Cheap Health Insurance in California: Find the Best Option That Fits YOU!

By: Thomas E. Bell
Updated: September 5, 2022
health insurance in california

Your guide to getting the best and cheapest health insurance in California plan for you.

It’s much easier to get a health insurance plan if you’re employed. Most job offers come with a health insurance policy or at least some terms that ease the process of getting health insurance.

However, for most of us Californian residents that are self-employed or do not have jobs that cover a health insurance policy, you might be finding it difficult to get the best and cheapest health insurance Cal plans from insurance providers.

A good health insurance plan to get as a self-employed resident in California should be affordable and offer a good percentage of insurance to cover health expenses.

To enroll in a new and affordable health insurance California plan, it’s best and easier to apply during the open enrollment period. This period will most likely run from November, 1 to January, 1 or January, 15. Usually, an event in your life like having a baby, losing your former health insurance cover, or even getting married could set you up to be potentially qualified to make the California health insurance enrollment list.

Ensure you search for the best health insurance companies there are and choose one with a good name and an easy claiming process.

 

What should you know about getting health insurance in California?

There are some aspects of getting a health insurance plan in California you should know. We can also talk about a few factors to consider and on which your choice of an individual health insurance plan should depend. You need to check out these things:

 

cheap health insurance in california

 

–       The provider’s eligibility:

You may want to retain a current health insurance plan and the doctor or healthcare professionals involved. However, make sure they are still eligible so your plan doesn’t go to naught. Also, ensure they are still in-network so you remain covered under the provider’s plan.

–       Medication eligibility:

Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, the coverage on drugs and medications would differ greatly from what may be obtainable on other health insurance plans.

If you frequently use medications, you should ensure they are well covered under the insurance plan. Don’t be down and get free quotes and it will help you to cover the highest medical costs.

–       Considering higher premiums or higher out-of-pocket costs:

For residents of California that frequently visit the hospital for checkups or appointments to see the doctor, it would be easier to manage lower copays. However, these would come with much higher premiums.

On the other hand, individuals who do not regularly need to see the doctor would be advised to opt for higher copayments and much lower premiums.

–       Open Enrollment:

Unlike it is with most other states, California has a more extended period for open enrollment in the state’s health insurance plans. To get insurance plans that would commence their validity in 2022, the enrollment period extends from November 1, 2021, up till January 31, 2022.

–       Special Enrollment:

Other life events that may occur for an individual like childbirth, relocation from another state to California, marriage or loss of a job or previous form of health insurance cover could deem them eligible to qualify for a special enrollment period.

–       Type of health coverage:

Only about less than 8% of the population of residents in California are uninsured according to the statistics.

48% of those insured already have a group health cover.

25.3% have Medicaid health insurance cover.

11.4% are registered with Medicare.

6.6% have non-group health cover, and just about 0.9% have a military health insurance plan cover.

–       Networking:

For individuals that don’t regard doing the paperwork or making and receiving phone calls, you should choose an insurance provider that has very good and working customer service that would do the bulk of the work.

–       Marketplace plans:

You’re only expected to use the health insurance exchange that’s sponsored by the state of California if you qualify for a subsidy. If this is not your case, you should get a health insurance plan sourced from a broker or through an agent. You coil also get this straight from an insurance company without the unnecessary bottlenecks. Learn about epo plan’s pros and cons so that you can find the best plan for you.

Price scales for the metal tiers in Health Insurance In California

How much you pay for health insurance will undoubtedly vary greatly depending on different factors. Your home address, health status, age, and some other things will be put into consideration before the insuring company will decide how much health insurance cover they can offer you.

For example, the insurer would decide on a base rate for an insurance plan and then set the premium costs based on the individual’s age. The higher the age, the more the risk of health issues, and consequently, the higher the cost of the premium to be paid.

The health insurance plans are categorized with a metal tier system that shows how much health insurance cost in California you are to pay for each health insurance.

The tiers are labeled as Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

 

affordable health insurance in california

 

Bronze Health Insurance Plans

Bronze plans have the cheapest premium costs but also have the smallest amount of insurance cover. With bronze plans, you would most likely get a high deductible and out-of-pocket costs limit.

However, the cost of a Bronze health insurance plan is averaged to have risen from about $301 to $327 in the past few years.

 

Silver Health Insurance Plans

Silver plans would give you more health insurance cover than Bronze plans in comparison. And you also get lower deductibles, lower out-of-pocket costs, and even lower copayments. But, as you should expect, the premium you would pay is significantly higher.

The average cost of a Silver health insurance plan as of recent is about $395.

 The monthly cost of the most affordable Silver plan decreased from $416 to $395 between 2019 and 2022.

 

Gold Health Insurance Plans

The Gold plans offer very high coverage on your health insurance plan but they also have very high premiums.

As for deductibles, they might have even as low as $0 so your insurance typically starts to pay for coverage even without you having to pay any huge sum of money. The Gold health insurance plans would also come with the lowest copayments costs. As of 2022, the cheapest health insurance California plan with the gIld metal tier is about $426.

 

How To Find Your Best Low Cost Health Insurance In California

Getting the best health insurance plan in California is relative to each person so the point is to find which plan is the best for you. Making this choice is dependent on which plans are available in the state at the moment. It could also depend on the situation of things for you both medically and financially.

With California’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), there has been an extension of insurance health coverage from Medicaid.

You should ensure to check out the deductibles and premiums available for a private health insurance plan to decide what your budget can sustain and then which plan you should go for. For moderate or lower expenses on medicals, it is better to go for one of the lesser metal tier plans since these require less costly premiums but not as many benefits on sharing the out-of-pocket costs.

 

Best Plan For High Medical Cost

Prioritizing your medical needs is the most important factor in deciding on which of the metal tiers of health insurance plans to go for.

For those with higher medical needs and hence more medical expenses, it is best to get a high-cost metal tier. That is, either of the Gold or Platinum metal tier health insurance plans would be the best fitting for individuals with high medical expenses. These plans are the highest you can find with the Covered California exchange and they offer insurance coverage on about 80% to 90% of the expenses on health care.

The Gold and Platinum metal tiers health insurance plans will require many higher monthly premiums when compared to the other lesser tiers of insurance plans. Nonetheless, they still come with the best offers and perks including lesser out-of-pocket maximums costs, lesser deductibles, and payouts. In the long run, you’d find that the Gold and Platinum plans are theist economic for individuals with very high medical costs.

 

Things To Note In Buying A Healthcare Insurance Plan In California

Comparing and contrasting health insurance quotes in California entails just much more than comparing the premium costs. The deductibles, copayments, and other factors might be very different. Let’s consider these things to check out when choosing a health insurance plan.

–       The deductibles involved in the health insurance plan

The amounts involved in deductibles show how much you are expected to put in before a health insurance plan will begin to cover your health expenses.

Mostly you should see this just close to where the premium of the plan is stated. For individuals that would need regular health care or emergency health services due to any underlying medical condition, that amount would probably be paid towards health care in the next year. The deductible as well could be charged wholly. For this set of people, it’s not a wise choice to choose a plan that has very high deductible costs.

–       Also, check out the prescription coverage contained in the plan

To choose the best health plan, you should also consider if you’d be relying on a particular prescription for a long period with an individual health insurance plan; or if any member of the household is in a similar situation with prescriptions of a family health insurance plan.

If the medication prescribed is that expensive, you would have to pay for its full cost till you reach the deductible amount of the plan, and following that, an amount of coinsurance percentage. So, at the end of the day, you should be looking to procure an insurance plan where you can pay a high monthly premium for low copay and deductible costs being cost-effective.

–       Check the network of the insurance plan provider

You should do this to ensure that the healthcare professionals, doctors and whosoever should be involved would be able to take up the insurance plan you choose.

If you take an insurance plan outside the network or go to a different region outside the network to receive medical attention, you might have to bear the full costs for the treatment.

You might also have a doctor you’d prefer to treat you. If that’s so you should also ensure that the doctor accepts the health insurance plan you choose. The level of plan you choose would also determine if you would need a referral from your default doctor or if there is any need to see a specialist.

The bottom line is to consider your needs and financial budget for health care before buying a health insurance plan.

To help make your choice you could ask these questions;

  • How much is health insurance in California?
  • What is the structure of the plan?
  • Which insurance providers are covered by the network?
  • What does the health insurance plan cover?
  • How much out-of-pocket costs would you pay per the plan?
  • How much does the plan offer for low-cost health insurance Ca coverage?

If you consider the necessary health care needs and how your budget fits in with the insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the plan you’re checking out, you’re on the right path to getting the best plan for you.

 

California Health Insurance FAQs

Is there short-term low cost health insurance in California?

No, there are no short-term low cost health insurance Ca plan options in California at the moment.

In California, a bill was passed by the legislative arm of government that restricts any insurance provider company from offering health insurance plans to residents of the state of California that would only run for short terms less than 12 months for the date of effect. The legal prohibition took effect in 2019 and hence made it illegal for insurance providers to give short-term insurance health plans.

Does California require health insurance?

Yes, as a California resident, you must have at least a low income health insurance California plan. It’s either that or you bear the brunt and the penalty which is about $750 for the average adult and $375 for a child.

Do I have to use the Health Insurance Marketplace in California?

No, you don’t have to.

As a California resident, you have access to a dedicated health insurance exchange offered by the state which is the “Covered California”. This dedicated insurance program may not be obtainable in other states.

However, you don’t need to use the health insurance marketplace to enrol for a health insurance plan in California. That is, you can choose to use the healthcare.gov platform or not, depending on what you feel is best for you.

Do I still require a health insurance plan if I already have an HSA/FSA?

An HSA and FSA would help you save money for medical expenses. However, it’s still necessary to have a health insurance plan.

This is because you might be in a situation of medical emergency and such a situation would warrant more expenditure on health care than what you might have saved up already with an HSA or FSA. So, having insurance coverage for health care as a California resident is still a very good idea so you can avoid having to pay penalties on tax.

Would I still need disability coverage if I have a health insurance California plan?

Yes, even with your health insurance California plan (which is very much needed), you should still get some disability coverage. Why? Both plans – health insurance and disability insurance must have many different uses. A typical health insurance plan would cover the cost of healthcare and other medical expenses whereas disability insurance replaces lost income for being unable to work due to some disability like a serious injury or critical illness. So, the disability insurance plan would help you get back most of the loss that you may incur in the eventuality of any of these injury or sickness cases.

 

How do I get cheap a health insurance California plan?

Getting the cheapest medical insurance in California may not be all that simple. But with the right guide, you should be able to find the best and most affordable health insurance California for you.

The ideal way to get the cheapest medical insurance in California for yourself is to check out the health policies of the different health companies that provide health care insurance plans in California. After you get the health insurance quotes California from the different affordable health insurance California companies, you would be able to reason between the offers and see which of the insurance plans are the cheapest or most expensive and why. Any plans that attract more health insurance costs in California would most likely have something more to offer than a relatively cheap medical insurance California plan.

Then, the point would be for you to understand this and compare the different plans with your own needs, what you can’t afford to miss out on in a health insurance plan and what isn’t necessary for you. Based on that, you should be able to choose the right insurance plan that suits your health needs even at a very affordable and financially convenient cost.

 

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