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Health Insurance Costs California Question & Answers

2013 August 31
by Sarah Fields

Susan asks…

What are my options for health insurance in California if I don’t have an income?

My mother is currently without income, but needs health insurance. What kinds of programs or health insurance options are available for someone without income in California?

Sarah Fields answers:

It’s not just about income, it’s ALSO about assets. If Warren Buffet retired tomorrow and had no “income”, he’s not going to qualify for welfare.

The only insurance that “costs less than it costs” is welfare – Medicaid, or Medi-Cal, in California. She’ll have to apply to see if she’s poor enough to qualify.

John asks…

Who has the best health insurance in California for college students?

I am a full time college student, and I am looking for health care insurance, but I’m not for sure which to go for. I was looking up Blue Shield of California, Health net, and Kaiser, but I’m new to this.

Sarah Fields answers:

I’m not a big fan of HMO’s, such as Kaiser, where you have a gate keeper system in place. A gatekeeper system is where you have your personal care physician “PCP” and you have to go through that doctor to get anywhere else (such as OB/GYN, cardiologist, etc.). I do like PPO or POS plans (Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net), AETNA) as I can choose my own physician and I don’t usually have to go through them to get a consult with another specialist.

When choosing an insurance company at any point in your life, you need to know what you can afford and what your needs are. Find out exactly what each plan covers and doesn’t cover, how high of a deductible (the amount out of pocket you will have to pay before your insurance kicks in), what your co-pay will be (flat fee or a percentage of the office visit) and if vision, dental and psychiatric care is covered. An insurance broker may be able to assist you with finding the best coverage for you as well as explain the benefits of each policy.

You may also want to make a trip to your school’s health department. Some schools offer a low cost health insurance plan or can refer you to a reliable broker. Depending on your age and if your parents are a part of your live, you may want to check with them. If they have insurance through work, you may be able to get coverage under their plan as you are a full time college student.

Good luck!

Lizzie asks…

How will Obama Care affect my existing health insurance plan through my huband’s work?

My son and I have health insurance through my husband’s work. My husband is covered 90% where as both my son and I are covered 0%. We live in Northern California and do not qualify for any government programs. We could only afford the $1,500 deductible plan which we pay $580/month. We are healthy people but accidents happen and we are afraid of the fees attached to having a $1,500 deductible/$3,500 Max for the three of us.

My question is, how can my family and I take advantage of Obama Care in 2014? Will our current health care provider offer my husband’s company more reasonable rates or will my family and I have to shop around for a better “deal” at the end of this year?

Sarah Fields answers:

Covered California is the new website for 0bamacare and has a calculator available. If you are around age 30 the cost of insurance for a family of three in CA is estimated to be $861 per month with a $12,800 annual out of pocket maximum.

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