There are many Ohio health insurance companies that offer individual and family coverage to consumers . Anthem Blue Cross, UnitedHealthCare, Medical Mutual, and Aetna are the four largest carriers. But there are numerous other reputable carriers that offer Marketplace medical coverage on the Exchange. And you don’t have to answer any medical questions and you can’t be turned down because of pre-existing conditions.
However, although Medical Mutual and Anthem will be active participants “on” the Marketplace,” UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule) and Aetna will only offer policies “away” from the Exchange. That is, they will offer plans that may not contain all 10 “essential health benefits” that Exchange plans have. Of course, the price may be quite a bit less than the other options.
CareSource and HealthSpan are two carriers that will be offering policies to consumers. Molina and Ambetter will also offer coverage in certain areas. Ambetter (Buckeye Community Health Plan) will offer vision and adult dental options which should be reasonably priced.
The names of the policies have evolved and changed over the last 10 years. “Saver” and “Limited” descriptions are rarely used any more since there are now a myriad of required benefits that must be included on every plan sold on the Exchange.
To help you select the most affordable plan, a comprehensive list of the major providers is shown below:
Anthem Blue Cross is the largest Ohio health insurance company, providing coverage to almost one out of every four insureds. A wide variety of plans are available, including “Blue Access Plan 2,” Anthem’s most comprehensive policy. The “Value” plans offer substantial discounts in exchange for limitations of office visit and prescription coverage. Of course, these plan names, as previously mentioned, will change.
UPDATE: In March of 2009, Anthem introduced three new plans. The “Premier” plan is a comprehensive policy featuring lower out-of-pocket costs. The “SmartSense” plan is a comprehensive plan with some limitations in benefits. And the “Lumenos HSA” plan ha some new features.
Medical Mutual of Ohio (MMO) is one of the oldest carriers. Recently, they expanded their plan portfolio to include some lower-cost plans. Their smoker rates are very competitive, and MMO’s Health Savings Account (HSA) policies (Wellness plans) feature some of the best rates in the state. Their 0% coinsurance plan is very popular. More Medical Mutual information can be found here.
UnitedHealthCare (UHC) offers a broad range of polices at extremely competitive rates. After purchasing Golden Rule Insurance company a few years ago, UHC’s market share substantially increased. Rates are based on zip codes, as opposed to the more common county-rating system. At the very high BMI (Body Mass Index) ratings, UnitedHealthcare is not as forgiving as most other companies. One of UHC’s strong points is their large portfolio of options including multiple coinsurance and copay choices.
Celtic has excellent temporary plans that are typically the lowest (or close to the lowest) cost. Their “Basic” plan has limited coverage but is very low-priced. However, in 2013, they announced they were downsizing their portfolio and would be concentrating on Medicaid-supplement policies.
Kaiser offers medical coverage to residents of Northern Ohio. Residents in the Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati areas will not be able to obtain a policy since they are not in the service area. Catholic Health Systems (CHS) purchased Kaiser’s business in the Buckeye state in 2013 and will utilize the Healthspan Integrated Care network of providers. CHS also purchased the Summacare business in the state.
Humana is not always the lowest-cost option, but offers comprehensive plans with solid coverages. They are one of the few companies to offer maternity coverage, and have a very popular policy They limit the number of covered doctor visits but the rate is attractive.(Autograph Share 80 plan) that allows six office visits and is competitively priced. Their “short-term” rates are excellent and you’ll see them featured on our website.
Aetna began offering individual plans in 2005. Since that time, they have added many new plans, including the low-cost “Preventative and Hospital Care” policy. Overall, Aetna’s prices are extremely competitive. Their “Value” plans have become more popular in recent years.
They will not be participating in the Marketplace or Open Enrollment in 2014. However, they will offer “off-Exchange” policies that may be popular to persons that don’t qualify for the federal subsidy from Obamacare.
Time (formerly Fortis) Company, offers more policy options than almost every other carrier. But, unfortunately, their rates in Ohio are extremely uncompetitive, and they also receive an unusually high number of consumer complaints.
UPDATE: May 2011. Time (also known as “Assurant”) has reduced the number of consumer complaints. They are the only carrier in the state that offers “child only” policies, although after 2013, all carriers will offer that type of plan. Assurant will be very active in the non-Exchange market.
UPDATE: October 4th 2013. Additional options will be available on the State Marketplace ,including Molina, Coventry (HealthAmerica), Medical Health and CareSource Management Group. Aetna and UnitedHealthcare will offer plans that are not officially on the Exchange.