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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

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Basic group health insurance

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 8/1/2011

Q: You said that there is no advantage to buying group insurance as opposed to an individual buying Basic Health Insurance. But the online brochure says this is guaranteed issue group insurance.

A: Whether you enroll through your employer or as an individual, Basic Health Insurance is always group insurance and is always "guaranteed issue" without regard to your medical history. The only difference between enrolling through your employer vs. individual enrollment is that the premium cost is 10% less with employer-provided plans. This requires a payroll reduction election for the cost of coverage and the premiums must be collected for all employees who elect this coverage and submitted monthly by the employer to the insurance company. Considering the low cost of this insurance, it might not be worthwhile for an employer to go through this added expense.

In a small company it might be easier for each employee to go online to and enroll themselves. Remember that this is a limited benefits policy meant to help cover common small medical bills like doctors visits and lab tests and is not designed to cover large medical expenses. Whenever possible, this insurance should be combined with an individual or group catastrophic insurance. Also, this coverage can be included as an option on any flexible benefit plan, consumer-driven health plan or health reimbursement arrangement.

Note added at 8/1/11 editing: at this time the product called "Core Health Insurance" offers more favorable benefits and pricing for most applicants as compared to the Basic Health Insurance discussed in the original post.

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