In California, health insurance is marketed under both individual and group policies. People who are unable to obtain health insurance from employers or other professional trade or group affiliations that offers health insurance should opt for individual health insurance. Individuals who usually fall into this category include contractors, the self-employed, and/or employees of small businesses.
The individual health insurance and large group health insurance (policies that cover more than 50 employees) are medically underwritten, which unfortunately leads to some people having difficulty finding adequate health insurance since health insurance providers can deny coverage based on medical history. A medical underwriter will review your application, and if you are approved you may face a waiting period of at least a year from the date the individual health insurance becomes effective and six months from the date the group health insurances becomes effective for any pre-existing health conditions to be covered. There is good news, though. If you were previously insured and have not been uninsured for longer than 63 days, your new individual health insurance provider is required to apply your prior coverage time to the waiting period, and your new group health insurance provider is required to apply your prior coverage time to the waiting period if you have not been uninsured for more than 180 days.
Smaller group policies (policies that cover anywhere from 2-50 employees) have advantages over individual and larger group policies because it is required that health insurance coverage is guaranteed regardless of pre-existing health conditions. Small group health insurance providers can employ the same six-month waiting period for pre-existing health condition coverage as large group health insurance providers; however, they must also apply any prior coverage time to the waiting period.
Health care does not come cheap, especially if you do not have any health insurance at all. Check into the types of health insurance available to you and find the most affordable policy that best suits your coverage needs.