1. Founder, Georgia Medicare Plans, Atlanta,GA
    Health insurance rates for individual major medical plans vary greatly. Premium rates are determined based on a number of factors.

    In assessing a proper rate, health insurance underwriters will consider your age, gender, zip code, plan design and medical history.

    Some states currently have "guaranteed issue" rating processes that mean a carrier must issue a policy regardless of your health.

    And some states use a community rating guide. Community rated policies generally do not include adjustments for age or gender.

    Either one of these rating requirements can cause rates to be considerably higher than in states that do not apply community rating or guaranteed issue. Guaranteed issue rates are among the highest in the country and it is not unusual for premiums to be 2x higher than for a similar plan in an area that does not use the guaranteed issue process.
    Answered on April 15, 2013

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