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AMERICAN HEALTH SHIELD REPLACEMENT

January 1, 2010

Q: I was covered by American Health Shield through Chesapeake Life for a long time and was very happy with it.  I need to extend my coverage.  Why do you now recommend "Simple STM" policy over American Health Shield?

A: Chesapeake Life no longer offers short term health insurance.  American Health Shield is now written by Fairmont Specialty Group.  The product "Simple STM" is the same insurance at the same prices but offers a superior online resources service that support online pricing, enrollment and policy service.  So this recommendation of using "Simple STM" instead of "American Health Shield" is simply a case of getting more value for the same low price for those who are likely to utilize online enrollment. Either option is available.

One of the most important advantages of the Simple STM computer service is the ability to offer downloadable policies and ID cards online.

Three of the most important advantages the current policy offers over the older American Health Shield policy are:

1.  lower price in most areas

2.  policy durations up to 12 months with unlimited re-applications

3.  access to PHCS national preferred provider network for discounts on out-of-pocket medical costs (there is no penalty if not using PHCS providers)

The major disadvantage is that prescription drug coverage is not included under the base insurance policy, but is available under a separate optional rider.  This change is in line with the overall national trend of separate prescription drug coverage from basic health insurance so it seems likely that all health insurance policies will change to cover prescription drugs by rider by the end of the decade.

 


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