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Health Insurance Resources
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Health Insurance Resources

This list is an attempt to provide NCTA members with access to information and resources about health insurance options. Every effort has been made to provide sources that appear to be reputable; however, the information listed has not been independently verified. Furthermore, NCTA does not endorse or guarantee any of the programs listed.

It is strongly recommended that you verify the quality of any plan as well as ensure that the plan meets your specific needs. You also need to be sure to check that the provider is licensed as an insurance company in California before relying on it for health coverage.

Please let us know if you can suggest additional resources, or if you find that any of these links are out of date.

General Information and Resources
Independent Ratings and Information
Selected Association Plans
Brokers
Short-Term Solutions: Low-Cost Clinics in some Bay Area Locations


General Information and Resources

BayArea Legal
As a member of the statewide Health Consumer Alliance, provides independent consumer assistance to individuals and families navigating the changes that come with health care reform. Contact BayLegal’s Health Consumer Center at 1-855-693-7285 if you need help with a health care issue or if you are having problems with unfair medical billing and need legal help.

HealthCare.gov
United States government website created under the Healthcare Bill of March 2010 with comprehensive information on healthcare options nationwide.

Health Insurance Resource Center
Extensive website listing a range of options for health insurance plans, including a section for Self-Employed Persons and Small Businesses. A great place to start your research.

California HealthCare Foundation
Includes listing of group coverage options, as well as clear general information about types of health insurance, working with a broker, and more. Some of the information is aimed at small businesses rather than individuals, but it can be a useful starting point for acquiring basic information about how health insurance works. See also: California Health Coverage Guide.

Foundation for Health Coverage Education
Provides information about health insurance programs for which you may be eligible, including programs for low-income families, children of moderate income families, major risk programs and COBRA.

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Independent Ratings and Information

The State of California Office of the Patient Advocate
Offers independent ratings of health plans.

California Department of Managed Healthcare
Maintains resources where you can check if a health plan you are considering is licensed in the State of California and whether or not it has complaints filed against it.

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Selected Association Plans and Other Programs

Some group plans simply provide group rates, which may or may not be less expensive than individual rates. Others allow members to avoid the medical underwriting process. (Medical underwriting is the process of evaluating your personal medical history used by insurance carriers to assess their risk in providing insurance to you. If a policy is medically underwritten, it means that your rates can vary according to the carrier's risk assessment, or you could be denied coverage if the carrier considers you to be high-risk.)

Some of our members have commented that if you do have a clear medical history, it may be advantageous to get an individual plan which will allow you to keep it for the long-term. Association plans are coming under increasing scrutiny and may not be around forever. Of course, getting accepted for an individual plan, and getting your rates set at a reasonable level, can be a challenge even for those with minor pre-existing conditions, so it may be a good idea to consider applying for an individual plan if you do not yet have a history of medical issues.

The Entertainment Industry Group Insurance Trust
Affiliated with several professional associations, i.e. American Institute of Graphic Artists or National Association of Science Writers. You must join one of these organizations to be eligible for coverage through TEIGIT. Does not require medical underwriting. Other associations you may qualify to join are listed on the The Artists' Health Insurance Resource Center website.

Japanese-American Citizens League
Membership is open to the general public, but the health insurance plans do require medical underwriting.

Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce & Western Health Advantage—for Sacramento area
Offers guaranteed issue coverage in Sacramento area only.

San Francisco Health Plan
A city-sponsored health plan with several low-cost programs, particularly for children and young adults (under 25) who meet certain income guidelines.

Wells Fargo Student Insurance—Community Colleges of California
Student health plans provided to students enrolled at various colleges in the Bay Area, including City College and other community colleges where it is relatively inexpensive to enroll. Minimum credit hours are required. Review the policy carefully, as some coverage is unusual, such as no coverage for preventive care and cost maximums for diagnostic tests.

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Brokers

According to the California Health Care Foundation, "Brokers charge a basic commission for their services, and sometimes charge extra fees as well. Commissions are typically based on a percentage of the annual premium and are included in the premium that you pay. In other words, the basic commission is built into the insurers' rates, so everyone pays them whether they use a broker or not. Fees, on the other hand, may be charged for certain extra services. You'll need to make sure you know what, if any, fees will be charged when working with a broker. Extra fees are generally paid directly to the broker."

Linda Lococo
California license number 0620588
First Street Insurance Agency
(408) 295-1195 ext: 222

Jim de Tomasi
California license number 0739237
(415) 362-7300 ext. 325
www.detomasi.com

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Short-Term Solutions: Low-Cost Bay Area Clinics

In addition to short-term insurance, which brokers can help you with, there are a number of low-cost or sliding scale clinics in the Bay Area.

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  • San Francisco, CA 94114-1600
  • Phone: (510) 845-8712
  • Email: administrator@ncta.org

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