"the average household cost of health insurance nationally is $12,000..."
Woodland Hills, Ca (PRWEB) October 03, 2011
http://www.BrilliantHealthPlans.com is a domain name owned and managed by Brilliant Insurance Services, a California based insurance brokerage, that serves the entire state. The “beauty” of the site is its rating engine that provides instant online quotes for health insurance in California.
Shopping for health insurance rates in California is a “hot button issue” that every household is concerned about these days. This is not just a broad-stroke claim – it is a reality. According to the Insurance Journal, the average household cost of health insurance nationally is approx $12,000 per year (see http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2007/09/12/83416.htm for details).
Health Insurance plans are complex in terms of understanding the variety of definitions and coverage. Comparing the price of plans from one carrier to another is challenging because the coverage is not exactly uniform. That is where the beauty of the rating engine on http://www.BrilliantHealthPlans.com comes in quite handy!
Getting a quote just couldn’t be easier, as only two bits of data are required – zip code and age of the applicant. Once the rates are generated there is a filter to help narrow down the choices. From that point the rates are sorted in order from the lowest cost on the top and increase as you scroll down the page. One of the nicest features is the ability to choose a few plans and compare the features side-by-side.
The insurance companies whose rates are available on the platform include Anthem/Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Aetna, CIGNA, HealthNet, Celtic and Kaiser. California individual health insurance quotes couldn’t be easier! The hardest part is choosing the plan; that’s what the agents are for. However, the savvy customer who knows what they want and just wants to barrel through the on-line application has the ability to “bridge” over to the insurance company’s website and apply for the policy directly, without the aid of the agent.
According to World Health Organization, World Health Statistics 2009, “The mixed public-private health in the United States is the most expensive in the world, with health care costing more per person than in any other nation, and a greater portion of gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on it than in any other United Nations member state except for East Timor (Timor-Leste).”(source wikipedia.org)
While most concerned Americans have heard of “Obamacare”, the majority of Americans are unfamiliar with the actual provisions it contains. They are enumerated here, courtesy of Wikipedia.org:
“PPACA includes numerous provisions to take effect over several years beginning in 2010. Policies issued before the law was promulgated are grandfathered from most federal regulations.
- Guaranteed issue and partial community rating will require insurers to offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age and geographical location without regard to most pre-existing conditions (excluding tobacco use).
- A shared responsibility requirement, commonly called an individual mandate, requires that nearly all persons not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or other insurance programs purchase and comply with an approved insurance policy or pay a penalty, unless the applicable individual "is a member of a recognized religious sect" exempted by the Internal Revenue Service, or waived in cases of financial hardship.
- Medicaid eligibility is expanded to include all individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level along with a simplified CHIP enrollment process.
- Health insurance exchanges will commence operation in each state, offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance (with a government subsidy if eligible).
- Low income persons and families above the Medicaid level and up to 400% of the poverty level will receive federal subsidies on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange (persons at 150% of the poverty level would be subsidized such that their premium cost would be of 2% of income or $50 a month for a family of 4).
- Minimum standards for health insurance policies are to be established and all annual and lifetime coverage caps will be prohibited.
- Firms employing 50 or more people but not offering health insurance will also pay a shared responsibility requirement if the government has had to subsidize an employee's health care.
- Very small businesses will be able to get subsidies if they purchase insurance through an exchange.
- Insurance companies are required to spend a certain percent of premium dollars on medical care improvement; if an insurer fails to meet this requirement, a rebate must be issued to the policy holder.
- Co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles are to be eliminated for select health care insurance benefits considered to be part of an "essential benefits package" for Level A or Level B preventive care.
- Changes are enacted that allow a restructuring of Medicare reimbursement from "fee-for-service" to "bundled payments."
- Establishment of a national voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and support.
- Additional support is provided for medical research and the National Institutes of Health.”
According to Julie Karubian, CFO of Brilliant Insurance Services, “…the number of applicants for a health insurance quote has dramatically increased in the last eighteen months, as consumers are faced with reducing their household costs…getting this rating engine online has really streamlined the process. Furthermore”, she adds, “with the advent of ‘Obamacare’ everyone has questions”.
In addition to providing individual health insurance quotes, http://www.BrilliantHealthPlans.com has the ability to capture a “census” and generate “small group health insurance quotes” as well. More and more business are faced with saving money, but are also faced with trying to attract quality employees. Small group health plans (2-50 employees) are one way businesses are doing just that.
The future of health insurance is quite uncertain. Again using Wikipedia as a source, “A majority of the states, and numerous organizations and individual persons, have filed actions in federal court challenging the constitutionality of PPACA (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). As of September 2011, federal appellate courts are almost evenly divided on the constitutional issues raised in this litigation; at the district court level, three judges upheld the constitutionality of PPACA and three declared it unconstitutional, in part. Several other challenges were dismissed on technical grounds such as jurisdiction and plaintiffs lacking standing. The Supreme Court may review the matter as early as the end of 2011”.
While the future of health insurance in America is still unclear, one thing is certain – without health insurance, an accident or sickness could bankrupt an individual or family faster than you can blink.
Whether the client is looking or an Individual Family Plan or a Small Group health insurance quote, http://www.BrilliantHealthPlans.com can offer either PPO or HMO options. According to Julie, “…more clients are leaning towards PPO plans because they allow the consumer to choose what doctors they want to see in-network and out-of-network. HMO plans normally cost less for Small Groups but they do limit the consumer to seeing a Primary Care Physician and then waiting for a referral to see a Specialist.” PPO plans are going to be the most cost effective choice on an Individual Family Plan, however the consumer is subject to co-pays, co-insurance, and an annual deductible.
Brilliant Insurance is happy to help guide their clients through the “murky waters” of health insurance and ensure that they get the most “bang for their buck”.