Cheap Health Insurance for Single People: Plans with Basic Coverage and Low Premiums

Whether you are self-employed or simply unfortunate enough to work for an exploitatively capitalist company that does not offer benefits, you may need to purchase your own health insurance plan. If you are like me (fairly young and in good health), you may be looking for cheap health insurance for single people – basic coverage with low premiums and adequate benefits in case of an emergency or other onerous health expense. For those of us without pre-existing conditions, children, or other complicating factors, a simple health insurance plan with a high deductible may be appropriate. If you can afford to pay for most low-cost medical expenses out-of-pocket and just want to cover yourself in case of hospitalization, surgery, or a hefty unforeseen medical expense, there are several providers that offer cheap health insurance with low premiums for single people.

Availability of basic coverage does vary by your geographic area, your state’s regulations, and other details beyond your control. Since no company offers this type of insurance in every single state, I have focused on providers who sell relatively cheap health insurance for single people in a large number of states (14 or more). Here are four companies offering plans with basic coverage from whom you can request quotes.

Celtic – basic coverage available in 33 states
http://www.celtic-net.com/

Using my own profile as a non-smoking 27 year-old Wisconsin resident, I found cheap health insurance plans with Celtic that touted low premiums, like $66 a month for a $1500 premium and 20% coinsurance. That particular PPO plan stood out as a good deal for single people – a very reasonable premium in exchange for a relatively low deductible. This means that, once my annual costs crest above $1500, the insurance kicks in such that (in most situations) I would only pay 20% of future bills. For basic coverage at under $70 a month, this is a well-balanced plan. Celtic offers a wide variety of plans, but as the deductibles go up (to as high as $5000), the monthly premiums don’t decrease significantly to accommodate. Celtic claims that it has earned an A.M. Best “Excellent” rating of A- since 1986. For payment options, they also offer both monthly EFT and quarterly bills.

Golden Rule – basic coverage available in 26 states
http://www.goldenrule.com/

At least in my state, Golden Rule had a plethora of options. They offered me 23 different plans, all with slightly different features. The most expensive was a $500 deductible plan (that’s very low!) with a monthly premium of about $150. For this higher monthly payment, I’d have the security of knowing that my benefits kicked in rather quickly (less worry about having lots of cash to cover expenses in an emergency). Leading up to the end of the spectrum, with premiums half as high, Golden Rule offers plans with deductibles of $1000, $1500, $2000, $5000, and numerous amounts in between. Once the deductible is met, some plans cover office visits and some don’t, so be sure to investigate all the details. But there’s bound to be a cheap health insurance plan through Golden Rule that is perfect for single people in your situation, provided you live in one of their 26 states. Golden Rule is also rated “Excellent” by A.M. Best.

Aetna – basic coverage available 14 states
http://www.aetna.com

Although Aetna’s basic coverage plans are not available in Wisconsin, for the purposes of quotes, I pretended to be a single person living in other states. They offered me a limited selection of plans – usually just four or five. The one low-deductible plan was comparatively expensive at nearly $200. For someone seeking cheap health insurance, that might go over budget. There were a few other plans with more reasonable rates, but I noticed that coinsurance was sometimes at 30%, higher than most plans by competitors. Depending on your state of residence, you may get more variety in Aetna’s offerings, so it’s worth trying in the name of low premiums. And I must note that some cheap health insurance seekers might feel more comfortable with Aetna, as it is more of a household name than the other companies profiled here for single people.

Time Insurance – basic coverage available in 18 states
http://www.timeinsurance.com/

After searching in several states, I found very little flexibility or choice in Time Insurance plans. Premiums were very high compared to similar plans by other companies in the same states. Time’s A.M. Best rating is solid at A-, and they are an Assurant Health Company, meaning that they are part of a much larger, well-known organization. But as far as I can detect, there is no clear advantage to Time Insurance, at least for single people who want basic coverage Low premiums and good benefits are available from too many other providers.

Final Note: Some aggregate sites like www.ehealthinsurance.com provide quotes from multiple companies at once, so you may want to use such a site to identify other cheap health insurance providers who sell basic coverage to single people in your area.

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