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Choosing a Health Insurance Plan is More Complicated Than You Might Think

Family healthcareWe’re all glad that we now have the ability to log into a state-run health insurance exchange, select a plan that suits our needs and (in many cases) even receive a subsidy to help cover our premiums. This is a great advancement for Californians, especially those who previously could not access a quality health insurance plan.

However, nothing is perfect, and your health needs. And from there, you face numerous offerings from different health insurance providers. The plans differ in price, but they can also differ in other ways. Some consumers can find the shopping process a bit overwhelming.

In California, our exchange is an “active purchaser” model, meaning Covered California negotiates with insurance carriers to ensure that rates, networks, and covered prescription drugs might vary from one plan to the next.

What does all this mean? In short, a plan that is a good deal for someone of your same age, health status, and income in another region of the state, might not be right for you. That’s mostly due to the fact that provider networks vary, so a plan might be more limited in its provider offerings (or even be unavailable) where you live.

The following eleven insurance companies have been approved to participate in the Covered California exchange this year:

  • Anthem Blue Cross of California
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Chinese Community Health Plan (only in San Francisco and San Mateo counties)
  • Health Net
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • LA Care Health Plan
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Oscar Health Plan of California
  • Sharp Health Plan (only in San Diego County)
  • Valley Health Plan (only in Santa Clara County)
  • Western Health Advantage (only in the North Bay area and Greater Sacramento)

Because plan networks and shopping for health insurance can be easier than ever.