Questions to Consider When Shopping for a Plan

Consider the following frequently asked questions when looking to purchase individual or family health insurance coverage.

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Answer: Individual and family health care coverage is a type of health plan that is purchased by an individual or family for themselves, rather than being covered under an employer health plan.

Answer: Please call Consumer Direct Sales at 800-544-8703 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. You can also shop online.

Answer: If you live in Maryland or Virginia, no. You can apply for your health insurance plan directly through CareFirst. However, if you want to apply for federal financial assistance, you must apply through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace or Exchange.

If you live in the District of Columbia, D.C., law requires all D.C. residents to purchase a plan though the DC Health Link.

Answer: If you are applying through CareFirst's site, you must submit your initial premium payment to CareFirst prior to your effective date. Please note – if you sign up for recurring automated premium payments on your application, your first premium payment will automatically be sent to CareFirst.

Answer: For members who buy their medical health plans directly from CareFirst or through an Exchange, you have a variety of payment options. Visit our Payment Options page for more details.

Answer: Here are some other questions to consider when shopping:

  1. How much will it cost? Consider the cost of monthly premiums, copayments, coinsurance and deductibles?.
  2. Are the doctors or hospitals you currently use, or want to use, in the network? Search our directory.
  3. Are the prescription drugs you take covered? Use our drug search tool.
  4. What benefits are included?
  5. Will I need referrals to see a specialist?
  6. Does the plan offer out-of-area coverage in case of illness or injury while traveling?

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