There are several long standing and trusted companies in the Los Angeles health insurance market that East Coast Health Insurance is proud to offer. These include Cigna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, HealthNet, and Kaiser Permanente. A new addition for 2016 is Oscar Health Plan of California, a small, government exchange carrier with affordable EPO-network policies.
Actually, with all of these companies offering plans you might think picking a plan in Los Angeles would be more difficult than treading water in a pool of acid, but it isn’t! Mostly all of the companies here have slimmed down their plan offerings to only the most logical and straightforward plans, and in fact I only found 45 total available plans. However, health insurance is way more expensive in Los Angeles than the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area where we are headquartered and sell the most plans.
In any case, which Los Angeles health insurance plan is the most attractive? Let review the offerings from each carrier first (in alphabetical order) and then pick out the best values. I ran sample quotes on a 40-year-old in Los Angeles.
Anthem Blue Cross of California
There are two Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in the same city: one from Anthem, a large chain of state run independent Blue Crosses, and the independent Blue Shield of California. Both of these companies were constantly in the news because of rate increases, which is not really their fault.
Health insurance premiums are not dictated by the insurance company alone, but are a factor of health care costs. Obviously, if a company wants to raise premiums exorbitantly they could do so in the past, but eventually the policy holders would flee and they would get a ton of bad publicity.
These Blue Crosses had unusually low premiums in the first place and had to increase them to reflect cost factors at the time and are now seemingly in line with other carriers. On the other hand, they are no longer the price leaders either in many demographics.
Anthem Silver 70 D HMO
$2,250 Deductible | $45 Office Visit Copay
$278 per month
Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield Silver 1850 PPO
$1,850 Deductible | $45 Office Visit Copay
$295 per month
This year, Cigna is only offering LA health plans with deductibles on the high end. Of the 3 Cigna policies available here, Health Flex 6400 covers some of your medical care with a $60 primary care office visit copay before deductible – but they’re not giving anything away at $295 per month. Unless you’re healthy, young and eligible for a tax credit from Covered California, I definitely would shop elsewhere!
Cigna Bronze Health Flex 6400 PPO
$6,400 Deductible | $60 Office Visit Copay
$295 per month
Health Net has some awesome plans, and to be honest I would probably chose their HMO plans if I lived in California. (I like HMO’s because they cover so many things with first dollar coverage.) However, they don’t have a plan to compare to the ones we have been discussing.
Health Net is selling one policy on this area, and it’s actually a great Platinum HMO for $324 per month. The rate is steeper than the Blue plans, yet most basic and major types of care are covered at copay. You can use this plan right away if you need to as there is no medical or pharmacy deductible.
Health Net Platinum 90 HMO
$0 Deductible | $30 Office Visit Copay
$324 per month
Kaiser Permanente offers simply the best plans in California at great premiums. Most Californians trust the name as it’s such an easy plan to use and they have assurance that their doctor accepts the coverage.
The plan we chose includes coverage for urgent care, primary care and specialist office visits and prescriptions immediately for a flat rate. There is a $250 copay for emergency care, after the deductible is met. Remember though with HMO’s: Unless it is an emergency, you simply can’t go outside the network.
Kaiser Permanente Silver 70 HMO 1500/40
$1,500 Deductible | $40 Office Visit Copay
$302 per month
1. Image: CityYear.org