Mind Boggling (Why so much difference in cost?)


Super Genius
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I just don't understand how health insurance carriers can vary so much much in cost. Here is an example in california for you the family is located in Los Angeles County not the most expensive or least in california either. This is a family of four: 53 y.o wife, 56 y.o husband and two teenage boys. These are all HSA plans from the major PPO carriers in California.

I just can't figure why so much difference in premium costs I am fairly new in the health insurance world but I would assume it may have something to do with how many people have policies with each carrier or is that a myth?

Here is the example:

Blue Shield Spectrum 8000 HSA $ 556.00
Blue Shield Spectrum 4800 HSA $ 679.00

Nationwide PPO Saver 9600 HSA $482.50
Nationwide PPO Saver 7200 HSA $559.14
Nationwide PPO Saver 4800 HSA $630.00
Nationwide PPO Saver 3500 HSA $759.41

Aetna MC HDHP 10,000 $529.00
Aetna MC HDHP 6,000 $651.00

Assurant One Deductible 10,000 $871.66
Assurant One Deductible 7,500 $1,015.69

Pacificare HDHP 10,000 $ $451.00
Pacificare HDHP 5,400 $ 549.00
Pacificare HDHP 3,000 $ 703.00

Healthnet Simple Choice 8,000 HSA $ 321.00

Blue Cross 7,000 HSA Compatible $ 336.00

I usually compare everything to the Blue Cross HSA at a family deductible of 7,000 with all the other plans. I just can't believe the difference in prices does anyone no why this could be or have thoughts on why this is?

The lowest priced HSA's in california are usually in my area are Health Net, Blue Cross and Nationwide. When I am quoting families the one in bold is the one I will quote to families for HSA's these are all 100 percent co-insurance plans.
There is no single answer to this question. Factors include:

-Underwriting requirements and who is actually accepted on the plan

-The "blocking" of business is a major factor in these rates as well - but you will never get reliable data to make heads or tails of it

-Benefit levels of plans being offered (i.e. any preventative care, rx, etc., etc.,)

It doesn't surprise me BC of CA had the best H S A price in your example, although I was a little shocked to see Assurant over $1000??? Jeeeze...

A lot of carriers truly have not come down on H S A pricing like they need to.... I have quoted a lot of Aetna H S A 's that were more than their PPO's...
It also depends on the number of choices the customer would have. If the only hospital available on the plan is King Drew Hospital you have a problem. In CA Blue Shield tends to have the most choices/alliances and many plans (not BS) are offering Mexican (yes, across the border) choices with limited US choices in order to reduce the costs.
Assurant sticks out like a sore thumb in CA.

However, when I look at the numbers minus Assurant, it seems that many of them are in range of each other around the 5k deductible number (range of $549 to $679 seems normal for a family of that age). What's CA Blue Cross's cost for the 4K-5K ded.?

Keep in mind that UHC (whether PacificCare and Golden Rule) policies are usually lower due to the aggressive discounts that UHC obtains but this affects network participation. Does CA Blue Shield have an upfront preventative care benefit? This can bump them up a bit.
Think Assurant's bad in California? Check this out...non-tobacco 43 YO female here in Tampa Bay (336 zip), 2 teenagers 17 & 15. Everybody healthy. HSA w/family deductibles...to wit:

Humana (5,000 deductible) $227
Golden Rule (5,650 deductible) $263
Assurant One-D (pref-$5,700 deductible) $477

To make matters worse, GR and Assurant are filed as association group plans here in FL with brutal renewal increases (no Healthy Discount for Assurant). I love 'em, but they're not remotely competitive. Last two times I called the RSD...he didn't even call me back!