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Costs for individual health plans soar

USA Today, February 20, 2009
At a time when more people are forced to buy their own health insurance because of job losses, costs for many individual policies are increasing. Advocates say the 17 million Americans who buy their own coverage can't negotiate lower rates the way employers or other large group plans can. More people are shopping for coverage: The Golden Rule Insurance Company says sales of individual policies are up 24% in the past two months. A website that links people with insurers, eHealthInsurance, says applications are up 18% in the fourth quarter, compared with a year ago.