Many people have insurance with the company that they work for, but there are people whose only option is buying individual health insurance. Even companies are beginning to pass a large portion of the cost of insurance on to their employees.

Before you purchase this type of insurance, it is best to shop around and compare the prices and coverage of several different health insurance companies. There are non-profit sites that ask you approximately five questions about your family and then give you a list of the companies in your state that have plans that will meet your or your family's health needs. You can also get more information about individual health insurance from online sources.

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Before a person considers changing from a company health plan to a private health plan there are several things that his company plan offers that he should consider. An individual plan will not include any of these items.

In a company plan, you and all of your co-workers must be accepted for insurance coverage regardless of any health problems you may have. Your health insurance cannot be canceled if you become sick. If the worker is laid off from his job, according to law, he has the option of purchasing an extension on his health insurance from the company for at least eighteen months.

If you decide to switch from your company's health insurance to a private insurance plan, do not cancel your company insurance until you are certain that you have been accepted by the new company. Private insurers are very particular about previous health problems and waiting periods. It is not uncommon for them to refuse to insure an individual for a number of reasons.

As with any type of insurance, comparing different companies and the policies that they offer is the smartest thing to do. Make sure you understand exactly what the policy covers and what it doesn't cover.