A person without medical coverage is unlikely to receive preventive care or necessary medical treatment, at least not as soon as he or she should. As a result, this person is at a greater risk of developing serious health problems or even of dying from conditions that could be prevented if they were caught in time. In most cases, uninsured individuals lack medical coverage because of the cost of health insurance premiums and co-payments. Fortunately, many licensed insurance companies in California offer low cost health insurance plans that can met your needs at a very reasonable price.
Private health insurance plans are created for individuals who are self-employed or who are employed by a company that does not offer a group plan. In fact, employees who are enrolled in an employer’s group health coverage but do not have coverage for their spouse and children should also consider a private health care plan. However, before making a final selection, there are certain factors that you should consider. For example, depending on the company, the plan rate will be based on the age of the youngest person requiring coverage. This will save money for couples who are several years apart in age and chooses one policy for both people. In a situation where both persons are close in age, it may be beneficial to elect or separate coverage. Most importantly, the coverage should meet everyone’s needs.
In an effort to remain competitive, most insurance companies try to provide similar services; however, some are tailored to meet specific needs. For example, although Cigna’s CA Open Access 5000 and Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 5000 both have annual deductibles of $5,000 per individual, only the Open Access 5000 plan provides chiropractic coverage. This coverage could greatly benefit someone who is in need of recurring physical therapy, spinal manipulation or occupational therapy. However, a person having to visit a doctor outside of the provider’s network will pay a higher deductible with the CA Open Access 5000 plan.
Aetna provides AARP Essential Premier Health Insurance. This coverage is specifically designed for individuals between the ages of 50 and 64; it can be ideal for anyone who is retired or seeking to retire early. Because of its lowered premiums, this plan can be perfect for anyone wanting to eliminate their COBRA coverage costs. As a benefit, you have the option to select a customized plan. This program includes preventative and hospital care plans along with Health Saving Accounts with compatible High Deductible Health Plans, as well as PPO plans. The PPO plans have a $2,500 deductible, which is half the deductible cost of most other insurance plans. The cost of generic prescriptions is $5 more than in many other plans; however, the co-payment for brand name prescriptions is $5 less than in other coverage plans. Depending on the coverage selection, mail order prescriptions may be limited as well.
The Deductible 40/4000 with HSA plan is designed for those wanting a lower individual deductible. Although the annual deductible is $1,000 less than in many other plans, the copay is $40, a $5 to $10 increase over many other plans. The plan is also a health maintenance organization, which means that you must choose a primary care physician. The premiums are cheaper; however, the available medical services are restricted. Services provided by out-of-coverage providers are limited to emergencies only. Non-Formulary prescription drugs are not covered either.
As of September 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires all health care coverage companies to provide certain screenings, immunizations and preventive care services at no cost. In an effort to comply with the law, providers include well baby checkups, regular OB-GYN exams and periodic health exams without a deductible.
California residents also have access to a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program. In order to qualify, you must have been denied coverage within the past 12 months by a health insurance provider because of a pre-existing condition. Those who were not denied coverage must be paying premiums higher than the premiums under the California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program. The plan covers specialty care, primary care and hospital care as well as prescription drugs. Your age and location within the state determines the premium amount and out of pocket costs.
Health insurance plans tend to be exorbitantly expensive, but low cost options like these are available. Do your homework and find out which are available to you. You just might be surprised by how much you can save.