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

Affordable Individual and Self-Employed Medical Insurance- California

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Get online medical insurance quotes from top health insurance companies in California, including Aetna Health Plans, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of California, Celtic Health Insurance, Cigna, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente.

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 California. 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 California 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 California. 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 California 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 California 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 California 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 California to a destination outside the United States or taking a school trip to another country? Medical insurance overseas and international student medical insuranceis 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 California. 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 California 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 California 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 California U.S. Overall
Total Population 36,641,700 303,343,300
Life Expectancy (years) 79.7 78.0
Median Annual Income $56,862 $49,949
Healthcare Spending per Person $4,683 $5,283
Average Annual % Growth- Healthcare Spending 5.7% 5.5%
Uninsured Population 7,083,700 49,997,900
Average Daily Cost of Inpatient Hospital Stay $2,279 $1,782
Adult Smokers* 14% 18.3%
Adult Overweight/ Obesity Rate* 57.7% 60.8%
Child Overweight/ Obesity Rate* 30.5% 31.6%
Adults with Diabetes* 9.1% 8.3%
Alzheimer’s Deaths per 100,000 24.3 22.7
Invasive Cancer Rate per 100,000 425.2 461.8
Heart Disease Deaths per 100,000 177.9 190.9

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

Medical Insurance California

  • California second behind Pennsylvania in Pre Existing Conditions Insurance Plan enrollment

    The California Pre Existing Conditions Insurance Plan is now second behind Pennsylvania with the highest number of enrollees in the new government Pre Existing Conditions Insurance Plan. To-date, the golden state has enrolled more than 6,000 residents.

    The new healthcare law requires states to offer health insurance for pre existing conditions to eligible residents. Under the Pre Existing Insurance Plan, an uninsured resident of a state who is a citizen or legal resident of the United States that has a pre existing condition can enroll in their state’s health insurance plan for pre existing conditions.

    For some individuals, the new government Pre Existing Conditions Insurance Plan is the only alternative for individual medical health insurance. Since health insurance companies medically underwrite in most states today, many applicants cannot qualify for or have been declined individual medical health insurance because of their health status. This special low cost medical insurance program, sponsored by the government, is temporary until January 2014 when health insurance companies must accept every applicant for individual medical health insurance, regardless of health status.

    While some people are critical of the California Pre Existing Conditions Insurance Plan, claiming the health plan premiums are too expensive, the cost of comparable coverage in the private insurance market, if the applicant could even get approved, would be three to five times as much, according to Allan Zee of healthinsuranceadvisory.org. ”With premiums starting as low as $199 per month, the California Pre Existing Conditions Insurance Plan is a bargain, especially considering the program is guaranteed medical insurance that provides full major medical coverage, even for pre existing conditions,” says Zee.

    For more information on health insurance for pre existing conditions, visit healthinsuranceadvisory.org.

  • Blue Shield of California refunding $283 million of medical insurance premiums to policyholders

    A key provision of the new healthcare law designed to promote affordable medical insurance is called the “minimum loss ratio” or MLR for short. It requires health insurance companies in the individual medical insurance marketplace to spend no less than 80% of every premium dollar collected from customers on claims. This includes expenses for medical services and supplies, such as hospitalization, surgery, office visits, x-ray, lab and prescription drugs. Along with claims, health insurance companies can also spend money on “quality improvement initiatives” that help improve the overall health and wellness of its members. Examples include, health risk assessments, biometric screening, health coaching and wellness programs.

    Prior to the new healthcare law, it was not uncommon for many health insurance companies to spend less than 80% on claims, as administrative costs, agent commissions, preferred provider access fees, premium taxes, target profit, reserves and other overhead exceeded 20% of every premium dollar collected.

    Like many nonprofit insurers, Blue Shield of California has come under sharp criticism for seeking large premium increases and maintaining overly generous reserves. The new healthcare law is aimed at trying to make sure insurers do not price premiums too much above the actual cost of paying for the care of their customers.

    In a move to cap earnings at 2% of collected premiums, Blue Shield of California says it will give nearly 2 million customers a $283 million credit on their medical insurance premiums. The action, on top of a similar $167 million credit announced in June and returned this month (from 2010 excess profit), was driven partly by the weak economy. Like most other top health insurance companies, Blue Shield of California recorded better than expected profits this year. The San Francisco nonprofit insurer says it spent less than expected on claims because people have cut back on medical care.

    This credit (from 2011 excess profit) will result in individual medical insurance policyholders seeing their December bills credited $135 on average, while a family of four will get an average credit of $420, translating to a premium reduction of 4.5%. The combined refund ($167 million credit announced in June + current credit of $283 million) represents a 7% reduction in annual premiums this year- nearly an entire month’s worth of insurance cost.

    Opponents of the new healthcare law contend that next year, however, consumers can expect higher medical bills and more expensive medical insurance, as new benefit mandates and other rules kick-in. Several insurers, including California giant Anthem Blue Cross of California, acknowledged their customers are using fewer healthcare services than expected this year. But other health insurance companies say that since the price of individual medical insurance is function of the cost of healthcare, premium refunds may not be substantial this year and even non existent next year because the cost of medical care is growing so fast.

    A Blue Cross of California spokesperson said “affordable medical insurance is so important to individuals and employers right now. This credit will really make a difference.” To find affordable medical insurance in California, visit healthinsuranceadvisory.org.

  • Low Cost Medical Insurance with an HSA

    Health Saving Accounts (HSAs) paired with a high deductible medical insurance plan have significantly gained in popularity over the past several years for self employed individuals, families and employers of all sizes. These consumer driven health plans (CDHPs) offer low cost medical insurance and often lower out of pockets costs than traditional health insurance plans.

    In 2005, total HSA enrollment was only 1 million persons, while 11.4 million individuals as of January 2011 were enrolled in an HSA coupled with a high deductible medical insurance plan. The 11.4 million represents 6.6% of the total enrollment in private health insurance (under age 65). More than 10% of all new health plan purchased today are HSAs with high deductible plans. Participation is almost evenly split between females (49%) and males (51%). Of the enrollees in the individual health insurance market, 49% were age 40 or older, while 51% were under age 40.

    States with the highest enrollment in HSAs with high deductible medical insurance plans are:

    • Alaska
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Illinois
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kentucky
    • Louisiana
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Minnesota
    • Montana
    • Nebraska
    • New Hampshire
    • North Carolina
    • Ohio
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Vermont
    • Wisconsin

    Why are HSAs so popular? Despite the myth that high deductible medical insurance is more risky than traditional “PPO copayment plans,” HSAs/ high deductible health plans can actually reduce your out of pocket exposure if you require major surgery or hospitalization. Since high deductible plans pay 100% of covered charges after the deductible has been satisfied when using network healthcare providers, there is no additional out of pocket expense. In contrast, traditional “PPO copayment plans” typically pay 80% after the deductible. So, in addition to always having copays, you are also required to satisfy the maximum out-of-pocket before the health plan pays 100% of covered charges when using a network healthcare provider. This can cost you several thousand more dollars out of your pocket.

    Other reasons why individual choose HSAs with a high deductible medical insurance plan include:

    • Lower cost of medical insurance, as the health insurance premium is generally 25% to 50% less than a comparable traditional “PPO copayment plan”
    • Greater spendable income since federal and state income tax liability is reduced- even if you do not itemize your deductions
    • Opportunity to grow your savings and accumulate money without paying taxes- HSA monies can be invested and investment earnings accumulate tax free
    • Increased tax deduction for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, such as vision, dental and prescription drugs- even though they may not be covered under the high deductible medical insurance plan

    An HSA paired with high deductible medical insurance plan may not be right for you if:

    • Have minimal healthcare needs and want the convenience and comfort of copayments, rather than a calendar year deductible to satisfy
    • Would rather pay a higher premium and less out of pocket for office visits, lab work and prescription drugs

    If you want to learn more about why HSAs are considered affordable medical insurance, the requirements to set one up and how file your tax return, visit the HSA section of our Medical Insurance Research Center. You might be surprised at how relatively easy HSAs and high deductble medical insurance plans are to understand and effective at providing lower cost health insurance for you and your family.

    An HSA is simply a bank account that is used in conjunction with a high deductible medical insurance plan. The HSA is designed to help fund the deductible and pay for other qualified out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, such as medical, dental and vision expenses with tax-free money. Monies deposited into an HSA are tax deductible and funds withdrawn to pay for covered healthcare expenses are not taxed. HSA monies can be invested and accumulate tax-free for retirement.

    To find and secure an affordable high deductible medical insurance plan, get to healthinsuranceadvisory.org today!


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