health insurance for California individuals
How to choose health plan
How to Choose Individual California Health
There are some important questions to ask
before you run your
individual health insurance quote. One of the main issue people
have when they request a quote is the sheer number of health plans
that come up. It can be overwhelming and cause you to doubt your
choices especially if you are new to
individual health insurance market in California. Below are a
series of question to ask yourself which should narrow the options
down to a few key plans that fit your needs.
1. HMO or PPO?
This is really a key question to address up
front as the two models are very different. People usually have a
strong preference for one or the other but in case you are new to
the concept, here is a quick list of
differences between HMO's and PPO's:
1) more structured in how you access care,
2) tend to have richer benefits (less out of your pocket when
sick or hurt)
3) cost more in monthly premium.
1) more flexible in which doctors you can see and how that
2) tends to cost-share more of the out-of-pocket with you in the
3) has a wide range of monthly premium amounts depending on the
level of benefits.
Clearly, the trend today is towards PPO's as
cost of health care in general has spiraled over the past
decade. HMO's tend to have richer benefits but due to this
coverage, they are absorbing more of the escalating health care
costs over time.
Individual and Family health insurance is very different than
Small Group health in that you are essentially covering yourself
so it usually makes sense to keep your monthly premium down. That
money is going out the door whether you use the plan or not.
HMO's might work well for people who are
flexible in terms of which doctors they can see; want to keep their
costs down when they get sick or hurt; and/or considering maternity.
PPO's work for people who would rather save on
their monthly premium but share more when sick or hurt; cover
catastrophic bills more; require flexibility in terms of doctor
Recommendations: Blue Cross PPO's, Blue
Shield PPO's, Health Net HMO's
2. Carrier strength and flexibility
This is an important concern as your plan/rate
is only as good as the carrier. Plans and rates can and do change.
Carriers that do not competently manage their business show a great
deal of change in both. Since health insurance is potentially a
long term concern and changes in health prevent us from changing
plans, you want to choose a strong carrier up front. All the major
carriers offer large suites of different plans to address your
health needs including
3. Coverage for office visits and prescriptions?
As long as maternity is not an issue, the no-deductible PPO plans on
the market are hard to beat. They are priced at a middle to low
price point. Make sure to go with the Comprehensive RX option (not
the Generic only or No RX) as medication costs have become a
significant risk and will continue forward as faster pace. These
plans combine low premiums, office and RX copays, with no
Hopefully, this will help narrow the multitude of plans on the
market to a few that work well for your situation. You can can now
California individual health insurance quote or ask us
questions regarding your particular situation.
Other important concepts to help you understand
California health insurance quote are:
Individual health insurance underwriting
Health Savings Account introduction
HMO and PPO comparison