Assurant Ohio health insurance plans previously could be purchased in all areas of the state. Not only were major medical policies available, but fixed-benefit and supplemental contracts were offered, which were often not available through other carriers. Based in Wisconsin, they were publicly traded and also provided small businesses with affordable options. Underwriting decisions were quick, and the carrier provided excellent service to customers.
Do you notice how all of the references to Assurant are in the past tense? The reason is that in the summer of 2015, Assurant announced it was exiting the health insurance marketplace, and would no longer offer singe, family, or group coverage. Any remaining and active lines of business would be sold to National General Insurance Company. The new company focus was changed to housing and lifestyle specialty protection. The remainder of this article pertains to previously-offered coverage.
One important consideration is their rates. In most parts of the Keystone State, their prices are higher than other carriers. For example, the monthly cost for comprehensive coverage (husband/wife ages 45 with two children) is $624, compared to UnitedHealthcare’s rate of $389. Aetna’s premium is $479 and Anthem’s is $503. Assurant’s “MaxPlan” was compared to the most similar policy from the other carriers. Current costs will actually be higher for all carriers since these figures were from a few years ago.
Assurant’s HSA insurance rates are also quite high. The monthly cost for a $5700 family deductible is $408. Anthem’s rate for a $6000 deductible is only $306, and UnitedHealthcare’s rate for a $5000 family deductible is only $326. Plan coverages are very similar. However, there are a few areas of the state where premiums are competitive. Usually, it is situations when a $10,000 or $20,000 deductible is preferred. The health of all family applicants is typically excellent.
Assurant also offers policies at reduced rates, including the “CoreMed” plan. But coverages are greatly diminished and similar plans are also available from most other carriers. We don’t think this is a bad policy, but we simply feel there are better values from the other carriers. However, the CoreMed policy is one of the few contracts that can offer a $25,000 deductible which will substantially reduce the price. The ideal candidate is a healthy applicant that is willing to pay high out-of-pocket expenses for larger claims.
An additional concern is the “complaint ratio” with the Ohio Department of Insurance. In 2007, the complaint ratio was twice as high as the other major Ohio health insurance carriers. In prior years, Assurant’s ratios were also quite high. However, recently, those figures have improved. When we examined the most recent published statistics, the ratios had reduced. Customer-service is easily assessable through toll-free phone numbers. Recently, the wait time has substantially reduced.
Marketplace Changes Coming
Our relationship with Assurant has always been positive and we hope that in the future, their rates will be competitive again. With looming changes coming in 2014 when the State Exchange is operative, it is possible that they will perhaps tweak or create a policy that is both competitively priced and popular with consumers. Otherwise, they will offer “Off-Exchange” plans.
For now, they continue to offer somewhat attractive temporary healthcare rates. The policy is popular, and applications are approved within 48 hours. Typically, we recommend this plan for child health insurance coverage. Since most companies will NOT offer “children only” contracts if they are under age 19, this policy will provide some relief. Although it is very basic, it will give you a cheap alternative to covering a young dependent.
The “Fixed Benefit” plan that Assurant offers may be their most attractively priced and marketable product. If you’re looking for the deductible, you won’t find it. That’s because there is none! The policy pays a pre-determined benefit for many expenses. Any amount above that specified benefit is your responsibility. Extended hospital stays can result in large out-of-pocket expenses.
For example, an ER visit might pay between $100 and $400 per visit and inpatient or outpatient surgeries will have a fixed dollar amount that is paid. When you combine these payments with the negotiated provider discount, many of your medical bills will be paid. Although the coverage is still less than a standard comprehensive policy, underwriting is much more lenient so there will be specific instances that this option should be considered.