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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.

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Basic health insurance questions

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: For the basic health insurance, do you get a card in the mail? This is the one that is $38 a month. Do I get a booklet on which providers I can go to? or is all of the info online? I will need this to start at the end of April, do I just sign up then? or do I need to do it earlier?

A: Yes, ID cards are mailed at the end of the month following enrollment and coverage starts on the following 1st day of the month. This policy does not offer downloadable ID cards. You may use any medical provider in the U.S. You may wish to read the article titled "Does My Doctor Accept this Insurance?" at for more information on the claims handling procedures with this type of "cash indemnity" type health insurance that can be used with any doctor. There is a toll-free number for all member support printed on the ID card and listed in the FAQs on the Web site. For coverage to start April 1, sign up online in the middle of March at . You will receive an immediate confirmation by e-mail but the actual policy will be mailed on or after April 1. Please be aware that Basic Health Insurance is intended as a supplemental coverage and will not provide adequate coverage for catastrophic medical claims but may satisfy the requirement by your employer.


More resources: article: "Does My Doctor Accept This Insurance?"