Everyone runs the risk of becoming ill or suffering an accident that results in doctor or hospital bills, and sometimes in loss of income. Most Alaskans need protection from unexpected and sometimes devastating expenses associated with an illness or accident.
Before buying a health insurance policy, know what insurance or other benefits you already have. This will help prevent duplicating coverage and will help you determine if you have enough coverage, inadequate coverage, or no coverage at all. Make sure you have up-to-date information on medical insurance, disability benefits, and sick leave benefits provided by your employer. Your first priority should be assuring that you have comprehensive health insurance coverage.
How Health Insurance Policies are Sold
An individual insurance policy provides coverage to a specific individual or to an individual and their family under a policy issued to that individual. In order to be considered for individual insurance coverage, you will be asked to provide evidence of insurability that may require you to undergo a medical examination. This is called medical underwriting. The same requirements would apply to any dependents you may insure under the policy.
A group insurance policy provides coverage to individuals under a single master policy issued to the group policy owner. Certificates of insurance are provided to the individuals. The policy owner may be an employer, an association, a labor union, or other entity. Unless the group is small, generally no individual medical underwriting is performed. Instead, insurers require minimum employee or member participation levels and minimum employer contribution levels in order to assure that there are sufficient individuals in the group in good health to balance those in the group in poor health.