California Health Insurance Quotes: advice to get the information you need
It is not quite as easy as it appears to obtain a California medical insurance quote online. Here are four things that you should do to help you get a quote and obtain coverage:
- Confirm that the web site offering to provide the quote is actually a legitimate health insurance agency – not a lead generator web site;
- Limit your choice of plans;
- Understand how California health insurance companies design and price their plans; and,
- Select a plan and complete an online application.
1) Health Insurance Quoting Web Sites
Often people land on web sites which are “lead generators” and not actual sites run by a California health insurance agency. The lead generators do not give you instant individual or family California health insurance quotes, rather, they capture your contact information then sell your contact information to 3 -5 different insurance agents. These agents then call you relentlessly to convince you to purchase a health plan through them. Who wants that?
BenefitsCafe.com is licensed in California to provide health insurance quotes immediately. After you input your contact information here you will receive an instant medical insurance quote. Also, your contact information will only go to us. We’re local with real offices and we welcome you to come and visit. We’ve been in business since 1970 and we respect your privacy. We can help you select a plan; keep you updated on the approval process; and, once you’re approved, BenefitsCafe.com can help you if you ever have any questions or problems with the insurance company. We’re real people who have been helping people just like you for nearly 40 years. Not many people can say that!
2) Limit your Choices when getting a California Individual or Family Medical Insurance Quote
Before you hit “show plans” on the quote contact input page, you should do a few things:
- Determine if you need maternity coverage – if you’re a woman of child bearing age, we strongly recommend that you make sure that your health insurance plan will pay for this. Complications of pregnancy can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you don’t need maternity coverage, select “show all.”
- Determine how long you’ll need the California health plan. If you just need coverage while you’re on summer vacation from college, or during the 3 month waiting period at a new job, then you may want to get a “short term” individual health insurance quote.
- Click “remember my quote information” so that the next time you come back to look at the health insurance plan quotes you won’t need to re-input your contact information.
- Selecting individual and family health insurance will take some research so you’ll probably want to click on “bookmark this page” so that you can easily pick up where you leave off.
- Hit “show plans” and look at all of the individual and family health insurance plans available in California. There are tons of choices – over 150 different plans.
3) Understand how California health companies design and price their plans
We have written a number articles about California medical insurance that will help you select a medical insurance plan. Specifically, you should read these articles on individual and family health plans.
Also, we’ve created a Visual Guide to Health Insurance” and one of the charts shows The difference between an HMO and PPO. Another chart shows how insurance companies price medical insurance plans. Also, this chart allows you make a side-by-side comparison of two different medical insurance and helps you focus on the most important features: best case and worst case.
Also, this article describes How to evaluate a health insurance plan. You want to focus on three items: benefits; price; and, providers. Within the benefits, it’s easiest to concentrate on:
- Doctor’s office visit co-payment;
- Hospital co-insurance percentage;
- Prescription medicine co-payment for generic and brand-name drugs; and,
- Out-of-pocket maximum of the plan.
4) Select a plan and apply online
After you’ve selected a plan by hitting the “apply now” button on the California health insurance quote page, you will get a confirmation of the company and plan name that you have selected and you will be redirected to the online application for the appropriate health insurance company (i.e., Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net of California, etc.)
Here’s some advice for completing the online application:
- Write down the name of the policy that you want to apply for – you will be asked this information so be prepared;
- Gather information on your recent medical history – when you went to the doctor, why, diagnosis, treatment, current conditions. It is easy to forget visits to the doctor and to the hospital – especially if everything was taken care of and you’re not currently under treatment. Remember, the health insurance application is a disclosure document which means that you should honestly disclose everything. So, before you answer the online health insurance application put on your thinking cap and visualize all of the times that you’ve received medical care. It may help jog your memory.
- Have your credit card information ready to complete the transaction and pay for the family or individual health insurance coverage. Using your credit card on the secure web site of the insurance company is the fastest and easiest way to apply.
- Remember that the insurance companies must review your application and decide whether to approve your application; request additional medical information; approve you at a higher rate; or decline to offer you coverage. It is not automatic that you’ll be approved. Here is a good article about medical underwriting and why it helps keep the costs low. In fact, individual and family coverage costs less in California than in just about every state (see tables 2 and 3 in this report.) That is amazing since the cost of living in California is higher than every other state and houses, cars and everything else seems to cost more here.
After you’ve selected, applied for, paid for, and been approved for individual or family health insurance you will have the security of knowing that a large company will finance your medical expenses; negotiate lower rates for doctors, hospitals and for prescription medicine and help you make cost-effective decisions regarding your medical care. One amazing thing about individual health insurance in California is that it is “guaranteed renewable” which means that as long as you pay the monthly premium and meet the eligibility guidelines (e.g., being a resident in California) you can keep the policy.
Click here to obtain an California Individual Health Insurance Quote.