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California health insurance    Understand health insurance in California    Cheap California health insurance

California Cheap Health Insurance

It's hard to write about cheap California health insurance because let's face it...there's nothing cheap about it. That doesn't stop people from hoping and searching for cheap health insurance on the California market. We're not sure anyone will be terribly pleased with the pricing out there but we can at least steer you in the direction of the cheapest (superlative is the best we can do) as opposed to the more unattainable "Cheap" status. We'll also explain why these health plans make the most sense on the market now.

Cheap has gotten a bad rap when it comes to health insurance

When you think of cheap food, fast food comes to mind and we all know you get what you pay for there. What about health insurance? First, we need to make sure we're talking about real health insurance since there are some questionable programs which won't really protect you so cheap there doesn't really help. It's cheap because it doesn't work. You're almost better off with no coverage. These are the so-called discount plans and if a company is promising you coverage that's 1/2 the amount of comparable coverage, run the other way. So let's narrow the range to legitimate carriers and plans that will actually help you in case of a $100K bill. The other plans generally have no cap so you'll essentially get a discount on the $100K bill. Great...you owe $50K. What about real insurance. What's the cheapest option out there?

Real insurance that is cheap relative to the market

10 years ago, the cheapest California health plans might have made us nervous. It's amazing what a decade of double digit rate increases will do to you. Now, the cheapest plans on the market are the most popular and generally make the most sense financially since the difference in cost offsets wholly or mostly what the difference in benefit will be IF you actually need the plan. You have to figure in the annual premium difference when comparing these plans. If adding $1000 to your deductible saves you $800-$1000 annually in premium, that's a smart gamble. A guaranteed $1000 savings versus a potential (and with a low probability) $1000 in out of pocket exposure. As consumers, we would take that offer any time. Health insurance is really about protecting against the big bill anyway which we're reminded of more and more with each annual rate increase. So, what are the cheap California health plans on today's market and how will Health Reform affect this calculation?
Today's cheapest health plans on the California market

Cheap Individual and Family Plans:

Currently, The Bronze plan (PPO or HMO) is the lowest priced plan on the market.  Really, you want to compare this with the next step up, the Silver Plan (on or off Exchange).   PPO plans are usually the lowest priced plans on the market. . For HMO's, it's probably going to be Kaiser but this gets away from our "benefit of cheap health plans" theory above. You can quote all these plans side by side through our Individual Family quote page.

Cheap Small Group California Plans:

For small group, we would concentrate on Shield's PPO Plans, Anthem's  PPO plans, or Health Net's lower-end HMO plans. HMO is really specific to the age/area and you compare the various plans through our Small Group quote.
You'll be hard pressed to find cheaper California health insurance that will actually protect you from major or catastrophic health bills. We're happy to walk through your situation with you.

Related Articles:

Choosing the right health plan
Catastrophic health insurance in California
 

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