Author Topic: Travelers, how do you shop for health insurance?  (Read 1148 times)

Financial Ascensionist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Travelers, how do you shop for health insurance?
« on: October 31, 2016, 10:10:08 PM »
The 2017 enrollment is open and since I plan on doing quite a bit of traveling across the US next year, I want to find an insurance company that has good coverage nation wide.  The thing is, I really don't know how to tell if a company has good coverage.  Is there a list somewhere or a set of keywords that I should look for?

protostache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 896
Re: Travelers, how do you shop for health insurance?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 04:37:37 AM »
Every state has to have at least one "multistate" plan available on the exchange. On the Michigan exchange this is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield. That specific plan is a PPO where you can go to any provider in the country that accepts BCBS and the claim will be in-network for you.

I would look at your exchange and your state's BCBS affiliate for a multistate plan.

Need2Save

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 249
  • Location: Maryland (USA)
Re: Travelers, how do you shop for health insurance?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 07:57:38 AM »
OP - it's not clear if you still work for somebody and you are getting insurance through a job, or you are buying insurance in the private market or the marketplace?

Generally speaking in both terms of size of insurance company and also in size of national network, you'll want to consider the 4 big ones:

Blue Cross Blue Shield (as mentioned above).  They have regional partners with agreements to cooperate with one another nationally.
UnitedHealthcare
CIGNA
Aetna

However, if you are buying insurance on the marketplace, these national players are pulling out of many markets due to poor financial returns on ACA marketplace.  They just can't squeeze out a profit.  Each also has a menu of 'networks' and you'll want to pay attention to exactly which network you are gaining access to if you buy into their plan.  Some cheaper plans are intentionally narrowed into one regional network to reduce costs and you'd be paying out-of-network for any provider outside of this.


Financial Ascensionist

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 109
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Travelers, how do you shop for health insurance?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 11:48:23 PM »
I am still covered by my employer, but I am planning for my FIRE sometime next year, at which point I will need to get insurance on my own.  I am more likely than not to get it from the marketplace, unless all the nationwide plans have been retracted by then.  Thanks for all the info.  This is very helpful.