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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

Health plans and resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources
Core Health Insurance - the nation's most popular defined benefit health plans with guaranteed acceptance from US Fire Insurance Company

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

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
Dental, Vision and Hearing Insurance - no deductible option, use any dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, physician or audiologist, no networks!

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

Critical Illness and Cancer Insurance

Consumers Direct Critical Illness Insurance - Secure UpgradeSM $10,000 lump sum supplemental coverage for cancer, stroke or health disease for as little as $25 per month.

Michigan 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, Michigan had 22 commercial individual health insurance plans and 49 small group health insurance plans as well as the high risk Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health plans for applicants who have been denied commercial coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions. These standard health insurance plans are no longer available today following implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals and small businesses in Michigan with less than 50 employees  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 some of the most popular low cost commercial health insurance plans and related benefits. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org. Your enrollment adviser is also available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

Since the fall of 2013 Michigan has run an online insurance exchange for individuals and businesses in partnership with the federal government. 

The state insurance exchange is open now for coverage starting January 2016, so individuals without insurance should make arrangements for temporary coverage 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

Michigan insurance and benefit pricing

The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey estimates that 8,961,893, or 91.5 percent of Michigan residents, had health-care coverage in 2014. That's 249,000 more than in 2013, when 89 percent of Michiganders were insured.

36 percent of Michigan residents had government-funded health insurance  in 2014. Almost 1.8 million Michigan senior citizens are enrolled in Medicare, the insurance program for Americans age 65 and older. Another 2 million Michigan residents are on Medicaid, the program for low-income persons. There also are more than 188,000 Michigan residents who receive health care from the Veterans Administration.
The state ranked #38 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
Michigan regulates the 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
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

Immigrant Insurance

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

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.


low cost health insurance

Michigan insurance law and regulation

The Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation Website contains a link to the complete text of the state's insurance laws and regulations.  The Web site also lists the insurance companies that issue major medical insurance but has not yet developed resources to help individuals find commercial low cost health plans like mini-med or core coverage, specific illness policies, Supplemental Accident Insurance and basic health insurance.
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at (877) 999-6442 or by mail at PO Box 30220, Lansing MI 48909. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Michigan MIChild.

Small business 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 than any small business can afford.

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

Michigan Insurance News

3/31/2015 Michigan's Medicaid plan has been more successful in enrolling new members than any other low income health plan in the nation with over 605,000 enrolled statewide.

12/8/2014 Consumers have a choice of 17 insurance companies offering coverage through the exchange for 2015.

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 Michigan 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.

3/11/2013 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.

7/18/2012 Michigan joined a growing number of states that have declined to implement a state-run health insurance exchange under the timeline established by the federal government. The federal government will step in with its own exchange if Michigan hasn't made progress by mid-November. Michigan had previously received a federal grant of $1 million to explore health insurance exchange options. Meanwhile, there are likely to be a strong commercial health insurance exchange in the state and OnlineNavigator is available on request to serve the same role as a government-appointed insurance navigator.

6/25/2012 Michigan State University dropped its requirement that students maintain health insurance after opposition from lawmakers. Freedom Benefits previously voiced the opinion that the requirement went beyond the limits of law or common sense financial planning. Insurance will continue to be available at www.freedombenefits.net on a voluntary basis and the school will ask students during each semester's enrollment whether they have insurance coverage.

4/27/2012 - UnitedHealthcare named Grand Rapids and Murfeesboro Michigan as a top insurance growth markets for affordable health insurance based on a study of individual health insurance rates across the country. The study was designed to uncover areas of  opportunity for consumers to save money by switching to one of the innovative plans offered through UnitedHealthOne.

2/21/2012 Guaranteed Issue Coverage - Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulator Affairs provides this statement regarding guaranteed issue individual health insurance for individuals with preexisting medical conditions: "If you do not have access to group health coverage, individual health coverage may be purchased. With an individual policy you are the policyholder. Your policy can cover you and your entire family. Just like group coverage, the contract must include specific minimum benefits required by Michigan law. Please be aware that an insurance company can deny coverage for a pre-existing condition under an individual insurance policy. However, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan cannot deny coverage based on your medical condition, since it is the alternative mechanism to provide health coverage to all individuals, regardless of your health. Most HMOs are required to offer a 30 day open enrollment period each year to those seeking individual coverage. During the open enrollment period HMOs cannot deny coverage based on your medical condition".

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Michigan now offers a high risk pool through Physicians Health Plan of Mid-Michigan, a health maintenance organization. Adults with a chronic illness, or pre-existing condition, who have been without coverage at least six months, may be eligible to purchase insurance through HIP Michigan. To obtain additional information or a quote, please call Physicians Health Plan of Mid-Michigan at their toll free number 1-877-459-3113, or visit HIP Michigan. This program ends in 2013.

A detailed listing of Michigan's health insurance mandates is reproduced on the Universal Health Insurance Blog.

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 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network of Michigan and UnitedHealthcare 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.

7/12/2011 UnitedHealthOne critical illness insurance is now available. This insurance pays $10,000 to $50,000 in addition to any other insurance at the time that a diagnosis of stroke, heart attack or life-threatening cancer. Personal rates quotes are available by email from OnlineAdviser. A brochure and application can be downloaded from www.uhcenrollment.com

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 Michigan Department of Community Health officials 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, the Department of Community Health said that it would: 1) Conduct the appropriate research to determine those who are potentially eligible for the Exchange and to determine how the Exchange will impact Medicaid, other public programs, and other State health plans. 2) Determine how best to establish the American Health Benefits Exchange and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Exchange) in Michigan, considering the needs of and options available to individuals and small groups. 3) Implement a plan for stakeholder involvement to determine how Michigan will implement the Exchange. 4) Develop an initial plan for integration of applicable State and Federal programs and current State projects. 5) Develop a plan for a governance model and structure. 6) Develop an initial plan for how the Exchange will manage reporting, accounting, and auditing functions while maintaining transparency. 7) Review technical components and interoperability of technology embedded in existing State systems and plan for the introduction of possible new systems necessary to properly run an Exchange, and 8) Review and determine the necessary State statutory and regulatory changes needed to establish the Exchange options.

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 Michigan is now available at Freedom Benefits.

3/23/2010 Michigan and ten other states including Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington will make a joint legal challenge to the federal health reform bill on the basis that it improperly usurps state sovereignty over health insurance and that requiring health insurance is an illegal and improper government action.



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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.