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Son turning 19 and needs health insurance
Old 06-12-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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Son turning 19 and needs health insurance

I live in Southern California. My son is turning 19 and falling off of my insurance. I would like to insure him. He will not be a student.

What should I look for in his plan? Who are the better insurers? Dedutibles? Co insurance percentages? Drugs?
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:08 AM   #2
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When my kids were in that situation, I called my existing carrier to see what they offered. We had Kaiser and I was able to apply and obtain a basic plan for $89 a month.

You might start with your own carrier with a basic deductible plan. I correctly assumed that my kids would not need any medical care the first year. Generally my boys would only need a physical each year to go to Boy Scout camp. So look at what care your son usually needs over a year and see if you can plan the best plan to fit his needs.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:46 AM   #3
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If they're in your area, Kaiser. Should be under $100 for a low or no deductible plan with a $30-50 copay with drug coverage. Only glitches might be if he's a smoker or very overweight or has some other preexisting condition.

We have Kaiser and like it a lot. I can usually get appointments the same day, tests and pharmacy are in the same building as the doctor and are done on an immediate first come first serve basis with usually very little waiting. Most results are available online by the next morning. No billing, partial payments, or dealing with multiple entities all trying to siphon money out of your pocket.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:52 AM   #4
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When my daughter came off my insurance, she went with Blue Cross Blue Shield's Young Adult Policy for less than $50 month. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover prescriptions, but she's been able to work around that with the $4 generic Rx plans at Walmart and other pharmacies.
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
We have Kaiser and like it a lot. I can usually get appointments the same day, tests and pharmacy are in the same building as the doctor and are done on an immediate first come first serve basis with usually very little waiting. Most results are available online by the next morning. No billing, partial payments, or dealing with multiple entities all trying to siphon money out of your pocket.
Wow - things have changed that much in CA over the last 15-20 years??!!
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:29 AM   #6
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I heard that Kaiser had a bad rep some time ago, but yes...they're nothing short of wonderful now. If you look at the consumer reports survey ratings, several of the area kaisers (california and IIRC oregon) are at or near the top of their charts and have been for the last 6-7 years that I've looked at them. And those higher HMO ratings are way higher than the highest PPO ratings.

After dealing with Cigna and Blue Cross through employer plans and Blue Cross under Cobra, these guys are a breeze. With the PPO's I had to make appointments with different providers for tests, got random bills and payment notices and always ended up having to write checks for $2 and $3 to various doctors and labs. If I was getting a physical and needed a blood test and an x-ray it was an all day event and it'd take me hours to figure out the paperwork, forms and payments.

When we were on Cobra I had to fill out the forms and file myself since BC never sent us our insurance cards. Took me almost an entire day to sort out the paperwork for two routine office visits, prescriptions and a pediatrician visit. Then BC rejected all the paperwork and I had to chase down the doctors to resubmit it again. Turns out the forms they let you download to self-submit claims dont have any place on them to put in some codes that only the doctors know, and without those they wont process the forms.

Yes, they give you a form that requires information you dont have, with no place to put it if you did, and they have no intention of accepting without that information on them.

In short...I think I can easily see why healthcare costs so much and why an HMO can offer superior value.

What I really like about them...oddly enough...is the managed care part that many people dont like. I was dealing with about 6 profit centers under the PPO plan: the doctor, specialists, labs, pharmacies, drug companies and an insurance company. Under this plan I have one profit center to deal with.

They're going to do everything medically necessary to mitigate expensive care down the road and make sure they dont get sued for malpractice. But they're not going to do the sort of crud I experienced under my PPO of making me come in for an office visit to get a prescription refill because the doctor needed the cash flow, or hooking me up with a medication I didnt really need because there were too many mixed interests involved.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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Thanks to everyone. I've always had my insurance supplied by the job and got spoiled. This is new to me. Your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:08 AM   #8
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I was insured by Kaiser NW for many years. They are my insurer/care provider of choice where ever available.
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