07. April 2017 · Comments Off on Aetna Health Insurance Leaving California – Recommended Replacement Plans · Categories: Health Insurance

Aetna Health Insurance announced they are leaving the California marketplace for individual and family plans. The end date of all their plans is December 31, 2013. All 49,000 Aetna clients still have six months to figure out what health plan they should move to. In this article we’ll give you a simple mapping that recommends which plans you should move to based upon the Aetna health plan you currently have, a “gotcha” to watch out for, and a couple of silver linings to feel good about.

The simplest way to replace your Aetna Health Insurance is to simply look for an alternative plan with the same (or similar) deductible amount. The recommendations below will make that easy to do. With just a little more effort, you could re-think what you need in yearly medical benefits and pick a plan the is a better fit for your current needs. Either way, you should be able to find a good solution listed below.

Aetna Health Insurance Underwriting Is More Lenient

This will be the gotcha for some people. Aetna has always been more willing to accept people with some health conditions. I know a number of my clients are in Aetna plans because they had specific health conditions that the other carriers either would not accept, or would “rate” much higher than Aetna. So this is something you have to be aware of and be careful about.

If you have existing health conditions, or are “too short” (okay… a little over-weight), or have a rated plan with Aetna, then you should definitely talk to a broker before you apply with another health insurance company. You’ll want to have the broker do Pre-Screen Requests for you to see how the other insurance companies will treat your application.

It’s important to do the pre-screen step first, because if you just pick a health plan, apply for it, and then get declined or rated even higher, it will be very hard to get other insurance companies to consider your application.

Let’s start mapping replacement plans…

Aetna Open Access MC Value Plan Alternatives

The Aetna Open Access Value plans are Aetna’s low-cost option. The Value plans offer a number of different deductibles, $8,000, $5,000, $2,500, and provide 3 office visits for a simple copay, and coverage for Generic prescriptions.

This plan description matches very closely to what is offered in the Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense plans. If you only need two office visits rather than three, then the best choices are the Health Net PPO Advantage plans and the ClearProtection plan from Anthem Blue Cross.

If cost of the plan is one of your major factors, then here is how the alternative plans above should be used.

  1. Health Net PPO Advantage 3500 – offers the best overall value (cost vs benefits)
  2. Health Net PPO Advantage 6500 – is usually the lowest cost option
  3. Anthem Blue Cross ClearProtection 3300 – Anthem’s lowest cost solution
  4. Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 6000 – closest match to Aetna’s Open Access Value 8000, but lower cost
  5. Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 3500, 2000, 1000 – if you feel more comfortable with lower deductibles

In the majority of cases, the alternative plans from Anthem and Health Net will be lower cost than the comparable Aetna Value plans. You’ll need to review health insurance quotes to see how the pricing looks for your location in California.

Aetna alternative plans from all major health insurance companies in California. The best plans!

Aetna Open Access MC Plan Alternatives

The Open Access plans are Aetna’s high-end offerings. These plans offered unlimited office visits for just a copay, provided both Generic and Brand name prescription coverage, and offered deductibles of 5,000, 3,500, 2,750, and 1,750.

The best mappings of the Open Access plans are the following:

  1. Cigna Open Access Value plans – Cigna’s entry plans, but very similar to the Aetna plans but without brand name prescription coverage
  2. Anthem Blue Cross Premier plans – these plans are the top of the line from Anthem
  3. Cigna Open Access plans – the high-end Cigna plans
  4. Blue Shield Shield Secure Plus plans – Blue Shield’s top end plans

Health Net does not have any plans that provide unlimited office visits and coverage of brand name prescriptions, so there are no options listed.

Aetna Open Access MC High Deductible Plan (HSA Compatible) Alternatives

These are Aetna’s entry in the Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible market. Like all HSA plans, they provide no benefits except zero-cost preventive care until after you reach the deductible. The plans come with two deductibles, either 5,500 or $3,500.

The mappings for these HSA plans is the following:

  1. Health Net CFB HSA 4500 plan – this is the best value HSA plan in the market
  2. Health Net CFB HSA 6000 plan – this is the overall lowest cost HSA plan
  3. Blue Shield Saver HSA plans – these are lower cost than the other non-Health Net HSA plans
  4. Cigna Health Savings 4900 plan – good general purpose plan
  5. Anthem Blue Cross Lumenos 5950 plan – Anthem’s last remaining HSA plan

Are You Looking For Lower Out Of Pocket Risk?

Some shoppers may be looking to lower premiums AND lower the OOPM’s they have had in the past. If this is your wish, then here are a couple of options you should explore:

  1. Health Net CFB PPO Standard plans – the OOPM in these plans is equal to the deductible, and 2 office visits for a copay
  2. Cigna Open Access Value 5000/100% – the OOPM is the same as the deductible, and the plan offers unlimited office visits

These alternative plans will cost a little more than the direct replacement options listed in the sections above. However, the attractiveness of having lower risk if an accident or a medical condition starts is very compelling.

Silver Linings In The California Aetna Health Insurance Decision

I believe that Aetna is just the first in a line of large and small health insurance companies that will leave the California individual and family health insurance marketplace over the next 3-5 years. Aetna had a very small market share, and would have a hard time competing with the insurance companies that dominate the California market. So having Aetna leave now will reduce the turbulence we see during the Health Care Reform roll-out later this fall.

The first silver lining in all of this is that Aetna plans tend to have very high Out-Of-Pocket Maximums (OOPM). As an example, for a family, the Open Access Value 8000 plan has an OOPM of $25,000, while the Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 6000 plan and the ealth Net PPO Advantage 6500 have a $19,000 OOPM.

This is one of the reasons people have stayed away from new Aetna plans unless no other health insurance company would accept them. There are plenty of plans from Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, and Blue Shield that will have lower OOPM’s than the Aetna plans.

The last silver lining of this change at Aetna, is that Aetna plans have not been very competitive the last couple of years. So changing to comparable plans will give you a reduction in premiums. With the information we’ve given you above, you should be able to find a good Aetna replacement plan, now go forth and prosper.

Aetna alternative plans from all major health insurance companies in California. The best plans!

30. March 2017 · Comments Off on A Few Things You Must Know Before Buying a Health Insurance Policy in India · Categories: Health Insurance

‘Health is Wealth’ is an old saying, which depicts that good health is as important as having lots of wealth. A person with good health can work efficiently to earn wealth and lead a quality life. On the other hand, a person who does not have good health spends a lot of his wealth to regain the health. According to an Arabic proverb, “He, who has health, has hope; and he, who has hope, has everything”. All of these sayings imply that good health is of great importance, and it cannot be compromised.

So, don’t we need to take necessary steps to protect it? Since, despite all precautions, the possibility of an accident or illness cannot be ruled out; we need to be prepared for any eventuality. In such tragic circumstances, we fall prey to the dual economic crisis – first, we have to abandon work because of poor health, and second, pay huge healthcare expenses. Our hard-earned money is spent on illnesses. At times, we are forced to borrow from within or outside the family.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) study on the impact of rising health expenditure in India, states that about 40 per cent of low-income families have to borrow money from outside the families to meet their healthcare expenses resulting in over 16% of them getting pushed below the poverty line.

Therefore, to safeguard any health related eventuality, we must have a health insurance policy of appropriate cover. Today, there are many health insurance products of various insurers available in the market. Through research and comparison, one can identify the best product which suits one’s needs. With hundreds of products to choose from, this research can be quite confusing and time consuming. Thankfully, with the advent of insurance web-aggregators, simple comparisons of all products are available. Web-aggregators allow customised comparisons of products based on their features, coverage and premium besides other things. The fact that web-aggregators provide unbiased comparisons that has helped consumers in their search for the ideal insurance product.

There are few points which need to be kept in mind before buying insurance products:

1. Premium and Coverage: Expensive insurance policies are not necessarily always good. If premiums are identical, benefits such as OPD, Hospitalisation Cash Benefit, Coverage of Critical Illness etc. should be reviewed. Assess and identify the benefits you need. Choose the appropriate cover. Identify 3-4 products and compare them to find your ideal policy.

2. Basic Hospitalisation Cover: If your pocket doesn’t allow you to buy a comprehensive health insurance policy, you must buy a basic health insurance plan, which pays expenses incurred out of an accident or illness.

3. Sum Assured: Sum Assured can be determined on the basis of the city you live in and your family size. Keep in mind that healthcare cost more in big cities as compared to smaller cities, so determine sum assured accordingly. Typically, sum assured of Rs 2 to 3 lac, and Rs 5 to 6 lac for a family of 3 to 4 members in small and big cities respectively, are considered appropriate.

4. Family Floater Policy: It is always recommended to buy a family floater health insurance policy instead of individual policy. Under family floater policy, each member in the policy can utilise the sum assured either individually or collectively. Thus, you can save on premium.

5. Separate Policy for Parents: In family floater policies, premium amount is calculated on the basis of the age of the eldest member. Therefore, it is always advisable to have separate policy for parents, and save on premium.

6. Day Care Procedures: Before buying insurance, have a look at the list of diseases covered under Day Care Procedures.

7. Exclusions: Before signing on the policy document, policy buyers should go through it very carefully. And, also ask for detailed terms and conditions of the policy. In any policy, exclusion part is very important because it mentions the diseases and scenarios which are not covered under the policy.

8. Top-Up: If your employer has provided you a health insurance policy, and you want a policy of higher sum assured or coverage of critical illness, you don’t need to buy separate policy. For this, you can top-up your existing policy with required sum assured and benefits. Doing this, you can save on premium.

9. Claim Settlement Ratio: Check the claim settlement ratio of the insurer before buying insurance as this directly relates to how many claims does the insurer pay on average. The higher the ratio the better it is.

10. Network-Hospitals: In the case of an illness, you are most likely to choose hospitals which are near your place of residence. You must try and choose insurers which have these hospitals on their network.

11. Seek expert advice: In case of any confusion, do not hesitate to seek expert advice. You can choose from your agent, insurer, health advisor or a licensed web-aggregator. Pick up the phone and make an informed decision.

23. March 2017 · Comments Off on How Are Car Insurance Costs Calculated? · Categories: Car Insurance

What will effect the cost of your car insurance?

Put simply, the price you pay is determined by the type of cover you need (e.g. fully comprehensive cover versus third party) and how often and how much car insurers expect you to claim on your policy.

To work out the likelihood of you making a claim insurers will look at details about you and your car, and these details can greatly affect the amount you will need to pay for car insurance. Below are the key factors that car insurers use to determine the cost of your insurance premium:

About your car:

Car Value – The more expensive your car is the more expensive it will be to replace (and typically, the more expensive it will be to fix too). So, the higher the cost of the car, the more you can expect to pay for your insurance.

Car Power – The faster and more powerful the car, the more likely it is you will be involved in accident. This will increase the likelihood of you both making a claim and also the size of that claim, so higher power cars typically have higher cost premiums.

Car Desirability – The more desirable your car the more likely it is to get stolen. Replacing a stolen car is a huge cost for the insurer and so this risk will be reflected in a higher premium. Some classic cars for example can incur larger than normal premiums.

About you:

Your Age – Younger drivers statistically have a higher risk of having an car accident and so will pay the most for insurance (the 17 – 25 age group typically has the highest premiums)

Your Job – Some professions are statistically seen as including higher risk individuals (e.g. students, journalists, actors etc.) and so will be used as a factor in deciding the cost of your insurance.

Where You Live – As a rule of thumb, built up urban areas are likely to have more traffic on the road (increasing the likelihood of an accident) and more car theft and so living in such areas will increase the amount you will need to pay for insurance.

Car usage and storage:

Your Claim History – Insurers believe that if you have claimed in the past you are more likely to claim again. Most insurers will offer a no claims bonus which can significantly reduce the cost of your insurance.

Previous Penalty Points – Insurers take this as a sure sign that you are a high risk driver and will reflect this in charging you more for insurance than those with a clean license.

Car Storage – Keeping your car in a garage as opposed to on the street can reduce the chance of theft and therefore reduce the amount you will be expected to pay for insurance. This can be particularly important if you live in urban areas where insurers will charge more due to the perceived increase in the risk of car theft.

Mileage – The more you drive the more you are likely to be involved in an accident so higher mileage policies will typically cost more.

Type of cover:
Third Party Vs Third Party Fire and Theft Vs Fully Comprehensive – The level of cover you require is one of the more obvious factors determining how much your insurance is going to cost you.

Voluntary Excess – If you are willing to accept some initial costs of your future claims upfront this will both reduce the amount of claims you are likely to make and also the cost of those claims to the insurer. Insurers will therefore offer you lower cost premiums.

Unfortunately, some of these things you can’t change (like your age), but other things like how you store your car, how carefully you drive and the type of car you buy can all have a significant positive impact on reducing the cost of your insurance.

17. March 2017 · Comments Off on Vintage Car Insurance – How to Find the Best Rates · Categories: Car Insurance

If you have a vintage car then it probably cost you a lot of money. Most people who buy vintage or classic cars do so not only because they like them, but because they see the vehicle as an investment. Once you have spent thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars on a vintage car, you need to be sure that you have the right kind of insurance policy.

When you are shopping for car insurance you’ll find that the type of insurance you need will be different to that for ordinary cars. Once you start looking you should try and find an insurance company that specializes in insuring vintage cars. Vintage cars require specialist coverage. The type of coverage you will need will depend very much on how your car is used. You will need a different kind of premium if the car is only driven to specialist shows and exhibitions, than you would if you drove your vintage car like a regular vehicle.

Providing you take the time to look for the right kind of policy for your car, then it is possible to save money on car insurance. You should not insure a classic or vintage car under a standard insurance policy. If you have bought your car as an investment piece then you don’t want to be driving it around in the same way that you would an ordinary car.

There are guidelines for insuring different types of vehicles and you should be familiar with these before you insure your car. If you want an insurer to give you a good quote for your vintage car then you need to have been driving for at least five years as insurance companies want to protect your asset as much as you do. Providing you are twenty five or older it should be easy to find insurance for your vintage car as insurance companies will look on you as less of an insurance risk than a younger driver.

When you insure a car, insurers will want to assess both your security and your driving skills before they will allow you to take out a speciality premium. You should have a car that is old enough to be considered a vintage vehicle and this standard will depend on the company that you buy your insurance from.

Some insurance companies will only give vintage status to cars that are nineteen seventies vintage or older. You should know that policies will differ depending on the age of your car. Another thing that insurers will take into consideration is whether you have an insurance policy of an ordinary car before they grant you a special policy.

If you do tend to drive a vintage car on a daily basis then insurance companies may regard that car as too much of a risk, as the more a car is driven the sooner it is likely to deteriorate and decrease in value. Insurance companies offer special premiums based on the actual cash value (ACV) of your car, the stated value (SV) and the agreed value (AV) of the vehicle.

When you give the insurance company a value for your car they will pay it but they cannot insure you for the stated value. Most vintage car owners get their insurance on the basis of an agreed value of the car. This means that they will agree with you a value for your car and take into consideration your investment and any maintenance, and then they will give you a policy for that value.

10. March 2017 · Comments Off on Easy Application and Renewal of Car Insurance Policies · Categories: Car Insurance

Buying Different Insurance Policies for Your Car

The car insurance policies available in the current Indian market differ and depend on the vehicle that you want to purchase. Insuring your car is as important as insuring your life from uncertainties. To suit the changing needs of people, the Indian insurance industry offers many different types of policies. No matter which car you own, availing adequate coverage to protect your vehicle is very important. Inadequate insurance coverage will do no good to your vehicle. When you plan to buy a vehicle insurance policy you need to keep in mind things about the cost of application, its coverage, policy period and other details. Usually people buy insurance policies that offer maximum coverage preferences. In order to avail professional coverage for your beloved car, you can meet the expert policy providers and ask them about available schemes.

Check the Coverage

Whenever you plan to buy vehicle insurance, you need to check its coverage details. Make sure to buy a policy that offers expected protection. You never know which natural calamity or a human error would damage your car. When it is insured from a well-reputed insurance company you receive required ama

• Disasters like fire strike and car accidents

• An act of damage or theft

• Natural calamities or an uncertain event

• Your car insurance policy would also cover costs related to damage repairs, crash or installation of new car parts.

Typically, buying a new car insurance policy from a safe and secured website is a fastest way to safeguard your asset. Thanks to loans and betterment of standard of living of the people, more and more families are able to buy their new dream car. With insurance policies, you can easily offer coverage to your dream vehicle and keep it protected.

Whether you want to buy a brand new policy or renew an already existing one, you can depend on the online portals. Car insurance renewal is a simple procedure that you can follow with just a few clicks. Generally, you can apply for a suitable vehicle insurance scheme as per your age. Just like the personal insurance, it is essential to apply for vehicle insurance at an early age. The younger you apply for a policy, higher the insurance premium will be. In order to avail genuine insurance policy for your vehicle, make sure to contact a reputed agent or a broker. They will help you find out all details about available policies and their coverage features.

As more and more people are planning to buy second hand and small cars, they find it simple to insure them from a professional broker. Easy online application and renewal procedure of the insurance policies allows people to quickly avail required services. Use the calculators to accurately calculate the policy premiums or use the tools to compare different policies. You can even find a policy that has been custom made as per personal requirements and coverage details.

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