Friday, June 15, 2012

Health Insurance in Minnesota

All of my friends have health insurance through their employers. Since I won't be having a job when I get to Minnesota, I have to find a reliable (and affordable!) health insurance provider. My university recommended Student Assurance Services. Their coverage plan costs $5070 annually for me and my wife. We are both more than 30 years old, which is a higher cost bracket as opposed to under 30 years. Even though the costs are extremely high, their medical benefits cover more than most other insurers. Most injuries under $5000 are 100% covered while between $5,000 and $50,000 are 80% covered.

Given such high costs, I wanted to make sure we were getting the best deal there was. Even though there are many insurers willing to insure for as little as $100 per month, the coverage they provide in case of sickness, would make me end up paying thousands of dollars.

The Minnesota Department of Health has taken a very good initiative and gives comparisons of most health insurance providers in the state on its website. The comparison provides sorting by monthly premium, maximum out-of-pocket, annual deductible etc.

The comparison chart has insurance coverage starting as low as $105 per month. But these have deductibles as high as $30,000! The higher premium I am willing to pay, the lower the deductible. So I have to settle at a mid-point where the premium is affordable and so is the deductible.

Another good website offering a similar service of insurance comparisons is American Visitors Insurance. This website primarily focuses on visitors and students from abroad. They gave me three options of different insurance companies with monthly premiums ranging between $125 to $160. The deductibles are $50 to $100. The limitations of these insurance providers are: (a) they are primarily for foreign travelers, and (b) the maximum insurance they provide is for one year. I think I will get an insurance coverage from one of them for the first semester or two.