Who are the major Pennsylvania health insurance companies?
Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Independence Blue Cross, UPMC, Keystone, Capital Blue Cross, Highmark, Geisinger, Ambetter, Oscar, Humana, and Cigna offer competitive under-65 and Senior rates in Pennsylvania. Occasionally, other carriers offer group or off-Exchange plans that should be considered. Of course, several of the carriers are regional, such as Geisinger and Keystone. Additional carriers that offer Medicare products, but not under-65 medical plans, include AARP, Allwell, Gateway Health, Mutual Of Omaha, SilverScript, and Vibra.
What is “catastrophic” health coverage and should I consider it?
“Catastrophic” insurance plans are designed to cover major medical expenses, such as inpatient and outpatient hospital visits, surgical expenses and emergency room charges. Pennsylvania Premiums are fairly low, but office visits and prescriptions are generally limited, compared to other more comprehensive options. For healthy individuals and families, this type of coverage can potentially save a substantial amount of premiums, and is worth considering, especially since preventive coverage is provided with no waiting period.
Under-65 Catastrophic Marketplace plans offered are Capital Blue Cross Catastrophic PPO 8550/0/75, Highmark my Direct Blue Major Events EPO 8550, my Blue Access Major Events EPO 8550, Geisinger Marketplace All-Access Value, Oscar Secure, Independence Blue Cross Personal Choice EPO Catastrophic, Together Blue Major Events EPO 8550, and UPMC Advantage Catastrophic $8,550/$0.
When enrolling in a Marketplace plan, you must be under age 30, or prove “financial hardship” to qualify for these types of policies. Also, since a federal subsidy will not be provided on “catastrophic-tier” contracts, often a Bronze or Silver option is less expensive, and provides more coverage. The highest allowable deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expense per individual is $8,550.
Sometimes, “blended” policies are offered, which combine high deductible and coinsurance with upgraded office visit and RX benefits. You still will pay more for larger claims but also receive better coverage for routine events. “Value” and “Saver” are often descriptions used for these types of policies. For Seniors, Plans F and G (High-Deductible) offer a policy that features lower premiums than other Supplement options. However, most expenses must be paid out-of-pocket before benefits begin.
What if I only need coverage for a few months?
A “short-term” policy could be your best option. Prices are substantially lower than comprehensive policies and you may select the number of months you would like to be insured. Applications are brief and are often approved within 24 hours. At any time, you can cancel your policy. Generally, coverage can be kept for up to 6-12 months. If you need a cheap Pa short-term healthcare quote, it takes less than two minutes to calculate.
UnitedHealthcare and National General offer excellent options. Highmark and Capital Blue Cross were previously good choices, but they no longer offer temporary coverage. Aetna, Cigna, and Independence Blue Cross also do not offer this type of coverage at this time. Since you can cancel any policy with a simple request, you can often buy a more benefit-rich plan, although it will cost more.
How Do I Buy Health Insurance In Pa Through The Exchange?
“Exchange” policies are the contracts that originated from the passage of Affordable Care Act federal legislation. All plans are guaranteed to be approved, regardless of what medical conditions you may have (or had). Federal tax assistance is provided to persons under 400% of the FPL (Federal Poverty Level). They take the form of an instant tax credit and are immediately applied to your premium. Thus, under the right conditions, it is possible that 100% of your rate is paid by the federal government. Open Enrollment for applicants under age 65 occurs in November and December. Senior Pa Medigap Open Enrollment begins October 15th and continues through December 7th.
What is a PPO?
A PPO is a “preferred provider organization” that negotiates lower rates with groups of hospitals, doctors and other providers. Membership in the PPO allows a substantial discount below their regularly charged rates. Most Pennsylvania companies offer PPO policies, and they are the most popular type of coverage. You will often save as much as 50% by utilizing providers in your network.
Also, filing a claim is much quicker and often doesn’t require any paperwork that you have to complete. And yes, you can use a PPO out-of-state. For example, Highmark, Aetna, and UnitedHealthcare offer extensive network coverage across the US. Geisinger’s providers are mostly in-state. Other carriers, such as National General, utilize Aetna’s PPO network.
What is an HMO?
A health maintenance organization (HMO) is a type of managed care organization that medical coverage in the US. Unlike traditional health coverage, an HMO has very specific guidelines under which doctors, specialists and other providers can operate. A typical plan offers comprehensive services with low copays and no deductibles or co-insurance. Coverage is restricted to “in-network” only.
In Pennsylvania, Keystone, UPMC, Capital Blue Cross, and Highmark offer very competitive HMO rates. Maternity benefits are included, which makes contracts ideal for young growing families. However, often out-of-state doctors and hospitals are not in the network. A primary care physician (pcp) is selected, and he/she will coordinate your treatment, including visits to specialists. Emergency treatment is typically considered “in-network.”
What Is The Best Supplemental (Medigap) Plan In Pennsylvania?
If you have reached age 65, then you are probably eligible for Medicare. Although standard benefits pay most of your medical expenses, there are still gaps in coverage that could result in thousands of dollars of additional out-of-pocket costs. For many Seniors, this represents a risk that can put tremendous pressure on their household budget.
Supplemental plans can potentially pay most (or all) of these expenses. Some of the most common examples are Part A coinsurance and hospital bills, Part B copayments or coinsurance, Hospice care, skilled nursing facily costs, and Part A and B deductibles. Available policies are designated by the letters A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. “Advantage” plans are also offered by many carriers. Part D prescription drug coverage is also offered.
Several of the Medigap insurers are:
Greek Catholic Union
Independence Blue Cross
Will my pre-existing condition be covered?
If you are applying (enrolling) for a qualified Marketplace plan, your pre-existing conditions will be covered, regardless if you are entitled to receive a federal Obamacare subsidy. This includes policies issued after Open Enrollment ends, assuming you are utilizing an approved Special Enrollment Period (SEP) exception, such as losing benefits at work, moving to Pennsylvania from another state, or getting married. Senior Medigap plans also cover pre-existing conditions.
However, temporary, non-qualified, and limited benefit policies will probably exclude past and present conditions, and will also leave potential large out-of-pocket medical expenses when large claims are filed. Short-term plans, however, are viable alternatives, especially for applicants that have not secured coverage by December 15th.
How much do I have to pay to use this Web service?
There is no cost for our services and we have never charged any fees or expenses. We can also guarantee that you will receive the lowest allowable pricing in the state since the Department of Insurance regulates rates. And it’s easy to get online direct prices by entering your zip code at the top of the page. You can choose to compare and apply directly online or contact us for help. Temporary plans can be approved within 24 hours. Carriers offer additional products, including life, disability, final-expense, dental, and vision plans.
Can I buy a customized policy?
Yes. Once we have determined the type of coverage you want, we create a personalized plan that features the deductibles, copays and premium that you want. We make sure that your doctors are Network-approved, and the company is highly-rated. Customization includes tax-subsidies and out-of-pocket costs and premiums to match your budget.
If your household income is too high to receive any instant tax credits, we show you the “Off-Exchange” policies that feature the lowest premiums and potential out-of-pocket maximums. If you regularly take medication, it’s important to choose a plan that covers the drug without having to meet a deductible. Many Medigap plans publish their Formulary drug list to help you compare options. Copays and coinsurance can vary, depending upon the insurer and your county of residence.