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Don’t Trust Every “Low Cost” Medical Plan

I don”t know about you, but when I see the term “low cost,” I immediately assume the product is of very little use and limited quality. And when I see the Infomercial king Billy Mays pitching a health insurance policy…well…I know there”s something wrong. And there is.

The policy he”s peddling is like Swiss cheese. Full of holes…and full of something else as well! Consider these policy provisions on the 1100 Series policy:

$100 application fee. Sorry…but you NEVER should pay an application fee.
Only $1000 of surgery coverage per year. Seriously…I”m not kidding!
Limit of $20 per blood test of lab test.
Limit of $220 for an MRI.
Only $1100 of your hospitalization charges are covered per year.
Anesthesia charges limited to $250 per surgery (that”s about 10 minutes, folks!).
NO outpatient surgery coverage.
Inpatient hospital expenses such as lab work, blood tests, medications etc…are NOT covered!

Ohio Rates

And it keeps getting better! For Ohio residents, the cost is NOT $50 per month, as you might expect. Try $159 per month and a whopping $269 per month for an entire family. That’s a lot more than you expect to pay for an “inexpensive” healthcare plan.

At those prices, you should get a food dehydrator, a knives and cutlery set, a pasta maker, a pocket fisherman and an autographed picture of Lebron James. In fact, now that Lebron is back home playing for Cleveland again, perhaps a pair of season tickets should be thrown n the deal.

Granted, this plan is a little better than the dreaded “discount plans” that have flooded the market. But, there are many inexpensive major medical health insurance plans that are a much better option than Billy”s overpriced product.

Better Alternatives

A few of these options include UnitedHealthCare”s Copay Saver plans, Anthem”s Value plans and Aetna”s Value plans.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) would also be a much better alternative to may of these infomercial-style health plans. An HSA gives you major medical health coverage at an extremely affordable rate. Although most expenses are subject to a deductible, you will receive network-negotiated discounts and in some cases, preventive coverage at little or no out-of-pocket cost. There are also tax advantages to many HSA policyholders.

To be eligible for a Health Savings Account, an individual must be covered by a HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and must not be covered by other health insurance that is not an HDHP.

You are only allowed to have automobile, dental, vision, disability and long-term care insurance at the same time as an HDHP. You may also have coverage for a specific disease or illness as long as it pays a specific dollar amount when the policy is triggered. Wellness programs offered by your employer are also permitted if they do not pay significant medical benefits.

To view high quality Ohio health insurance plans, please click on the “Get Instant Quote” button at the top of the page.

UPDATES:

June 2009 – Sadly, Billy Mays passed away yesterday. I know we”ll all miss him.

September 2010 – I still miss Billy, but not info-commercials! There are a lot of medical discount plans still being peddled and most of them are still not worth the paper they”re printed on.

October 2014 – Billy Mays, is of course, still gone. But LeBron is back and the NBA season starts next week! Regarding these untrustworthy healthcare plan pitches on TV…they’re all gone. With the passage of the ACA legislation, the market for those types of policies dried up since many consumers now qualify for a federal subsidy.

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5 Responses

  1. Tom Coleman says:

    The key is – can the client “qualify” for traditional insurance? If so – then they have no business in a LBP or Discount Card Plan.

    These plans should only be sold to those who can’t get real insurance coverage.

    Something is better than nothing . . .

    Tom

  2. CST says:

    I have been a multi state licensed health and life insurance broker for almost 15 years now. One of the biggest challenges I have had to deal with through the years has been trying to help the uninsurable. Unfortunately in most states if you have one of a host of “pre-existing” medical conditions you are labeled as uninsurable on an individual health insurance policy.

  3. Mark says:

    I find the problem not with getting uninsurables a limited medical plan when we have exhausted all other options including the state risk pool.

    In my opinion, the problem is phone rooms selling these plans to consumers who qualify for Major Medical, or taking someone off Cobra or a Major Med to put them on a limited benefit product.

  4. C.A.I. says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  5. chumps10 says:

    Thanks. There are a few more “low cost” Ohio health insurance plans now available. Anthem has a high
    deductible plan worth considering.