Dear Addy: Self-Insured Plans

Dear Addy Banner
Dear Addy,
I heard something about individual health insurance plans. What can these plans do? Are there lifetime caps? Are out-of-pocket maximums higher or lower? I am just wondering if I should add this kind of plan to my list as a potential option.
Shopping for the Best Deal
Dear Best Deal,
After you read the following, you may want to scratch individual health insurance plans off your list. An individual health insurance plan is one that you buy yourself and not through am employer and is part of the “individual market.” Not many of these plans are available today and most are only available to people who had these plans on or before March 23, 2010. According to, an individual health insurance policy is one that was purchased on or before March 23, 2010.
Individual market plans fall under a grandfather provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Grandfathered plans do not have to cover preventive care for free, guarantee your right to appeal, protect your choice of doctors and access to emergency care, be accountable for excessive premium increases, end yearly limits on coverage, or cover you if you have a pre-existing health condition.
By 2014, most individual plans must offer the new benefits and protections afforded consumers by the ACA. Instead of offering the new benefits and protections, some insurers are cancelling plans. People with individual plans that are cancelled can purchase health insurance through the Marketplace.