Wednesday, March 12, 2008

health insurance rates decrease for healthy applicants

Two commercial health insurance carriers, Golden Rule and Celtic Insurance, announced rate decreases in some markets effective April 2008 and one carrier International Medical Group announced that it will keep rates set in early 2006 through September 2008 on its international medical insurance. These announcements posted on the News page at came amid an overall trend of medical cost inflation. So why do these insurance plans buck the price trend? We only know that rates are set based on past and projected claims in accordance with each state’s insurance laws and we can presume that these insurers had lower than expected claims in specific geographical markets and among certain age groups.

All of these plans are medically underwritten, meaning that that only healthy people are admitted. These types of plans are under fire as public sentiment moves toward universal coverage but there is no doubt that underwritten plans are a good deal for the people who qualify for them. Proponents of these plans say that the lower rates for healthy and “preferred risk” applicant promotes healthy lifestyles since about 80 percent of our nation’s health care costs are directly attributable to basic manageable lifestyle choices like smoking, over-eating, poor nutrition, lack of exercise and stress reaction.

For now, most states allow the health insurance rates for healthy applicants to be substantially lower than for those with medical problems and so it makes sense for consumers to shop for an insurance plan with restictive eligiblity requirements.

The eligibility requirements for each short term medical insurance vary at are listed on the application page and so it makes sense to compare prices and requirements for a few different plans.

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