Insurance for the self-employed and others on the individual market can be expensive and difficult to obtain, as reported by Julia Appleby of USA Today.
Unlike group plans offered by employers — which provide coverage to everyone, no matter how sick — there is no guarantee in most states that individuals can get insurance. Even if they can, their policies may not cover existing medical conditions such as hay fever, depression or pregnancy.
The article cites a 2001 study from the Kaiser Family Foundation, authored by Karen Pollitz of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.
In a 2001 study by Karen Pollitz of the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, researchers submitted applications to 19 insurers on behalf of seven fictitious applicants, who had medical conditions ranging from HIV to allergies. Of 420 applications, 37% were rejected.
“What we have shown is there are carriers who will turn you down if you have hay fever,” Pollitz says.
Read the USA Today story: Individual health policies leave many behind
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s report, How Accessible is Individual Health Insurance for consumers in less-than-perfect health? is available as a free download from the KFF website. You can read the four page executive summary, or the 62 page full report.