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Old 07-23-2009, 09:33 AM
 
21 posts, read 58,574 times
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I'm looking to move to Bucks County, PA from another state. Does anyone have opinions on the best health insurance company to use?

Independence Blue Cross, Aetna, Celtic, United Health One, Health America, etc.

I noticed Independence Blue Cross only has a B rating for financial stability. I also noticed while searching that the state of PA only guarantees up to 300K in health benefits if your company goes out of business...but I have always used Blue Cross in 2 other states and I know they dominate the market so this may be easier with doctors, etc.

Any opinions on any of these companies?
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Independence Blue Cross is usually the most expensive so you get the best service and access to the most docs.

Aetna is second in that regard and also a good choice.

United Healthcare was a huge client for my old company and a provider as well. They are the low cost alternative - if you are young and single and healthy they would be a fine choice but the coverage is less than the first two.

Don't know about the other ones really but I do know you want an HMO over a PPO.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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Thanks orrmobl - great info. Why do you think HMO is better than PPO - I always thought it was the opposite? I noticed on ehalthinsurance web site that PPO are not even mentioned for Independence Blue Cross - only HMOs but on their web site they have these...
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:34 PM
 
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Just because the fees are quite lower for HMOs. I was never a doc shopper or second opinion type person and while it is inconvenient to see my primary care doc every time I need a referral, the overall costs for visits, tests, other services are lower with an HMO. With a family of 5, I need the lower costs in all circumstances vs flexibility which I probably wouldn't make much use of.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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Good point - I just always assumed PPO was better without ever really thinking about it...may not be a big deal to go to primary doctor first...thanks again
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Yardley PA
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I have IBX - PPO. I personally feel I get good coverage, lower co-pays and can see ANY doctor I want without checking w/ a primary first.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooodsie View Post
I have IBX - PPO. I personally feel I get good coverage, lower co-pays and can see ANY doctor I want without checking w/ a primary first.
Right, that ANY doctor part? You pay quite a bit extra for that. Lower co-pays? Not lower than an HMO. Mental health services, tests, emergency room visits, hospital stays? You'll pay a lot more for those as well. But you don't have to check with a primary first and you can choose your doctors a bit more freely.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:46 PM
 
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Always go with Blue Cross when possible. Doctors seem to blanche at anything else I give them. But I get treated like I'm in the first class section of an airline when I flash the BC card.
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:37 PM
 
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Sounds good - I think I will go with Blue Cross and get a HMO - looking at the price the benefit of not having to see a primary doctor first does not seem worth it...unless there are other benefits? Thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Yardley PA
689 posts, read 2,095,016 times
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Knowing the internal workings of doctors offices (I have family who are doctors), heres another fyi - when you are on an HMO, your doctor needs to write you a referal to go elsewhere.. Each referal costs YOUR doctor money out of his pocket. This makes your doctor a lot less likely to give you a referal when you want one.. So think about if you want to be fighting your doctor over things and know you arent getting fair treatment always because if you had a PPO your doctor may have no problem telling you to go elsewhere but because youre an HMO he may be downplaying your need to go outside of his office...
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