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California Health Insurance Plans

Searching for California health insurance plans has never been easier. Where in the past one could only obtain price quotes by traveling to see an agent, filling out paperwork, and generally making the whole process an unpleasant and time consuming experience NOW – it is a breeze to view many different CA plans with just a few clicks of the mouse.

You can be at home or at the office in front of your computer and in less than 30 seconds request quotes from top California companies like Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of CA, UniCare, and others.

Compare CA health plans the easy way by viewing quotes online. Learn about the different California health insurance companies and plans and then view quotes with our free California health insurance quote tool located at the top of the page.

California Health Insurance Plan Options

California health insurance plans offer you a range of choices and options.  It is important that when you are shopping around and looking at the different health insurance plans in California that you take note of all the details.  It is in the details that you will find the biggest differences in the CA health insurance plans that you consider.  The best health insurance plans in CA will offer you just what you need for your particular health care situation.

Differences Between Group And Individual California Health Insurance Plans

It is very important that when you start looking for California health insurance coverage that you understand the difference between group and individual plans.  There is a distinct difference and it could really help you narrow down your choices right in the beginning to understand the difference.

Group health insurance is a plan that you get because you belong to a group, usually through your employer.  Group plans have one major benefit and that is that they do not usually require underwriting.  This means they accept anyone into the plan without any type of limitations or restrictions.  This is a good thing for someone with a pre existing health condition.

Individual health insurance plans, on the other hand, are pickier.  They will require underwriting and may deny people with pre existing conditions.  However, the major benefit of individual health insurance plans is that they are 1/3 to ½ the cost of group insurance plans.  In other words they are more affordable.

Of course you choice to go with a group or individual plan should take into consideration your personal health situation.  If you are generally healthy then an individual health insurance plan may be the better, more affordable choice.

The Four Basic Network Choices In CA Health Insurance Plans

While there are many different options in health insurance that you will have, there are only four basic choices in the type of California health insurance plans from which you will have to choose.  These are:

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) – An HMO plan requires a monthly payment of your insurance fee.  Instead of paying for service when you get it, you pay in advance through the monthly fee.  You are given a list of doctors that are covered by your HMO and you must go to those doctors in order to use your coverage.  You are required to choose a primary health care physician who will coordinate all of your other health care needs.  There are also co-pays involved with HMOs that are paid at doctor visits and for other services that you must pay at the time of the visit.

Point of Service Plans (POS) – A POS is a type of HMO where you do not need a primary health care physician.  You can choose your own care options.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) – A PPO is where you have a group of doctors that have all agreed to certain plan fees and rates.  You do not have to see only physicians in your plan’s network, but you will typically pay slightly more for out of network physicians. 

Fee-for-Service Plans – A Fee-for-Service-Plan is a simple plan where you have a deductible that you must meet before the insurance offers any coverage.  You can see any physician you would like.  You also will still make co-pays once your insurance starts after you meet your deductible.

How To Find The Best California Health Insurance Plan

Once you feel pretty confident that you know what type of service you would like and you understand your own health care needs, you can begin to start shopping for California health insurance plans that might work for you.  Here are some tips: 

  1. Shop around.  Do not just go with the first company you come across.  Look for different rates and perks that you may find with some providers and not with others.
  2. Look carefully at the coverage offered.  You want to buy adequate coverage, but there is no need to buy more than you need.
  3. Make sure pre existing conditions will not hold you back.  If you have a pre existing condition or other concern due to your health history then you need to make sure you will be covered under the plan you choose.
  4. Check out the deductible and co-pays.  You need to make sure you know what you will be responsible for paying.  Make sure that you are comfortable with how many out-of-pocket expenses are required before full-coverage kicks in. If you cannot afford that much, you may be better off with slightly higher premiums and lower deductibles.
  5. Look into the company.  You want to make sure that you choose a reputable company that has a good customer satisfaction rate.  Check them out with the Better Business Bureau, insurance ratings companies and the state’s department of insurance.
  6. Look for limits.  Some companies place maximum limits on how much they will pay for any one service.  Make sure you consider carefully any maximum limits.  Look into the actual costs should you ever need that coverage and see if it will be sufficient.
  7. Ask your Doctor. Many times your Doctor’s office will be able to recommend insurance companies for you to consider.

Types Of California Health Insurance Plans

There are a wide variety of California health insurance plans available to residents of CA. From a California Health Savings Account (HSA) plan to a California copay plan there are many options from many insurance companies.

Here are a few of the types of California health insurance plans that you will want to investigage along with some of their common features:

1. Copay Plans – These plans are by far the most popular and are what many people are used to having through an employer as a group plan. A copay is designed to pay for certain things (usually Doctor visits and prescriptions) for a flat fee without you, the insured, having to meet the plan deductible.

For example: you go to the Doctor to get an earache checked out and after the checkup the Doctor’s bill comes to $200. Now if you have a California health care plan with copays for Doctor visits of let’s say $35 then all you pay is the $35 for the Doctor’s visit.

Many people mistakenly assume that you will only get the benefit of your copays after you meet your deductible for the year. This is not true as the whole advantage to having a copay on the plan is that you do not have to meet your deductible you simply pay the copay immediately. (A similiar point of confusion is that there is of course still a deductible on the copay plans. When dose that come into play? A good rule of thumb is that you will have to meet your deductible for anything that the copay does NOT cover).

2. Plain Deductible Plans (no copay) – These plans are cheaper than the copay plans because they ususally cover all of the same things as the copay plans but of course there are no copays for things like Doctor’s visits and prescriptions.

Using the same example as above where you have a $200 Doctor visit bill – with a plain deductible plan with no copays you will be responsible to pay all $200 until you reach your deductible for the year.

3. Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) – Health Savings Accounts are a fairly new invention. They became popular about 5-6 years ago and are an offshoot of the Medical Savings Accounts (MSA’s). They are exactly like a plain deductible plan (HSA’s never have copays) and have fairly high deductibles (which lowers the monthly premium versus a comparable lower deductible plan).

The main difference between Health Savings Accounts and the plain deductible plans is that they must have a higher deductible and the IRS allows a savings account to be coupled alongside of the plan with some tax advantages. All money (up to certian IRS limits) that you contribute into the savings account portion of your HSA (over and above your monthly plan premium) allows you a tax deduction on the front of your 1040 tax return and grows tax free and allows for tax free withdrawals as long as the money in the account is used to pay for medical expenses.

The goal of the HSA is that after a couple of years you may have a nice little balance in your savings account which will roll over from year to year and be used to pay for all medical expenses and can even be used to fund retirement after the age of 65 with no penalty for withdrawals (a 10% penalty is imposed for any withdrawal from the savings account that is not for qualified medical expenses – with the definition of qualified medical expenses being quite broad in practice).

Quotes For California Health Insurance Plans

Now that you are well prepared to start shopping you will need to get a quote for California health insurance plans.  This should be your last step and you should be prepared by following the tips above. Use our quote tool to get a range of quotes from different insurance companies for California health insurance plans now!

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