January 1, 2010

Q: I am looking for low-cost medical insurance coverage for my family. My wife and I live in Florida, are in our mid-forties, and have 3 children ages 9, 15, and 18. We are all very healthy and only need coverage for catastrophic events including emergency-room visits. Our target premium should be somewhere between $200 and $300 per month. What do you recommend?

A: With the average cost of health insurance in Florida now above $850 per month for family coverage, finding adequate protection in the price range you need is increasingly difficult. Assuming you do not need maternity coverage, the best deal may be "Secure "STM 12x3". This is a coverage that can last up to three years but most people who buy their own health insurance wind up switching after one or two years for their own reasons. This insurance is priced at $300 per month with a $5000 deductible. Pricing varies slightly by zip code so get a quote for your specific area online.  More detail is available in the article "A review of Secure 12 x 3 STM". Other than the stated limitations (no maternity and the need to switch after three years), this is an excellent catastrophic coverage run by an administrator that enjoys a strong consumer reputation for customer service.

Shorter term coverage is even less expensive; see any plan that indicates "short term" at http://www.medsave.com/low-cost-health-insurance-listing/fl.htm if your health insurance situation is likely to change within a year.

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