Columbus Ohio healthcare plans are available from all of the state’s major companies. Single,family and business-owner policies can be purchased at affordable prices. And Columbus rates are among the lowest available prices in the area, especially compared to other major cities, such as Cleveland, Dayton, Akron and Canton.
Marketplace (Exchange) policies are available during Open Enrollment (OE). If you missed the deadline, selected plans can be purchased, including “short-term” and “special qualifying event” situations. If you have a “grandfathered” plan, you will be able to keep coverage regardless if it contains all required mandates. Most plans are “guarantee-issue,” so your chances of being denied are very slim.
What Determines Rates
Most carriers base their rates on many factors. Of course, the applicant’s medical history is no longer important during designated times of the year. Age, zip code, smoking status and the type of benefits you need, can weigh heavily in ultimately determining the price. The low and middle income subsidies may also apply during specific OE months.
Columbus is located in Franklin County, which is generally one of the lowest-cost counties (for health insurance policies) in the state. Even the surrounding counties, such as Delaware, Union, Madison and Licking, all have very favorable pricing. Reasons for these low rates generally include lower hospital charges, cheaper doctor’s visit charges, and in some cases, lower malpractice premiums for medical professionals.
Local Hospitals Play A Big Role
As the fastest growing city in the state, job opportunities in the medical treatment field have rewarded the area with some of the best hospitals in the Midwest. Grant Medical Center, Riverside Methodist, Doctors Hospital, and Mt. Carmel (East and West) are all highly-rated facilities and provide patients with superior treatment.
The presence of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (and OSU itself) also has a positive wellness impact on the community. There are numerous University programs designed to improve the health of patients and visitors, along with major research that is conducted through core facilities and external funding.
“The” University also offers a robust student medical insurance plan. The pricing of coverage depends on the type of benefits and level of treatment that is wanted. For young persons without coverage, the plan provides an opportunity to purchase a comprehensive policy while attending classes.
However, remaining on a parent’s plan or purchasing a private policy may be a better solution for many students. In addition to possibly qualifying for an Obamacare financial subsidy, it’s likely that a much broader selection of doctors, specialists, and hospitals will be found on a personal plan that is purchased separately.
The wide availability of doctors and specialists in the area improves quality and pricing.Patient satisfaction is high and quality of treatment compares favorably with all parts of the country. Healthgrades.com (We are not affiliated with them) provides Columbus Doctor Ratings that assist consumers when searching for related information.
Compare Columbus Rates With Other Big Ohio Cities
Comparing rates for a typical comprehensive health insurance plan for a 45-year old husband and wife and two children, we find the following monthly rates: (Price based on $45,000 of family income. Federal subsidy has been applied to rate and least-expensive “Silver” plan is used.)
It’s important to understand that the prices listed (above) are for plans that may not be the most appropriate policy to match your specific needs. Catastrophic, Bronze, Gold and Platinum options are also available at different rates. Depending on your claims history, often a slightly more expensive plan will result in thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket savings each year.
Also, the federal subsidy is based on a combination of household income and the Federal Poverty Level. The price you pay for your healthcare plan will be impacted by the subsidy. Conceivably, you could receive no subsidy, or a financial aid package that pays your entire premium. Simply contact us if you would like a quick and accurate calculation of your subsidy.
UPDATE: April 2011 – Columbus policies and rates have changed since this original blog entry was written in 2008. Certain plans are no longer available and rates have changed. A more current article is available on the website here.
UPDATE: April 2014 – Has it really been three years since I updated this blog article? So much has happened. Of course, the Affordable Care Act is in effect and Open Enrollment takes place every year. Keep in mind that many low-cost options are available throughout the entire year, and not just during Open Enrollment periods.