With the insurance industry mixing with the political industry, it can make policies, premiums, and patients a problem. The reality is that 47 million Americans were without health insurance in 2006 according to the U.S. Census. That means nearly one-sixth of the entire population are uninsured, and nearly 80 percent of those are because they are unemployed. Investing in an individual health insurance policy, even if you are employed may be the most affordable way to keep yourself properly insured both now and in the future. Check into these basic needs for individual health insurance to see if a separate policy could benefit you or your family.

Reason #1: No Insurance Reasons Why You Need Individual Health Insurance

According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 60% of employers offer health insurance benefits to their employees. With new government regulations, this number could increase. Full health coverage used to be an assumed benefit with employment, but that’s not always the case. For those who work part-time, or if your employer doesn’t offer healthcare benefits, it is imperative that you get an individual health insurance policy to protect you and your family.

Reason #2: Save Money

It is surprising to many to learn that it can actually be cheaper to buy an individual policy than it is to buy into the employee group insurance plan. Many employees, especially those who work for smaller companies, have found that their premiums are outrageously expensive and they are better off with an individual policy. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that 37% of employees who work in a company with three to 199 employees will pay more than half the cost of their family’s healthcare premium. As the average family healthcare premium is now $12,000, many employees at smaller businesses can expect to pay over $500 a month for a family healthcare plan. With employees expected to pay higher premiums and increased out-of-pocket costs in the coming years, the problem will likely get worse.

Reason #3: More Options

For those who have access to employer-based healthcare benefits, the reality is bittersweet: you’re covered, but your healthcare options may be shrinking. According to the New York Times, more than 100 major companies offer employees a high-deductible plan as a single take-it-or-leave-it option. This leaves employees with high premium costs with little to few options when it comes to the quality of care offered. When applying for an individual health insurance plan, you’re not tied down to a limited number of options. This can be beneficial to many because it gives you the option to shop and get the coverage level you need, not just what an employer offers.

Reason #4: Last Resort

If you don’t qualify for COBRA or your coverage is about to run out but you’re too young to get Medicare benefits, then an individual health insurance policy could be your only option. COBRA benefits are designed to extent an employer healthcare program after unemployment, but it can be an expensive road to take. For those without employer coverage and without Medicare, an individual policy is crucial to providing adequate coverage.