Health insurance – review of best options and plans
The passage of the Affordable Health Care Act (a.k.a. “Obama Care”) has sparked a renewed debate about health insurance for the average American. While a very small percentage of the population have “gold standard” coverage from employers or work-place sponsored plans, the vast majority have to fend for themselves when it comes to choosing the best plan for their needs.
Read on to learn more about health insurance coverage, and to find out which are the best options and plans for your needs.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT PLAN
So which is the best option and plan for you?
At first glance, you may be tempted to answer “One that’s the cheapest!”. That may be correct, but that response may be oversimplifying the real challenge in deciding which plan to opt for. Consumer Report has outlined certain traits that a good health insurance provider must proactively support, and these include:
- Discouraging members from excessive use of antibiotic prescriptions
- Restricting imaging tests for conditions that truly require them – like lower back aches
- Reducing the amount of hospital readmissions shortly after being discharged
- Limit the number of invasive coronary procedures a policy holder undergoes, focusing instead on preventive heart health
- Encourage actively controlling the onset of chronic diseases rather than seeking emergency treatment
Health insurance plans that are offered by providers that subscribe to these principles are not only likely to be the best option for you, but they are more likely to be the cheaper choice too.
OUR TOP PICKS
We have reviewed several health insurance plans for your benefit. Here is a summary of our reviews:
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Reviews
With an association of 36 local health care insurance providers, Blue Cross and Blue Shield System has probably assembled the widest network of health care providers within its fold. The company claims to work with 90% of physicians and hospitals in the U.S.A, and supports over 105 million members nationwide.
The company actively promotes alternatives to ER, including walk-in doctor’s office, retail health clinics or using a nearby urgent care center. With a multitude (36) of individual insurance providers amongst their fold, the quality of care and standards of each plan may differ slightly. However, with 1 in every 3 Americans covered by a BCBS health insurance plan, this provider makes it to our list of top picks.
Cigna Health Insurance Reviews
Cigna offers medical insurance plans that may be applied to major health care requirements, in line with the Affordable Care Act. In addition, you can also opt for additional coverage, including dental care and global insurance plans.
Although a Cigna plan will be honored across the country, the actual plans are only available in 12 states nationwide – which is somewhat limiting.
The company’s website is chock full of great information, and is supported by several handy tools to make important health care insurance planning decisions. For instance, the searchable databases not only help you find a doctor in your specific area, but you can also use it to look-up specific drugs that you are looking to cover under your unique plan.
Aetna Health Insurance Reviews
While individual health insurance plan costs may vary depending on each plan-holders specific financial situation and general health care needs, Aetna by and large has some of the lowest health insurance plan costs compared to equivalent plans offered by its peers.
In addition to its low cost plans, Aetna makes our Top Picks list because of the diversity of its plans, which include privately or health-exchange provided health insurance, vision care, dental insurance, international insurance coverage and student insurance plans.
The one knock that we have against this longstanding health insurance provider is its lack of short-term coverage plans. Should you have a gap in health insurance due to changes in your employment insurance, for instance, Aetna may not be able to cover you.