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I'm starting a new job but they don't offer health insurance. What are my options?

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If you are being hired into a full-time position, health insurance must be made available to you by law. The objective is to make sure that everyone has insurance available to them, whether they wish to enroll in the program or not. Additionally, group insurance plans used by most employers do not charge more for people who need medical attention, or request anything more than general health information. Pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy, may be excluded from the plan, but you cannot be denied any coverage at all.

If the position is part-time, your options will be to take advantage of COBRA, if it is available, secure a group insurance policy through another source, or enroll in an individual insurance plan. COBRA is only available under certain circumstances and for a temporary period. Group policies may be available through organizations such as AARP, or online brokers who offer group rates through individually purchased policies. Individual health insurance is a good idea if you are young, in good health, and have a positive health history, but may not be affordable if you have pre-existing health problems or a history of hereditary illness. Many personal insurance policies will include pregnancy in the coverage, as opposed to group policies excluding it.

Shop around online. Insurance companies have discovered that they can reduce overhead and pass on the savings to customers through online enrollment, and offer very competitive rates. Through widespread enrollment, they are able to provide the benefits of group insurance, such as a relaxed acceptance criteria, along with coverage excluded in other coverages, such as pregnancy. You are not obligated to sign up with the first suitable plan you find, so take the time to compare the pros and cons of different plans.

answered Aug 23, 2010 by anonymous
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