What Happens After You Apply For Individual Health Insurance

July 27, 2012

Now what?

Well... You wait. Getting approved for a health insurance policy is not a 30 minute process. In fact, it will take at least seven to ten days for the company to reach a decision. Depending on your medical history and if additional information is needed, like detailed medical records. If that is the case it could take as long as two or three weeks.

If the company that you applied with has additional questions, you could be contacted directly from their underwriting department. The nature of this call will be to collect important medical information not provided in the application. You must complete this step for the application process to continue.

Sometimes the company will use your agent or broker to collect any additional medical information. This step is also mandatory to complete before the application process can continue.

Most quotes you receive for health insurance are standard quotes, meaning they do not take any medical history into account. So, it is possible for your quoted price to change after the insurance company reviews your medical history on the application. If the rate comes back and is significantly higher than what you were expecting to pay, don’t worry about it. You are not committed to pay the increased rate and will have the option to accept or reject the adjusted amount.

Even if your agent or company you applied with did a preliminary evaluation of your medical history to get a more accurate quote, the truth is it's very hard to know for sure until your medical information is directly submitted to that company.

If you are approved for the health insurance policy you should generally receive your new ID cards and policy information in the mail within another seven to ten days. At this time, if you are comfortable with the approved rate, the policy will start automatically. In Ohio, the final price you receive upon approval is generally good for 12 months with most companies.

That’s it, you're done. Now you can kick back and relax knowing you are protected from a major financial loss regarding your health care.

Joey Giangola is not affiliated with The O.N. Equity Sales Company or O.N. Investment management company.