the Health Insurance Plan
That’s Right For You
we make choosing a health insurance plan as easy as possible. For
a detailed 33-page report explaining all your options for health insurance
in California, and step-by-step instructions on how to choose a plan, simply
request a free copy of our special report California
Health Insurance Made Easy.
choosing a plan, the most important thing to consider is the coverage and
premium. You should also look at the PPO network the insurance company
uses. Having access to a PPO network can mean substantial discounts
in what you pay for your health care, even before you meet your deductible.
And if you have a pre-existing health condition, the underwriting practices
of the insurance company should be considered.
offer over 300 different California health insurance plans for our clients,
depending on your zip code. Companies we work with include Aetna,
Assurant / Time,Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield, Health Net,
Nationwide, PacifiCare, and others. Our objective is to help you find
the best coverage, with financially strong companies, at the lowest available
Instant Quote system
will show you rates for all available plans. Once you choose
a plan you like, you can apply online or print out an application and fax
or mail it to us.
to Buy Health Insurance
any purchase, choosing the right health insurance policy is a matter of
weighing the benefits and the cost. Most major medical health insurance
plans offer coverage in the hospital, the emergency room, and at the doctor's
office. They often also have coverage for prescription drugs, and
may have options for additional accident benefits. Some companies
offer maternity coverage, or life insurance riders.
an Instant Quote
first step in choosing a plan is to run
instant quotes. Our instant quote engine can rapidly
show you the available plans in your area, so that you can get an overall
feel of what premiums will be for the different plans. You will typically
see 150 – 200 options, or more.
first decision is what type of coverage you want. The quote engine
shows co-pay plans and HSA plans. Almost all plans have a PPO “network”
– a list of doctors to choose from. Most are very comprehensive
– you can see the PPO network for any company you’re considering
by looking at that company’s page on our website. Having access
to a PPO network can mean substantial discounts in what you pay for your
health care, even before you meet your deductible. Indemnity
plans are typically only chosen by people in very rural areas.
deciding on the type of coverage, you can use the tabs at the top of your
quote results to filter your results further, allowing you to compare deductibles
and co-pays. If you then want to see more details, you can download
a company brochure or see a synopsis of the plan on our website.
may want to consider choosing a higher deductible on your HSA plan, and
adding a $100 deductible accident policy. Stand-alone accident plans
that cover $5,000 or $10,000 after the $100 deductible can be viewed on
our Accident Plans
these accident plans are very inexpensive, you may be able to keep your
premiums lower while greatly reducing your exposure for the type of claim
you're most likely to need your health insurance for - an accident.
Which Type of Plan You Want
there are many different types of health insurance plans available, most
of them can either be categorized as "Full-coverage Plans", “HSA-compatible
High-Deductible Health Plans“, "Catastrophic Plans", or
"Low-cost Limited Benefits Plans".
plans have an annual deductible of anywhere from $500 to $5,000. This
is the part that you have to pay per year, before the major portion of the
coverage will begin paying. After the deductible, most plans will
pay 80% of the next $5000 - $10,000, and then 100% up to $1,000,000 to $8,000,000.
If you are hospitalized, you are responsible for the deductible, plus the
20% coinsurance, until you meet your out-of-pocket limit. On most
of these plans you do not have to meet your deductible if you just go to
the doctor, but instead you pay a co-payment (usually $25 or $35).
These plans also usually cover prescription drugs with a co-payment typically
ranging between $10 and $50. Our most popular plans of this type currently
are Anthem Blue Cross Blue
Shield, and Aetna.
HSA, or Health
Savings Account, is a tax-favored savings account, combined
with a qualifying high-deductible health insurance plan to provide lower-cost
major medical protection, significant premium savings, immediate tax-savings,
and a long-term investment vehicle. HSA plans have become the most
popular plans we offer due to how much money they can save most people.
For more information, please see our Health
Savings Accounts page.
you are choosing among the HSA plans, I recommend initially comparing premiums
on just the 100% plans. These plans pay 100% of covered expenses after
your deductible, and will allow you to make the maximum HSA contribution
with the minimum out-of-pocket exposure. This will quickly give you
a feel for which companies are most competitive in your area. In order
to look at just 100% plans, first run quotes. Then, on the Customize
Search tab at the top of the quotes results page, set "Your Coinsurance"
decide if you want a plan that pays for outpatient charges, or if you want
a more catastrophic plan that only covers charges while you are hospitalized.
You can lower your premium by choosing a plan that covers only inpatient
doctor visits and prescription drug expenses.
can quickly see if the quote you're looking at covers these expenses by
clicking the Details link next to the instant quote result, and looking
up Office Visits and Prescription Drugs. The following plans cover
outpatient doctor visits and prescription drugs, subject to the deductible
following plan limits outpatient prescription drug coverage
to $2,000 per year and total outpatient coverage to $15,000 per year, and
is less expensive than the plans above:
following plan does NOT cover outpatient doctor visits or outpatient
prescription drugs, and are usually the least expensive HSA options.
catastrophic health insurance plans usually carry deductibles of $1,000
- $30,000 before paying for anything. These plans do not cover outpatient
doctor visits or prescriptions, but often offer some of the lowest premiums
available. The most popular plans of this type are Aetna's
Managed Choice Open Access Value, Anthem's
BC Life & Health Basic PPO, and Core Med or Max Plan, available
through Assurant Health.
out the PPO Network
plans, including the HSA plans, are associated with a PPO network that offers
discounted pricing. Even if you have not met your deductible, the
savings from a PPO can be significant. You can view the doctors and
hospitals in all the PPO networks. The most popular networks in California
are the Anthem
Blue Cross Blue Shield network, PHCS
(utilized by Assurant), Choice
Plus (utilized by Pacific Care throughout the state), and Health
the Insurance Company Rating
people will want to go with an insurance company that has a high rating
with the rating organizations (A.M. Best, Standard and Poors, Moody's).
These organizations independently rate insurance companies based on
their financial strength, thus giving you some assurance that your insurance
company will be there when the claim needs to be paid. As an independent
mostly deals with companies rated A- or higher, though we will let you know
if substantially lower rates are available with an insurance company that
has a lower rating..
you decide on a plan, you can apply securely using online applications with
most of the insurance companies. If you do not see that option, you
may open and print out an application, and fax or mail it to us. All
applications are submitted under the name of Wiley Long,
the president of eCAHealthinsurance.
If you are working with one of our advisors, that person will be noted on
your record as your assigned contact.
highly recommend the online application process because it will greatly
speed up the turnaround time. Before beginning the online application,
we recommend that you have the following information available in order
to speed up the process:
- Your doctors’ names, addresses, and phone numbers
you currently take or recently took, including dosage and frequency
- The name of the plan for which you are applying
- Your requested effective date
- Your credit card information
to cover the initial premium
soon as we receive your application, we will review it for completeness,
and forward it to the insurance company’s underwriting department.
The underwriters then make the decision on insurability, and issue the policy.
Approval sometimes occurs in as quick as a day, while other times it can
take two or three weeks or longer. We’ll keep you informed the
whole way, and let you know as soon as you’ve been approved.
health insurance applications in eCAHealthinsurance
go through underwriting as part of the approval process. Because health
insurance is designed primarily to cover you for the unexpected, a company
may put a waiver on pre-existing health conditions. If you have cancer,
heart disease, or other serious health conditions you will likely be declined.
Some companies also reserve the right to rate the premium up to cover the
cost of current medications.
companies also look at the application in regards to your height and weight,
and may charge an extra premium if you are over their weight guidelines
when you apply. The height and weight criteria for each health insurance
company is confidential to their underwriting department, and we are not
allowed to post that information. But we have put together a Build
Chart that shows the maximum amount you can weigh and still
be confident that you will not be rated up due to
your weight with any company. If you weigh over this amount,
please contact us and we
can let you know which insurance company would look at your situation most
favorably, and what the likely rate-up would be.
you have questions in regards to your eligibility for coverage due to medical
conditions you have been treated for in the last ten years, please contact
us with your question and I or someone from my team will contact
you in regard to your best options.
the premium low
stays usually cost well over $1,000 per day, and serious illnesses or injuries
can run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. So the
main purpose of health insurance is to protect your savings and assets should
a major unexpected health expense occur. Keeping this in mind, the
following are methods of keeping your premiums low.
care: Policies that allow you to go to any doctor of your choice
are inevitably more expensive than managed care policies in which you choose
from a list of doctors and hospitals. Fortunately, most major PPOs
are accepted at between 80-90% of medical facilities nationwide, which does
not restrict your access to the providers of your choice very much at all.
In fact, having a PPO plan can save you a lot of money, even if you don’t
meet your deductible.
- Higher deductibles: The deductible
is the amount you pay before the coverage kicks in. By taking a higher
deductible, you are taking on some of the risk yourself, and can often save
a large amount on your premium. Most of our clients go with a $2,000
or higher deductible, figuring they can put that amount on a credit card
if an unexpected hospitalization occurs.
- Higher copays for prescriptions and doctor
visits: Again, this is a way for a healthy person who does not
go to the doctor often to take on some of the risk. Or, if you typically
see a doctor no more than once or twice per year, you may want to consider
a plan that does not have a co-payment for doctor visits. This does
not mean that your visits are not covered, or that they are free, it simply
means that you pay the cost of the visit yourself (less any PPO discount,
when using an in-network provider) and those charges go towards satisfying
When you consider the fact that a typical co-payment for a doctor visit
is $25 or $35, compared to an average of $65 when paying for the visit yourself
at an in-network provider, having a $25 co-payment may save you just $30
- $40 per visit. If you are paying $25 per month to have this benefit
on your plan, you may have to visit the doctor 8 times or more during the
year just to break even, so you may be better off carrying a plan without
- Compare many policies, or
use an agent who represents many companies. Shopping for health insurance
is not fun, but finding the right company can make a big difference.
- Stay healthy: Due to the
way health insurance premiums are rated, premiums always increase, and usually
at an accelerating rate. Healthy individuals can change policies when
that becomes advantageous, without having to worry about lack of coverage
on pre-existing conditions.
- Investigate HSA Plans: Health
Savings Accounts let you combine a low-cost high-deductible health insurance
policy with a savings account. Any money you put in the account is
tax-deductible, and can be used to pay medical expenses. The low premiums
combined with the tax savings results in a very low net cost for your insurance
agents seem to have a reputation just above that of used-car salespeople,
and often for very good reason. Most insurance agents are paid straight
commission, and many struggle to make a living. As a result, there
is an extremely high turnover in the field, and there is high incentive
for someone to say whatever it takes to make the sale. Some of the
sales tactics you may want to be suspicious of include:
- Claims that a policy is non-cancelable. By law, no health insurance
policies can be cancelled or rated up based on claims experience of the
- An unwillingness to discuss any coverage without setting up a face-to-face appointment.
- Policies that have set limits on room rates or surgical fees. Though this type of coverage is better than nothing, it has the potential to leave you seriously underinsured.
- Policies that pay for certain diseases, such as cancer. Though these may be offered by financially solvent insurance companies, they are usually not the best way to spend your insurance dollar.
- Online agencies that do not tell you who they are. Our parent
company has an A+ rating with the Better
Business Bureau, and are proud of our longevity.
purchasing a health insurance plan, it is very important that you choose
the right place to buy it from.
most insurance agents are focused on only one thing: selling the next policy.
Here is the typical experience of the average individual shopping for health
insurance. They send in their application, and then wait. If
they call the insurance agent and ask about the status of their application,
they typically get directed to call the insurance company directly.
The attitude of most agents seems to be "Hey, I sold you the policy,
my job is done."
you get coverage from eCAHealthinsurance,
here are some of the benefits you’ll receive:
- Direct and regular communication on the status of your application while
it is in the approval process, so you’re never left wondering what’s
- Our personal assistance in appealing any unexpected waivers or exclusions on your policy. We are quite good at getting risk adverse insurance companies to remove exclusions that should not be on your policy.
- Our Annual Comprehensive Policy Review. Each year we’ll offer to review your coverage against what else is available, and let you know if it might make sense to change plans. This will save you thousands of dollars over the coming years.
- Many insurance plans to choose from, so you can find the best value now, and have a choice of plans to switch to if your plan ever has a large rate increase
- Help with claims or any other questions or problems you may have with the insurance company, anytime now or in the future
- Access to a true expert who can answer your questions and help you choose the best plan, and answer questions you may have now or in the future (not a phone bank with 150 operators taking orders!)
When you get your coverage from eCAHealthinsurance, you get very knowledgeable and personal service from your own Personal Advisor, who you’ll be able to reach any time, now or in the future. You’ll also get access to the lowest rates available anywhere.
We provide this high level of service to everyone who does business with us. Sign up for coverage today, and see for yourself. If you have questions you may submit them through this website, or give us a call. If you would like our assistance in choosing a plan and need to speak for more than just a minute or two, please call our office and tell the receptionist you would like to set up a phone appointment. She will then take some information that will enable us to do some preliminary research before we meet. Read more about our Consultation Services.