It’s Your Turn: What are the Best Options for Private Health Insurance?

December 12, 2012 · 8 comments

by Rebekah

Private health insurance is definitely one of those things that can take a seriously gigantic bite out of your monthly budget! Especially if you are also looking for additional benefits, such as vision and dental. Obviously when it comes to our health we all want the best coverage that we can find, but at what cost?

We received the following question from one of our amazing readers:

Currently 3 out of 5 of us in my family have contacts and boy do they add up!  My husband suggested looking for some type of stand alone insurance for dental and vision.  His thinking is paying a monthy premium may be better than paying out right for contacts, exams, etc.  Just for a point of comparision we went to Sam's this year because they had the cheapest eye exam's ($59) but for all three of us to get exams and contacts it is just shy of $600 for the year . . .a current pair of RX glasses would have been nice but not in the budget.

What are some of the best options that you have found for private heath insurance, especially vision and dental plans? Head down to the comment section and share your thoughts with all of us!




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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina December 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

From my experience most private pay health insurance policies are not going to offer vision and dental coverage. I know there are private dental plans available. I would search it online and look at a variety of places and receive quotes. If you have a current dentist it is worth asking them if they know anything about any of the particular insurance companies you are contemplating. The billing people in the dentist office will probably be able to answer some questions. Also keep in mind that some will offer reimbursement type of plans rather than copay plans, so you would pay for the bill and then send it to the insurance and they would reimburse you. Some may also just offer a discount for services received through a participating provider. There are lots of questions to keep in mind when searching for insurance. Think about how much the premium is and whether your out of pocket expense will be decreased enough to justify that monthly premium.
Regarding vision insurance… I have never heard of a self pay vision plan. Medicaid does pay for children to receive eye exams and glasses (however they do not cover contact lenses). Another option to look into is the Lions Club. They will pay for an eye exam and basic glasses generally for children; any extras or contacts would be the parent’s responsibility. This too is an income based program. With regards to contacts, it is usually cheapest to buy a years supply because the manufacturer will offer rebates and the optometrist office my offer additional discounts. Remember that you do not have to buy your contacts where you receive an eye exam. Call around to several places to get quotes for contacts; call both the commercial places (ie, Sams, America’s Best, etc) and private offices (their prices are sometimes cheaper than the commercial places).
One thing you can do is contact an insurance agent/broker who deals with health insurance. You can find them in the phone book or search online. You will be able to talk to them about your needs and situation and they will be able to provide quotes from several different insurance companies. You do not pay the agent the insurance companies pay them.
Good luck finding an option that helps alleviate the cost of health care.

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2 Jennie December 14, 2012 at 10:01 AM

These are all fantastic tips Katrina!!

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3 Jacque December 13, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Hazel & April,

For general health care I have found Samaritan’s Ministries to be perfect for our family of 5. I send $355 a month directly to a family that has a claim. (That is including what they call the save to share plan which is any need above $250,000. Our out of pocket is $300 per incident . . .and I have had to use it and had all of my expenses taken care of. Anything under $300 is our responsibility so typical kids doctor apts. I have to pay for but we have found it well worth it. Also, if I refer anyone then my admin fee is waived for the year and we have been blessed by that couple of times now.

As the author of the orginal email to Jennie I was hoping there would be more of a response to the question for vision and dental . . .but I guess I am not alone searching for good plan.

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4 Anna December 12, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I have had a great experience with Zenni Optical. The shipping is a little long (two weeks, at least) but they’re very cheap, and have held up quite well. I bought two pair two or three years ago, and still use one or the other for daily use.
OTOH, my mother-in-law ordered bifocals and didn’t like them. *shrug*

For health insurance, I have Rocky Mountain Health Plans. (My husband is a former employee.) They were a great company to work for, and they are still a fantastic insurance company.
I have an individual plan with a high deductible, and pay $600 a quarter. Actually, until ObamaCare, it was only $450. It was that much PER MONTH to be enrolled in my husband’s work plan with Cigna. I’ve never had a problem with claims, all of my experience with customer service was fantastic.
RMHP, you may not know, is not-for-profit. :) That adds an extra layer of awesomeness, to me.

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5 Hazel December 13, 2012 at 6:21 AM

Thank you, Anna … the info is most helpful!

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6 April December 12, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Ok, I just stopped by my Dad’s house. He had cut out an article about buying glasses.

warbyparker.com

Warby Parker sells prescription glasses for $99, non-prescription sunglasses for $95, and prescription sunglasses for $150.

You go online and pick frames to TRY for five days!

Know your prescription AND your pupillary distance (do not know what that is as I don’t wear glasses ;) ).

Mezzmer.com is another.

Lookmatic.com

Lookmatic does not offer the frames in the mail service like the above two, but you can do virutal try ons like the above two.

Wow!

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7 April December 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

curious here too

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8 Hazel December 12, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Don’t know but you can bet I’ll be paying close attention to responses. I may be looking come October, if not sooner.

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