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low cost health insurance
OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions through two fast support options:

Email support:
Email support is available 24/7 usually with same day response. Address your message to onlineadviser@live.com.

Telephone support:
Schedule telephone support with a call back at your convenience.

OnlineNavigator support is an independent service offered by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA MT subject to the adviser's schedule availability. This support is not intended to replace the services offered and available through other channels by your insurance company, insurance agents and health insurance navigators. Specifically, this service does not replace  online pricing and enrollment functions, billing, claims or administrative services and does not assist with Medicare or Medicaid plans.

See the OnlineNavigator web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service. 


Covering the Gaps in Obamacare

Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.
Health plans and resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Secure Lite STM - the lowest priced major medical insurance for 1 to 12 months
Secure Saver STM - $2 million maximum coverage for 1-12 months at an ultra-low rate

Primary Individual Major Medical Through a Private Exchange

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Core Dental Insurance - preventive, basic, and major dental expenses with the dentist of your choice. Shortest waiting period.
Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage

Online Life Insurance

International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

Supplemental Accident Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

Connecticut health insurance news

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT   last updated: February 21, 2016

The two top priorities among individuals and small business who pay for their own health coverage is to find more affordable primary insurance and cover rapidly rising out-of-pocket medical costs that are not paid by primary health insurance.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Connecticut had 8 commercial health insurance companies that issued individual health insurance and 19 companies that issue small group insurance as well as 3 state-sponsored health plans for high risk individuals or low income residents. Health Reinsurance of Connecticut Association is the state's high risk insurance pool. These standard policies may be more expensive than some residents can afford.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals and small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in Connecticut can now purchase health insurance through the federal heath insurance clearinghouse or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges.

Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information.

This Web page lists the most popular low cost commercial or supplemental health insurance plans and some related benefit plans. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org.. Your enrollment adviser is available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

For 2016, the federally mandate essential insurance benefit plans will be available through the Connecticut Exchange Website. Aetna, Anthem, ConnectiCare, Healthy CT and United Healthcare will sell insurance on the exchange. Delta Dental, The Guardian Life Insurance Company, MetLife and Renaissance Dental will offer dental insurance. 

The state insurance exchange will rely on agents and brokers for a large portion of its enrollments. The exchange is open now for coverage starting in 2016. Individuals without insurance right now should make arrangements for temporary coverage through a short term medical insurance until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2016 will be different than those offered though any 2015 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits.

low cost health insurance

Connecticut insurance and benefit pricing

Connecticut had the 5th highest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium cost of $13,436 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 8th out of the 51 states (including DC).
The state ranked #5 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
Connecticut regulates benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Insurance

Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval
Secure STM - along with its 12 month and 36 month options, this may be the highest quality short term coverage

Immigrant Insurance

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits


low cost health insurance

Connecticut insurance law and regulation

The Connecticut Insurance Department Web site contains the complete text of the state's insurance laws offers help for individuals who have unresolved complaints about their insurance. The state compiles information about the nature and resolution of these complaints and publishes an annual report of this information. Connecticut insurance law allows self-employed residents buy group health insurance for a one person business.
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at (860) 297-3800 or by mail at P.O. Box 816
Hartford, CT 06142. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Connecticut Healthcare for Uninsured Kids and Youth (HUSKY).

Small Business Employee Benefit Plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price that any small business can afford.

Other resources for small business health plan compliance:
Connecticut Dept. of Labor
Connecticut Dept. of Revenue Services

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.

Telemedicine

CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Connecticut Insurance News

2/11/ 2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Connecticut residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

2/22/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

12/14/2012 Connecticut is one of a minority of states that will run a health insurance exchange for individuals and small businesses that is not managed by the federal government. Consumer advocates who once viewed a state-run exchange as a positive are growing concerned that the state may not be fully committed to implementing all of the funding and features expected to be part of the federal health insurance exchanges that are expected to open in the fall of 2013.

10/2/2012 The Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange is moving ahead with efforts to set up a Web-based health insurance supermarket. The exchange will be built by Deloitte Consulting. Interested parties have until November 9 to comment on plans and procedures for development of the Navigator Grant Program Policy as posted in the Connecticut Law Journal.

8/26/2012 Connecticut will spend another $107 million on its health insurance marketing systems funded by a grant from the federal government. This will bring total spending to $116 million for a system that will sell insurance to some of the state's 337,000 residents without insurance. Freedom Benefits previously noted that the selling cost (advertising, computer systems and overhead) for a policy through the Connecticut insurance exchange will be more than $1,000 in the first year of operation. This cost is paid by taxpayers separately from the cost of the insurance itself that is already an expensive purchase. Consumer groups oppose spending on the insurance exchange noting that none of this overhead goes toward patient care.

8/16/2012 Connecticut Insurance Department approved a 9.9% rate increase for UnitedHealthOne individual insurance policies insured by Golden Rule Insurance Company. The state does not have the legal authority to oppose rate increases under 10%. The average premium for individual coverage will rise from about $360 to about $396 per month. The only other insurance company issuing a lower priced major medical insurance is Celtic Insurance Company. Celtic Insurance rates for a healthy 40 year old male range from $150 to $321 per month.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Oxford Health Insurance, ConnectiCare an Anthem Health Plans are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

3/6/2011 State lawmakers are trying for a third time to make the state employees' health plan open to small businesses this year, despite concerns of adverse selection that is driving up taxpayer cost. The health plan is not attractive to small firms with healthy employees because it is considered to be among the most expensive health plans in the state. For this reason, the Governor vetoed the law twice in the past. This option could be a good deal to very small firms whose owner or key employee needs expensive ongoing medical care. More information on this option, if approved by the Governor, will available through any private insurance exchange Navigator.

2/14/2011 Freedom Benefits anticipates an increase in consumer demand for more affordable out-of-state and supplemental medical insurance policies by Vermont's residents in response to a repeal or revision of some of the provisions of SustiNet, the state government's health plan. Both the state government and its primary employers say that the current health plan strategy is unsustainable. Originally SustiNet was intended to bring universal health insurance but now its backers are stymied by higher than expected costs. Some provisions are not consistent with federal law and the Obama administration is resolved to enforce the new federal law. We will announce new insurance choices in the state as they become available. 

2/12/2011 With dozens of health plans choices available online offering a wide range of pricing and benefits, how do you find the best combination of price and benefits? Celtic Insurance realizes that the choices can be overwhelming; the company offers more than 40 possible health plan designs in many parts of the United States. A new feature called "Help Me Choose" lets users easily and quickly select the benefits they value most and narrows the list down to a few of the best choices. No personal information is required other than zip code and date of birth.

12/16/2010 Officials from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, Connecticut Office of Policy and Management said that it would: 1) Conduct market research and Information Technology infrastructure assessments to understand the effects and implications of different policy decisions that may direct the implementation strategy, 2) Research and analyze existing data and obtain newly-collected data to assess the health insurance market and the uninsured population, 3) Conduct economic and actuarial modeling to study various policy issues that would impact the design and implementation of the Exchange, 4) Survey the small employer and health insurance markets, 5) Assess the impact of insurance reforms on premiums, 6) Analyze the local marketplace to determine whether the individual and the small group markets should be combined or separate within the Exchange, 7) Analyze the size of the small employer market segment that should start participating in the Exchange (either 1-50 employees or 1-100 employees), 8) Determine the advantages and disadvantages of a Connecticut statewide Exchange versus a multi-state Exchange, 9) Engage in stakeholder dialogue to ensure an accurate and consistent message is being communicated (includes individuals, employers, providers, legislators, insures, etc.), 10) Assess the existing Medicaid system and the interface with the Exchange information technology infrastructure required as well as specifications for the accounting and financial system of the Exchange, 11) Develop a financial model to determine administrative fees necessary for financial self –sustainability of the Exchange; and 12) Develop legislation to create the governance structure of the Connecticut Exchange.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Connecticut is now available at Freedom Benefits.

3/23/2010 A bill has been proposed to expand the current requirement that a health plan provide the evidence and information that were considered in the denial of a claim.



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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.