Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

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.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Otherwise healthy diabetic

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posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date.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: I saw your article on health insurance for diabetics and am thinking about changing from my California teacher’s insurance at over $750 per month to the HPA "Secure STM" short term insurance for under $150. I would save more than $600 per month. I am a non-insulin dependant diabetic but I am really not concerned about the cost for my diabetes because I am young and otherwise healthy. The problem is handled through better diet and more exercise. I really just need insurance for major accidents of illnesses.

A: While a premium savings of $7500 over the course of a year are certainly enticing, it is important to understand the risks. Diabetes in any form should not be taken lightly. The “Secure STM” insurance issued by Health Plan Administrators is a six-month policy. You have to reapply for a new policy at the end of six months in order to extend the length of coverage. (A longer 36 month policy known as "Secure 3x12 STM" is available in most states but not in California). Pre-existing medical conditions (diabetes and all others) are not covered. Also, it is important to know that you have access to a guaranteed open enrollment plan in the event that complications of diabetes develop. Details of the Secure STM policy and the article “Health Insurance for Diabetics” can be found at


More resources:

Secure STM pricing and enrollment article: "Health Insurance for Diabetics"