Alabama Medical Insurance– low cost medical & dental insurance quotes « Health Insurance Advisory

Affordable Individual and Self-Employed Medical Insurance- Alabama

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Alabama State Flag

Get online medical insurance quotes from top health insurance companies in Alabama, such as Celtic Health Insurance, Humana One Insurance and United Healthcare Golden Rule.

We make it easy for you to shop and compare the prices of individual medical insurance plans and health insurance for the self-employed, including High Deductible Health Plans paired with a Health Saving Account in Alabama. You are sure to find affordable medical insurance for you and your family.

Since the new healthcare law went into effect March 2010, individual major medical insurance plans and employer sponsored group health plans have undergone many positive changes that will benefit you. This includes mandated coverage for preventive care services and expanded eligibility for young adults less than age 26. For a summary of the new healthcare law and timeline, including the latest information regarding new consumer protections, visit our healthcare reform blog.

Other types of health insurance that you can shop and apply for online through this site for Alabama include:

Individual Dental Insurance

Are you one of 150 million estimated Americans who do not have dental insurance? If so, have you considered an individual dental insurance plan? Full coverage dental insurance helps maintain proper health and financial well-being. Choose from a variety of plans in Alabama. You can even continue to use your own dentist! Inexpensive dental insurance is perfect for students too. Get a quote and apply online today. It is fast and easy!

Short Term Medical Insurance

Are you between jobs? Want a more affordable alternative to COBRA continuation coverage? Need student medical insurance? If yes, then short term medical insurance may be right for you. These affordable temporary health insurance plans help individuals in Alabama fill a short term gap in coverage, usually 12 months or less. Short term medical insurance also help individuals maintain continuous health insurance coverage in order to preserve HIPAA eligibility status. This is important because HIPAA eligible individuals are guaranteed the right to purchase individual major medical insurance, regardless of their health status.

Guaranteed Health Insurance

If you are unable to qualify for individual major medical insurance in Alabama due to a pre existing health condition or cannot afford it, then a guaranteed health insurance plan or mini med is an alternative worth considering. Also referred to as health insurance for pre existing conditions, this type of individual medical insurance is often called the cheapest health insurance. There is generally no medical underwriting so acceptance is usually guaranteed. Since benefit payments made by the guaranteed medical insurance plan are fixed, the coverage is not considered major medical insurance. Additionally, health conditions that existed prior to the effective date of the medical insurance policy are not covered for typically 12 months. Having some form of medical insurance, however, enables individuals to gain access to the healthcare system in Alabama and typically receive a higher level of care than if they did not have health insurance. Think about it. What is one of the first questions a healthcare provider asks when making an appointment? “Do you have medical insurance?”

Medical Insurance Overseas

Are you traveling from Alabama to a destination outside the United States or taking a school trip to another country? Medical insurance overseas and international student medical insurance is designed to provide additional protection should you or a family member require healthcare overseas. Since most individual medical insurance offers limited or no coverage outside the United States, make sure you are adequately protected before you leave Alabama. Medical insurance overseas and international student medical insurance provides additional benefits, such as emergency air evacuation and travel assistance if you lose your passport or experience flight delays or cancellations due to weather or other causes.

Critical Illness Insurance

Could your nest egg withstand the financial impact of a critical illness? Even though medical insurance covers the cost of medical services and supplies, surgery and hospitalization, there are still many uninsured expenses, such as deductibles, prescription drugs, home healthcare and private nursing, and lost income/ wages. Critical illness protection insurance will pay a lump sum of cash upon the first diagnosis of a critical illness. Critical illness protection works well with a high deductible medical insurance plan because the premium savings can be used to pay for critical illness insurance and the cash benefit can help cover the high deductible.

Prescription Drug Card

Do you not have medical insurance in Alabama that covers prescription medication? Are you paying for expensive drugs out of your pocket? If yes, then consider a prescription drug card. It can help make the cost of prescription medication more affordable for you and your family. Learn more about how a prescription drug card can help you today!

Free Health Discount Plan

As a thank you to our Alabama visitors, we offer a free health discount plan (not insurance). You will save 13% to 65% on prescriptions at 50,000 participating pharmacies nationally, including major chains. Also, save 25% to 40% over usual dental charges at 101,000 dental providers nationally, and 10% to 50% off eyewear, contact lenses and corrective surgery at 10,500 optical centers and major vision chains! No personal information required. This free drug discount card is even valid on many prescriptions for your pet! Get your free health discount plan now!

State Facts & Health Statistics Alabama U.S. Overall
Total Population 4,686,900 303,343,300
Life Expectancy (years) 74.6 78.0
Median Annual Income $42,652 $49,949
Healthcare Spending per Person $5,135 $5,283
Average Annual % Growth- Healthcare Spending 6.4% 5.5%
Uninsured Population 674,900 49,997,900
Average Daily Cost of Inpatient Hospital Stay $1,352 $1,782
Adult Smokers* 22.1% 18.3%
Adult Overweight/ Obesity Rate* 65.9% 60.8%
Child Overweight/ Obesity Rate* 36.1% 31.6%
Adults with Diabetes* 12.2% 8.3%
Alzheimer’s Deaths per 100,000 30.1 22.7
Invasive Cancer Rate per 100,000 460.3 461.8
Heart Disease Deaths per 100,000 235.5 190.9

* % of population
Kaiser Family Foundation Reports- state health facts 2005-2010

Medical Insurance Alabama

  • How competitive is your state's individual medical insurance marketplace?

    A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals the results of an in depth study into the competitiveness of each state’s individual health insurance marketplace. The results will likely surprise you. This report is important because a “competitive” market is considered healthy and robust with no one insurer dominating the market place. Generally speaking, a more competitive market translates to more affordable medical insurance.

    The greater a health insurance company’s market share, for example, the more leverage it has to negotiate deeper discounts with healthcare providers. If the claims expense of other health insurers is higher, then it is more difficult for these carriers to compete for business (higher cost of doing business means higher premiums are needed to cover the added cost).

    For purposes of this study, two factors were measured to determine the competitiveness of each state’s health insurance market. They were: 1) evaluating how much of the marketplace is controlled by one medical insurance company or health plan, and 2) counting the number of insurance companies that compete in the state that have at least a five percent market share.

    Why these two factors? If one health insurer, for example, controls more than 50% of the individual medical insurance marketplace, then that carrier is able to exert more influence over the market, thereby resulting in a less competitive environment. On the other hand, if there are many medical insurance carriers competing for business in a given market with no one company controlling more than 50% of the marketplace, then that market is considered more competitive.

    “Competitive” does not necessarily mean, however, that medical insurance premiums in the state are low cost and affordable. Although New York, for example, has a very competitive individual medical insurance market (five 5 insurers with more than a five percent market share with no one carrier having more than 34% market penetration), it is one of the least affordable states for medical insurance. Why? Medical insurance premiums are based on the cost of healthcare. If the cost of medical services and supplies are expensive, then so will the cost of insurance. In sharp contrast to New York is Alabama. Considered the least competitive market for individual medical insurance, Alabama has only two insurers with more than a 5% market share, but one carrier has an 86% market share.

    States with the least competitive individual medical insurance marketplace include:

    • Alabama
    • District of Columbia
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • Maryland
    • Minnesota
    • Nebraska
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • South Dakota
    • Vermont
    • Virginia

    States with the most competitive individual medical insurance marketplace are:

    • Colorado
    • Georgia
    • Missouri
    • New York
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Tennessee
    • Wisconsin

    The three states with the highest number of health insurance companies competing for individual medical insurance business are Colorado, Georgia and Oregon.  Each of these states has seven health insurers that have at least a five percent market share.

    As it relates to the remaining states not mentioned above, the study reported that a single insurer dominated at least 50% of the individual market, resulting in a less competitive climate.

    Regardless of what state you live in, it always pays to shop for an individual medical insurance plan to ensure you secure the highest quality, lowest cost health insurance plan available. Our online health insurance quotes will enable you to run side by side comparisons of health plans from top medical and dental insurance carriers in your state. Get started today!

  • New law to promote affordable medical insurance- Will it work?

    Health insurance companies are now required to post explanations of premium increases of 10% or more and submit them for review to state and federal regulators. This mandate is required by the new healthcare law. By requiring health insurance companies to justify premium increases, there is greater price transparency and increased public pressure to keep rates lower in order to avoid bad press.

    The new law still has a loophole though. Even if government officials consider the premium increase unjustified, the law does not give state and federal regulators the power to block rate hikes unless the state previously had authority to regulate health insurance rates.

    Prior to this new rule, only the states below had existing regulations that required all health plans, HMOs, Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans and health insurance companies to submit rates for approval before using:

    • Arkansas
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • District of Columbia
    • Florida
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kansas
    • Kentucky
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Minnesota
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Vermont
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • West Virginia

    Note:

    • Most of the above states “deem” health insurance rates approved in 30 to 90 days unless the state regulators formally object prior to that time.
    • Each state’s authority over health insurance rates can vary by type of medical insurance plan. Group Association health insurance plans, for example, that are not filed directly with the state because they are domiciled in another state may not have to file rates for approval.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will rely on state insurance regulators to scrutinize medical insurance rates. However, HHS will handle oversight of health insurance rates in states where it has determined that state supervision is inadequate. These states include:

    • Alabama
    • Arizona
    • Louisiana
    • Missouri
    • Montana
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia
    • Wyoming

    HHS will be working with states to set individual state-by-state thresholds for health insurance premium rate hikes that will require public explanation from health insurance companies.

    Looking for affordable medical insurance? Our online health insurance quotes enable you to shop and perform side by side comparisons of medical plans offered by leading insurance companies in your state. Get started today!

  • Regulation of Medical Insurance Premiums - Alabama

     Alabama Medical Insurance– low cost medical & dental insurance quotes

    The oversight of individual, self-employed and small employer medical insurance happens at the state level. Since every state has its own unique set of regulations aimed at maintaining low cost medical insurance, the laws governing health insurance contracts vary dramatically. Some states have the authority to regulate premiums charged by health insurance companies, while others simply review rates but do not have the authority to reject premium increases. The laws also differ based on the type of medical insurance policy offered in Alabama and how the health insurance company filed their contract with the state. Some health insurance policies are filed directly with Alabama, while others are considered “out-of-state” trust or group association arrangements. The former are generally subject to greater regulation thereby giving Alabama more control and authority over what benefits must be provided and the premiums that can be charged.

    In Alabama, rates for health insurance policies must generally be filed with the insurance commissioner but can be used immediately without formal “approval.” This type of limited oversight often relies on consumer complaints to indicate a problem, so individuals are not always protected against large medical insurance premium increases.

    New medical insurance rate review requirements

    Since medical insurance premiums have doubled during the past 10 years, the new healthcare law provides for special rate review provisions to help consumers get “better value for their health care dollars.” The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act require the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to work in collaboration with state insurance commissioners to review “unreasonable increases in medical insurance premiums.”

    The new healthcare law also requires medical insurance companies and health plans that propose an “unreasonable” rate increase to provide justification for the increase to HHS, and post the justification on their websites. Additionally, in order to promote price transparency, HHS asked the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to develop a standard rate filing disclosure form that all health plans must use when justifying unreasonable rate increases to HHS and Alabama. The goal is to ensure that regulators and the public can access the data and justifications in a way that allows for “apples-to-apples” comparisons. “Grandfathered” health insurance policies effective prior to March 2010 (before the new healthcare law was enacted) are exempt from this new rate review requirement.

    State grants to support review of medical insurance premiums and rate increases

    Lastly, PPACA provides a pool of $250 million in grant funding for state insurance departments to support an enhanced review of medical insurance rates and premium increases. It should be noted that PPACA does not alter Alabama’s existing regulatory authority over health insurance rates and premium increases.


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