptionist for a private medical practice, I became aware of just how many people entered and exited our facility with absolutely no health or medical coverage. These individuals were usually assigned to a billing representative for the preparation of a monthly or bi-weekly payment plan to pay off their outstanding accounts. Of course, being a Self-Pay patient (a person who pays for his or her own medical care) could be your option should you decide not to acquire individual health insurance on your own, but there are some obstacles.

There are facilities that do not accept patients who are uninsured, and those who do, expect a certain amount paid at the time of service before the doctor or doctors can become acquainted with you. It is always best to “shop around” and familiarize yourself with the medical facilities in your area who will consider uninsured individuals. Once you have found the facility you would consider being your Primary Care Physician, or just the place you refer to when you are ill, inquire about their rates for Self-Pay patients. Some questions to ask are: How much would *insert certain procedure here* cost? What am I required to pay at the time of service for this procedure? If I am unable to pay the total amount due, can I at least pay half? This will alleviate any ignorance about the monies expected and more often than not, the facility will probably see you again.

Having health insurance is important to me. I tell myself that there is no need to worry if I am in an accident, fall ill or decide to have a surgical procedure I had been putting off in the past. I am faithful to my appointments and each time I visit my doctor’s office, I pay my co-pay, sign any forms needed, discuss my health and any other issues festering in the air, and set up my next appointment (should I need another). But, I do not have any major illnesses, and I try to maintain a healthy diet. This being the case, had I not been insured with my current employer, if I wanted to venture out and obtain insurance on my own, I would probably be insurable. There are affordable individual health insurance plans available, one that fits you and your needs. Below are links to some well-known Commercial Insurance carriers who offer individual health insurance coverage:

♦Humana One: www.humana-one.com

♦BCBS Anthem: www.anthem.com

♦Aetna: www.aetna.com

Although, I have only listed a few, there are many insurance carriers who offer individual policies that may coincide with your budget. After you have researched and acquired the perfect insurance carrier for you, learn the details of your policy. Become familiar with various procedures you can and cannot have performed under the guidelines and terms of that policy. Your insurance carrier should be one you are comfortable with and are willing to have for years. The challenge is, finding the right policy suitable enough for you and your lifestyle. Happy hunting.

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