How To Select The Right Health Plan For Your Needs
California Medical Insurance Plans
The primary medical insurance companies in California are Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Cigna, Health Net, and Kaiser. There are more health insurance companies that offer medical insurance in California, but these are small regional insurance companies that usually can’t match the pricing from the companies listed above. An exception in San Diego is Sharp Health Plans.
On this page we’ll show you a simple 5 Step Process that will help you find a health plan that meets your needs at an affordable price. We’ll also teach you How To Compare Plans by focusing on the important benefits of each plan. If you have questions about any step, please call us.
5 Steps to Get The California Health Insurance Plan For You!
- Go to the Health Insurance Quote Information page, and read the entry “4 Keys to Understanding Health Insurance Plans,” and answer the 2 Pivotal Questions.
- Look at the Recommendation Table on the Health Insurance Quote Information page to determine which category describes your situation, and then review the specific plans that best fit your category.
- Run a Health Insurance Quote and click the “Check to Compare” boxes (in orange) beside the ones that were identified in the Recommendation Table and then click the “Compare” button to get a side by side view of the medical benefits.
Narrow your choices to 2-3 plans.
- If you want to maintain your current doctors, then search the 2-3 insurance companies’ provider directories for your doctor names. Choose the health plan that has your doctors and best fits your needs and budget.
- If you earn too much to be subsidy qualified, then click on the “Apply Now” button in the quote next to the plan you selected. If you are subsidy qualified, then call us at 858-613-3628, or email to info at spfinsurance.com and we will help you complete the Covered CA application, or give you instructions on how to make the application easier.
If you have any problems or questions, please call us and one of our Advisors will help you.
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San Diego Medical Insurance : 4 Questions to Determine Which Plan Is Best For You
Welcome to SPF Insurance! In just a few minutes you’re going to know everything you need to be able to get a great health insurance plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. At SPF Insurance we’ve made it easy for people in San Diego to get Medical Insurance, so don’t worry that it will be tough. It won’t be. We’ve been helping people get Health Insurance since 2003, and we’ve taken everything we’ve learned about how our clients needed to get information and recommendations and put them into this webpage. We’ll walk you through the quick process and make sure you don’t miss a thing.
The first step is to answer 5 simple questions about what medical services you actually use. These 5 questions will make it easy to determine if a health insurance plan will provide the medical benefits you need. So let’s get started.
How many times do you go to see the doctor each year?
Do you take generic or brand name prescriptions?
- h3>Do you have a Doctor you want to continue to see?
What are you financially able to afford?
If there’s more than one person you’re trying to get California medical insurance for, just jot down the average number of visits for each person. If one of the office visits is for preventive services, such as a physical, an annual OB/Gyn checkup, or a mammogram and pap smear test, then don’t count these as doctor visits, because preventive services are now free in all plans. So if you are a female and you go see a doctor a couple times each year for colds, and you have your regular checkups, then you’ll write down 2 office visits for yourself (just the 2 visits for colds).
Now, when looking at San Diego medical insurance plans, you’ll want to make sure that you select a plan that offers at least 2 office visits. If there are other members of the family, then pick the highest number from the family and that becomes the number of office visits you need your health insurance plan to have.
Medical insurance plans offer 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and unlimited office visits. The plans that offer more office visits tend to cost more than plans with fewer visits, so you want to make sure you pick a plan that will give you what you expect to use. What we’re going to do here is “budget” your insurance dollars and make sure you don’t pay for more than what you will use. At the end of the questions if you find a plan that meets your needs and it costs less than your budget, we can look at upgrading specific benefits, or you can just pocket the savings.
The answer to this question is especially important, because lower cost health insurance plans don’t cover brand name prescriptions, and plans that do cover brand name prescriptions will have a higher monthly premium or cost. Another key part of this answer is that many California medical insurance companies will decline an application if the cost of brand name prescriptions is too high.
If you take no prescriptions, or only a couple generic ones then you will be able to select a plan that only offers generic prescriptions and save money on the monthly cost of the insurance plan. If you do take a brand name prescription then make sure the insurance plans you select from offer coverage for this benefit, or that you are prepared to pay for the cost of your prescriptions out of your pocket.
Stop by a little later to read an upcoming post on how to save cost on your prescription medications.
Then while you are reviewing the plans in the health insurance quotes, you’ll want to click on the “View Provider Network” link at the bottom of each plan you are interested in. This link will enable you to search your doctor’s name to see if they are in the insurance company’s network of providers. If your doctor is part of a large medical group here in San Diego, then they will probably be in every insurance network, and the fastest way to check this will be to call the medical office and ask which medical insurance the doctor accepts. This information can also be found by clicking on the name of your medical group in the article “How do I find a good physician?”
This last question is pretty straightforward. The San Diego medical insurance plan you select needs to be affordable and fit within your budget or monthly spending plan. A second part of this question relates to your ability to pay for some medical costs as part of the deductible of the health insurance plan you select.
If you select a plan that has a $5,000 deductible, then if you were injured and went to the emergency room, you would be responsible for up to $5,000 in expenses before the insurance company began to pay for your medical services. Is this an amount you can afford now, or within the next few years? If not, then perhaps a lower deductible might make more sense.
One word of wisdom regarding the financial effects of a health insurance deductible, is that the likelihood of something happening that would cause you to have high medical expenses is fairly low. So, although a $3,000 or $5,000 deductible may seem pretty high, the odds of you needing to come up with this amount of money is somewhat small, and you would typically be better off picking a higher deductible and saving cost on the insurance plan monthly premium.
With these factors in mind, decide how much you can afford to spend on your health insurance plan.
Okay, now combining all the answers from the 4 questions, we’ve got the outlines of what your San Diego medical insurance plan is going to look like:
- We know how many office visits the plan needs to offer.
- We know if the plan needs to offer generic or brand prescriptions.
- We know whether we need to see if your doctor is in the network.
- We know what you can financially afford.
The next step is to run a Quote, so right click on the “Health Insurance Quotes” link to open the quote in a new window or tab, and enter the information to get your quote. When that’s done come back here to continue the process.
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Easy Way To Compare Health Insurance Plans In The Quote
Now that you have the quotes, it’s time to review the various plans to determine which ones fit the needs you’ve outlined from the 5 questions above. Depending upon where you live there are up to 150 different plans, so the list is pretty long.
To make the process easier, we need to make sure you understand what the 4 key parts of every medical insurance plan are:
- Office visits
- Out of Pocket Maximum
- Prescription Benefits
These are the 4 parts that we will focus our attention on because they affect everyone, and all the other benefits affect only a small number of people. If you are not comfortable with what the above terms mean, then please see the article “4 Keys to Understanding Health Insurance Plans”.
A quick way to shorten the list of plans in your medical insurance quote is to look at the health insurance recommendation table. This table shows the best plans for various groups of people. Look at the table to see which of the 6 categories fits you best, and then use the plans in the recommendation table as the starting point to find a good plan for your needs.
Now go back to the quote and find the plans from the recommendation table, and on the left side of each plan is an orange square with a “Check to compare” box. Click this box for each of the plans you want to compare (no more than 4 at a time), and once you’ve selected the plans, then click the grey “Compare” button at the bottom of the orange box. Now you can see the full detailed description of each plan compared side by side.
The important thing is to focus on is the 4 Key areas we outlined above, and the outline of your plan we put together with the 5 questions. That way the comparison does not become an overwhelming task. Looking at the plan benefits side by side will make it easy to remove some plans from consideration, and finally, you will be able to decide on a single plan that best fits the needs you outlined earlier.
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Online Applications Are Fast
The next step is to fill out an online application for the medical insurance plan you want. Before you begin, I recommend you read Application Tips – Position Your Application For Approval. Once you’ve read that, then on the quote, click the green “Apply Now” button on the right side of the plan you’ve selected.
When you begin the online application for your Medical Insurance, you will create a username and password. A little tip here is to NOT try to use a normal username because millions of people have created usernames before you. I recommend using a random set of letters and/or numbers for the username and password and then writing them down for later use. If you need to stop filling out the application to look up information, or for any other reason, just save your application using one of the buttons on the application screen, and then you can log into the application portal later to continue filling out the application.
A word of warning: Insurance Applications typically do not work with Apple browsers. Please use either Chrome or Firefox (or Internet Explorer).
If at any time in the application process you have questions, please call us and let us help you.
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