You can get individual health insurance plans from the California Health Exchange called Covered California. You can also get an individual plan if you contact the insurance carrier directly and sign up with them. However, these plans are very expensive and get more expensive as you get older. The plans monthly premiums are age based meaning the older you get the more expensive they are.
For example, let’s assume you want access to Scripps Doctors in North County. The best option on the individual market for a 64 year old is to select the Silver HMO Trio plan from Blue Shield. This plan premium is $931.84 per month! With this plan you have a $4000 deductible!
Now let’s compare that to Original Medicare with a Supplement plan N here in San Diego. For most people, Original Medicare Parts A + B PLUS a Supplement plan will be less than $300 a month in premium and you’ll have a very low deductible. Clearly, you’ll want to switch to medicare from your Individual plan.
Although the individual health insurance market has some solid silver and gold plans that will help you in your time of need, there is no question in my mind that not a single plan on the individual health experience exchange through Covered California is close to the benefits that you will receive from a Medicare Plan.