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California Group Health Insurance Alternatives

What are the COBRA Alternatives – Individual Health Insurance

California health insurance is a must today. Medical costs are soaring and without health insurance, individuals often face devastating financial burdens and obligations that affect family savings, retirement, and even quality of life. Unfortunately, when California group health insurance benefits come to an end, individuals get left with unanswered questions regarding health insurance alternatives.

What Alternative is there to Cobra and which one offers an affordable monthly premium?

Independent California health insurance agents provide a multitude of California health insurance services and options to meet the needs of individuals, families, seniors, and the self-employed. While in some cases, California group health insurance offer lower premiums than insurance plans purchased by individuals, major carriers provide affordable individual, family, child only health care plans in many different health plan designs and prices. Top California health insurance carriers offering these flexible group health insurance plan designs include Anthem Blue Cross, Shield Blue of California, United Healthcare, PacifiCare, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente, as well as HealthNet.

Group health insurance benefits could be threatened for individuals and their family when in between jobs, or those that are transitioning from traditional employment to self-employment or home-based business development. In cases of divorce or job loss, health insurance plans are available from California health insurance companies at affordable rates. For example, most major health insurance carriers provide individual HMO (Health Maintenance Organization), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans that offer more traditional fee-for-service scenarios and the newest plan design HSA health plans which are high deductible health plans.

HMO's require individuals to pay monthly premiums that cover comprehensive care such as hospital stays, emergency care, doctor’s visits, lab tests and x-rays, surgery and therapies. The drawback to HMO's is that individuals are limited to doctors and medical facilities that take HMO payments. In addition, HMO's provide preventative care and don't require individuals to fill out confusing or lengthy claim forms. In most cases, an individual is assigned to or is offered a choice of a physician to serve as a primary care doctor.

PPO plans are similar to HMO plans with the exception that the individual is often required to pay a small co-payment or percentage for doctor’s office visits and services. Like HMO's, PPO's cover preventative care. Individuals who choose PPO plans may choose physicians out of the "accepted network" although they will pay a higher cost for services of doctors not found on the approved area provider list.

Many consumers are familiar with COBRA, but make the mistake in believing that COBRA is a specific type of insurance, while it is in reality a congressional act that allows retirees, former employees, spouses and dependent children to temporarily continue group rate health insurance coverage for a limited amount of time. COBRA can be quite expensive and other alternative such as purchasing your own individual California health insurance plan is available with independent California health insurance agents.

Individual health insurance plans are purchased directly from independent health insurance providers and more often than not have a lower monthly premium than COBRA health plans. Individual coverage not only offers lower rates for healthy individuals as well as the choice of selecting a specific insurance carrier and customizing benefits suited to individual needs, in most cases, individual health insurance may be carried from job to job, unlike group health insurance plans.

Take the time to compare insurance plans, benefits as well as payments required by major California health insurance companies before choosing. In many cases, independent or alternative healthcare may be catered to specific needs of every individual and family. Discuss options such as individual, family, or child-only health insurance coverage, carriers, and quotes with an independent health insurance carrier.

Finding the right California Health Insurance Plan

At you can use our powerful Instant California Health Insurance Quoting tool free of charge to compare health plans from all the top rated California health insurance companies in one easy quote. You will see every plan from every carry all side by side along with prices and benefit details. If you want to double check if your doctor or if your local hospital is “in-network” with any particular plan we also provide the most up-to-date provider network information for every carrier we quote. When you find a plan you like, we offer several was to sign up.

  1. Our site provides carrier direct links for people who want to go green and apply for health insurance online. This is our most popular way to get a California health insurance plan started. It is also the best option for those looking for the fastest way to get a health insurance application to the carrier.
  2. If you prefer to fill out an application by hand, our California Health Insurance Application resource center has the most up to date applications from all the carriers you see in your quote. They are in .pdf format and come with instructions on where to forward the completed health insurance application for proper processing.
  3. And if it is absolutely necessary we can mail you an application. If you do decide to have an application mailed to you we will need to confirm you address by phone before we mail it so be sure to provide accurate contact information.

Whichever way you decide to apply, it’s important to get a health plan that you will be able to afford for the long term. Get a California Health Insurance plan in force and keep it until you turn 65 and go on Medicare.


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