Basic Health Insurance Questions Answers
Questions about low cost health insurance, short term medical insurance and other related benefits are addressed by OnlineAdviser service Back to Index of all MedSave.com Questions & Answers
Q: If you work in a state that is approved for Basic Health Insurance but live in a state that is not, are you still eligible for Basic Health Insurance?
A: Basic Health Insurance is available to individuals with a resident address in AK, AL, AZ, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WI and WY. This insurance is also available to the employees of businesses located in AK, AL, AR, AZ, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, KY, MD, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI and WY. In your case, the insurance is available if you apply as a business with two or more participating employees. The rates and coverage are the same, but the application is made by downloading, printing and mailing the completed employer and employee enrollment forms from www.basichealthninsurance.net rather than use the online enrollment form. All other aspects of the coverage are the same.
Q: For the basic health insurance, do you get a card in the mail? This is the one that is $38 a month. Do I get a booklet on which providers I can go to? or is all of the info online? I will need this to start at the end of April, do I just sign up then? or do I need to do it earlier?
A: Yes, ID cards are mailed at the end of the month when you enroll online and coverage starts on the following 1st day of the next month. This policy does not offer downloadable ID cards.
You may use any medical provider in the U.S. You may wish to read the article titled "Does My Doctor Accept this Insurance?" at http://www.medsave.com/health-insurance-articles/Does%20my%20doctor%20accept%20this%20insurance.htm for more information on the claims handling procedures with this type of "cash indemnity" type health insurance that can be used with any doctor.
There is a toll-free number for all member support printed on the ID card and listed in the FAQs on the Web site at www.BasicHealthInsurance.net.
For coverage to start April 1, sign up online in the middle of March at www.BasicHealthInsurance.net. You will receive an immediate confirmation by e-mail but the actual policy will be mailed on or after the policy start date.
Please be aware that Basic Health Insurance is intended as a limited benefit supplemental coverage and will not provide adequate coverage for catastrophic medical claims.
Q: I applied for supplemental Basic Health Insurance online thought we already submitted the payment and everything, but we have not gotten anything in the mail yet and I received an e-mail saying the application was "almost complete".
A: This means one of three things: 1) the payment may not be processed (due to a credit card or bank issue), 2) some information is missing on the application or 3) nothing is wrong, the communications just crossed paths. In any case, you can get a clarification by calling the plan administrator at 800-279-2290. Since this call involves revealing private personal and financial information, the status will be given only after you verify your identity to the member service representative to protect your identity.
The best way to independently verify an online insurance enrollment prior to receiving the policy is to check for evidence of a payment made on your bank or credit card account. If there is no proof of payment, then do not assume that insurance is issued. Depending on what day of the month you enroll, this method of checking an application may not work as well for Basic Health Insurance since all policies are started on the 1st of the month regardless of when you enroll. Initial premium payments tend to be delayed until the start date and policies are usually received in the first few days of the month. For this reason, It is better to call to get an update by telephone.
Finally, keep in mind that Basic Health Insurance is meant to be a limited benefit supplemental insurance and should not be relied on as the only protection from potentially catastrophic expenses. It is important to combine supplemental insurance with major medical insurance, like the low cost short term and renewable insurance plans listed at MedSave.com, whenever possible.
Q: Does basic health insurance help with maternity cost if my wife gets pregnant later on?
A: Yes, this can be a way to provide supplemental coverage for out-of-pocket maternity expenses. Many policies have exclusions for maternity care, but this policy does not. Maternity expenses are covered in the same manner as any other medical expense. Of course all medical expenses are subject to a six month waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions and benefits are limited to the dollar amount shown on the insurance certificate. See www.basichealthinsurance.net or the listings at MedSave.com for more information.
Q: I have a pre-existing condition and I wanted to know if Basic Health Insurance covered this and if so what are the plan details?
A: Yes, pre-existing conditions are covered the same as any other medical expense after you have been enrolled in the insurance for 6 months. See http://www.medsave.com/articles/basic-health-insurance.htm for an overview of the coverage and then www.basichealthinsurance.net for all of the details and online enrollment.
Q: I have some questions I would like to ask regarding Basic Health Insurance. Is there a phone number I can call, and could you also supply me with the name of the person I would be speaking with?
A: The phone number for SASiD, the plan administrator for Basic Health Insurance is (800) 279-2290. Everyone at SAS who picks up the phone is qualified to answer your questions. Alternately, you can continue to use this independent OnlineAdviser email service for any specific questions.
Q: You said that there is no advantage to buying group insurance as opposed to an individual buying Basic Health Insurance. But the online brochure says this is guaranteed issue group insurance.
A: Whether you enroll through your employer or as an individual, Basic Health Insurance is always group insurance and is always "guaranteed issue" without regard to your medical history.
The only difference between enrolling through your employer vs. individual enrollment is that the premium cost is 10% less with employer-provided plans. This requires a payroll reduction election for the cost of coverage and the premiums must be collected for all employees who elect this coverage and submitted monthly by the employer to the insurance company. Considering the low cost of this insurance, it might not be worthwhile for an employer to go through this added expense. In a small company it might be easier for each employee to go online to www.basichealthinsurance.net and enroll themselves.
Q: The coverage and pricing of "Basic Health Insurance" seems too good to be true in comparison with other health insurance plans. What am I missing?
A: It is true that Basic Health Insurance (www.BasicHealthInsurance.net ) is one of the least expensive health insurance plans available today. It is also unique in that issued regardless of the applicant's medical history and covers all pre-existing medical conditions after the policy has been in force for 6 months. This policy has no deductible or co-payments and can be used with any doctor or hospital in the United States. There is no network of providers and no required pre-authorization of treatment. Benefits are paid to the policyholder in cash even if other health insurance is available. All this adds up to a perception that this coverage is "too good to be true". But this insurance provides only limited coverage, as the name implies. The maximum dollar amount of benefits available for each covered medical procedure is listed on the online quotation page, on the Web site, and in the policy itself. This health insurance policy is not designed to pay for all of your medical bills. It is great for covering part of the cost of an occasional doctor visit or lab work, but it would be silly to rely on this as the only insurance coverage for a surgery or hospital stay. This insurance is most appropriately used when used in combination with other catastrophic health insurance. It should not be the only health insurance except as a last resort.
Q: I need Basic Health Insurance coverage today. The page is not available for me to download a form.
A: Occasionally online insurance enrollment services have outages due to technical problems or scheduled maintenance. Try again now at www.basichealthinsurance.net. The site works properly more than 99% of the time.
Q: What is the difference between 'Basic Health Insurance' group policy for a business and the coverage that is available to individuals?
A: There is no difference except that the price is 10% lower when 3 or more are apply at the same time with a paper application to be billed to the employer. The application process is also different. Individual applications are done directly online, whereas the group plan enrollment forms are downloaded and mailed.
The coverage is exactly the same since this is a group insurance product available to both individuals and businesses.
It is important to emphasize that this is a supplemental insurance that provides cash in addition to other benefits, not intended as the primary protection. All of the rates and forms are available at www.basichealthinsurance.net.
Q: I need supplemental health insurance due to the fact that I have been diagnosed with angiomyolipoma of the right kidney and my current health insurance has denied any coverage for that "pre-existing". Will the Basic Health Insurance plan cover any expenses incurred for treatment of angiomyolipoma, which consist of a follow up x-ray to check the size of the benign tumor every six months? I know that this plan has a six month waiting period still. I am just trying to find coverage to cover any follow up visits and treatment regarding this condition only.
A: Basic Health Insurance covers pre-existing medical conditions after six months but keep in mind that this is intended as supplemental insurance, not as primary coverage. The amount that Basic Health Insurance for a doctor 's visit, lab test or each other type of medical procedure will pay is listed at www.basichealthinsurance.net by clicking "Get a Quote" and then "Highlights". Notice that the benefit amount paid depends on the plan that you select.
Q: How do I get a quote on Basic Health Insurance for my small business and when do benefits begin?
A: The price sheet along with enrollment forms can actually be downloaded from www.BasicHealthInsurance.net under the section titled "Employer Sponsored Plans". There is no need to wait for a quote from the insurer. One employer application form is submitted by the employer and one enrollment form is used for each participating employee. Participation is voluntary and coverage may be paid by either the employee of the employee. Both of these forms are also available at the same location. Coverage begins on the first day of the month after the completed application and initial payment are received.
There are no medical requirements, so you can be assured that all employees will be approved. Certificates of coverage are usually mailed within 10 days after application.
Any number of employees may obtain coverage but remember that the group rates listed assume that three or more employees will enroll and payment will be made in one employer check. If one or two employees want to enroll separately then the cost is 10% higher to cover the additional billing requirement.
This is one of the least expensive group health insurance plans available and is therefore a popular "starter" benefit for small businesses, but the benefits are limited. Ideally, this coverage should be combined with other individual or group catastrophic insurance to cover deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. This policy is a popular substitute for AFLAC; this plan provides only medical insurance benefits so the cost is lower. The cash benefits are paid regardless of other overlapping insurance coverage.
Q: I need low cost health insurance because I am a student and I saw that Basic Health Insurance is the least expensive plan.
A: Basic Health Insurance is not suitable as the sole protection for students because the maximum benefits will not cover the full cost of a medical bill. This coverage is usually combined with a major medical insurance policy and acts as a supplement to cover holes in deductibles and co-payments left by other insurance. For more information, see the "Student Health Insurance" article at http://www.medsave.com/Student-Health-Insurance.htm
Q: I have some questions regarding eligibility for Basic Health Insurance and pre-existing conditions. My father has lymphoma and has recently been laid off from work. He was diagnosed last January and has been receiving treatment since under the coverage provided by his employer. He will continue to be covered until the end of may and then he will go on cobra for 18 months. As of right now his prognosis looks as though he may need coverage after cobra so I was just wondering if he would be eligible for coverage with Basic Health insurance, and what his monthly payments will be along with what treatments the insurance will cover. He is currently having Rituxin treatments every six months and may need to undergo chemotherapy in the future.
A: Basic Health Insurance is a supplemental insurance that should not be relied on to pay for your father's serious treatment. This small amount of health insurance pays cash to fill the deductibles and coverage holes left by other more comprehensive health insurance. Once you have primary insurance, you can easily answer the other questions about eligibility and price of this secondary insurance. See "Availibility of Basic Health Insurance" for availability and http://www.basichealthinsurance.net for online pricing and enrollment.
Q: You wrote that basic health insurance coverage can be continued after qualifying for Medicare as a supplement, yet when I try to get rates for someone 65 or over at www.BasicHealthInsurance.net the site does not allow that.
A: Basic Health Insurance is issued to individuals online only up to age 65 but once a policy is issued it may be kept in force until age 70 in addition to Medicare. When this health insurance is offered through an employer-sponsored group plan there are no age restrictions under federal law. Rates for group plans are not quoted online but are available in the employer's enrollment brochure available online. The employer enrollment materials are available from the home page at www.Basichealthinsurance.net just below the section for individuals and families.
Q: I recently started a new job and no longer need the Basic Health Insurance plan. I noticed that I am automatically enrolled at the beginning of each month. How do I terminate my enrollment, do I have to contact Markel Insurance directly?
A: Basic health insurance is a supplemental insurance that is used in combination with employer-provided group health insurance. (The name can be misleading because it seems to imply an insurance that might be used in place of employer-provided health insurance). This is a long term plan that continues year after year unless you cancel. It provides cash payments directly to you in addition to the benefits paid by the primary group health insurance. This policy becomes even better after the policy is in force for six months because benefits are extended to include coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. It is not necessary to change or cancel Basic Health Insurance when you leave a job or get a new position, regardless of other heath insurance. You will probably benefit more by keeping this plan as the higher level of benefits become available in the future, but if you want to cancel the insurance, you may do so at any time by calling the plan administrator at the number listed on your card or policy. (If you do not have either the ID card or the policy, call (800) 279-2290). For your protection, neither the insurance company personnel nor the enrollment adviser can cancel your coverage. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page at www.BasicHealthInsurance.net.
Q: I recently read a suggestion you gave to a reader to purchase Basic Health Insurance in order to cover pre-existing conditions. However, when I followed the link provided in your column, the Basic Health Insurance page warned that it should only be purchased in combination with other insurance, such as Short Term Insurance. I do not understand why this is necessary. And isn't Short Term by its very name intended to be used as a temporary fix?
A: Basic Health Insurance can be paired with short term medical insurance to improve overall coverage. In reality, almost all health insurance policies purchased by individuals are a "temporary fix". Most people obtain group health insurance through employers or association benefit plans or through public programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The average life of a health insurance policy is less than one year and less than 2% of individual health insurance policies last more than two years. We purchase individual health insurance only until a better deal comes along; in the large majority of cases a better deal is only a matter of months away.
The terms "Basic Health Insurance" as well as "mini-med" and "limited benefit policy" refer to health insurance that is not designed to cover the whole amount of a medical bill. They can be used to supplement other coverage or as a "starter" coverage when other insurance is unavailable or unaffordable. In the case where coverage is needed for pre-existing medical conditions, Basic Health Insurance (www.Basichealthinsurance.net) is one of the few policies that offers this benefit for policies that have been in force for more than six months. In addition, since Basic Health Insurance allows you to use any doctor and pays a cash benefit to the policyholder regardless of other insurance, this is an easy way to supplement the out-of-pocket risks left by other health insurance.
In contrast, the term "Short Term Medical Insurance" means a major medical insurance that is designed to cover the entire amount of catastrophic bills above the chosen policy deductible and any required co-pay. Despite the name, short term medical insurance policies can be in force for up to three years and subsequent policies can extend the coverage period even longer.
Ideally, the two types of health insurance coverage are used together in combination to provide the most complete coverage, especially where pre-existing medical conditions are involved.
The terminology used in health plans can be confusing. When in doubt, get a personal recommendation from OnlineAdviser service. This is a free service and can help avoid a misunderstanding later.
Q: Is Basic Health Insurance available in New York?
A: No, Basic Health Insurance is not available in New York state but but the few other supplemental health insurance plans like Core Health Insurance and Value Benefits Hospitalization insurance available in New York stated are listed at http://www.medsave.com/low-cost-health-insurance-listing/ny.htm . If you have Basic Health Insurance issued in another state and then move to or receive medical treatment in New York state, the coverage may continue in force.
Q: How fast does Basic Health Insurance start?
A: Basic Health Insurance is group insurance and is not designed as an "immediate issue" coverage. Group insurance starts on the first of the month following eligibility and receipt of completed application with premium. Since there are no medical eligibility requirements, the important thing is to make sure that your payment is received if you did not make a credit card payment when you enrolled online.
If you need insurance issued immediately before the 1st of the month, select any of the plans listed as " short term medical" at MedSave.com. These can be effective within hours (at midnight) after you enroll online.
Q: How do I cancel Basic Health Insurance?
The best way is to fax a request to Pioneer Management Systems at 413-265-2779 Attn: Maureen. Include the policy number, your name and address used on the policy and sign the request. A signature is required for your protection. If a fax machine is not available, the request can be sent by mail to:
Pioneer Management Systems Problems with cancellation of insurance are rare but in the event there is any issue you will be required to
show proof of delivery of the cancellation request so please send your request with delivery confirmation. You may confirm receipt and processing of the cancellation by calling 800-279-2290 or the member support number listed on the ID card a few days after sending your request. Please allow a week for receipt and processing if your request was sent by mail.
Since a signature is required, Basic Health Insurance cannot be cancelled by telephone or e-mail. MedSave.com, its employees or affiliates may not accept a cancellation request for any insurance.
Is Basic Health Insurance really insurance and not one of those discount plans?
Yes, Basic Health Insurance is an insurance plan that does not incorporate any discount features. The insurance company is Markel Insurance Company, rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.
Will my doctor accept this insurance?
Attention: FringeMark Account Claims
P.O. Box 6600 Holyoke, MA 01041
Pioneer Management Systems
Problems with cancellation of insurance are rare but in the event there is any issue you will be required to show proof of delivery of the cancellation request so please send your request with delivery confirmation. You may confirm receipt and processing of the cancellation by calling 800-279-2290 or the member support number listed on the ID card a few days after sending your request. Please allow a week for receipt and processing if your request was sent by mail.
Since a signature is required, Basic Health Insurance cannot be cancelled by telephone or e-mail. MedSave.com, its employees or affiliates may not accept a cancellation request for any insurance.
Q: Is Basic Health Insurance really insurance and not one of those discount plans?
A: Yes, Basic Health Insurance is an insurance plan that does not incorporate any discount features. The insurance company is Markel Insurance Company, rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company.
Q: Will my doctor accept this insurance?
A: Basic Health Insurance pays benefits directly to you and not to a doctor. It is common for a doctor to defer collection on a portion of your bill that you expect to be covered by insurance so that you may have time to submit the claim and forward payment to your doctor.
You may wish to read the article titled "Does My Doctor Accept this Insurance?" at http://www.medsave.com/health-insurance-articles/Does%20my%20doctor%20accept%20this%20insurance.htm for more information on the claims handling procedures with this type of "cash indemnity" type health insurance that can be used with any doctor.
Q: Why is Basic Health Insurance so cheap?
A: Basic Health Insurance provides the lowest dollar amount of benefits payout in comparison to any other type of health insurance. The price of health insurance is directly controlled to the benefits that the policy pays. A listing of the dollar amount of benefits available is included at www.basichealthinsurance.net.
Q: Basic Health Insurance sounds like a good deal, but what if I need more coverage?
A: Basic Health Insurance can be combined with any other insurance to increase the overall level of protection. If this is the only insurance you can afford or can find available, then think of this plan as a starting point until you can add another coverage. A common next "step up" in price and coverage is Core Health Insurance.