Some people can't find insurance at any price — even if they're willing and able to pay. The reason could be a pre-existing condition as minor as acne or athlete's foot, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.
But even if you have health insurance, are you sure that if you get sick you'll be covered? Two major long-term care insurance providers are uncer Congressional investigation for denying an extremely high number of insurance claims.
For the 16 million people with individual health insurance coverage, that means trouble — because as Keteyian, those with individual insurance plans are not always protected from massive bills when they think they will be.
Read on for resources on how to find alternative sources of health coverage and for more information on individual assistance.
Individual Insurance Resources
• The Employee Benefits Research Group does research and education in order to encourage and enhance building "sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy." The group also has a comprehensive research and periodicals reference page.
• FamiliesUSA has a Web site that can help you locate individual insurance programs and assistance on a state-by-state basis. Also see their resources page for individual consumers and the professionals who assist them.
• Some independent groups around the country provide ways for citizens to join unions to get the benefits of a group health insurance plan without working for a large company. In New York, the Freelancers Union is the largest such union, but others, like the National Writers Union and the The Entertainment Industry Group Insurance Trust exist and provide benefits for a fee. Other programs, such as Massachusetts' Health Services Administrators, work to provide health benefits to small local businesses.
• Check out Georgetown University's Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance.
• The U.S. Department of Labor's COBRA plan can also provide insurance for some individuals. Check out the plan's Web site. Also check out a fact sheet from the Employee Benefits Service Administration.
• For additional resources visit the Center to Reduce Health Care Disparities.