BEST HEALTH INSURANCE IN SACRAMENTO AREA
Sacramento county is booming.
All the bay area people keep moving over to find affordable housing.
If only we could say the same for health insurance!
Sacramento is no shelter financially from what is going on in the health insurance market.
There are some strategies though to use in order to find the best health insurance in Sacramento.
First, we need to understand the marketplace.
It's really three markets!
Determine which one fits your needs and then jump to that section:
- Individual and Family coverage (including Covered Ca)
- Small Business (1-100 employees) and Large Business (100+ employees)
- Seniors with Medicare age 65 and older
Our assistance is 100% free to you as licensed Sacramento health insurance brokers!
Almost 20 years exclusively with Sacramento and the surrounding area in health insurance doesn't hurt.
That's 1000's of people who found the best value.
Let's look at some of the tips we learned along the way.
Keep in mind that by Sacramento, we mean the general area including Roseville, Rocklin, Folsom and all the surrounding area.
They share a common footprint when it comes to health insurance.
Remember, jump to your area above since it's really different in each segment.
We'll start with individuals and families in Sacramento.
Quick overview of Sacramento individual family market
These are the options available to individuals and families in Sacramento:
- Covered California (on exchange - may have tax credit)
- Off-Exchange (carrier direct - no tax credit)
- Short term health insurance - coverage for gaps in health insurance
- Medi-cal - qualify based on income
A few important notes.
The plans, rates, and networks have to be the same for Covered Ca and off-exchange.
There's a small wrinkle here at the Silver level due to changes made by Washington but otherwise, that's the case.
Open Enrollment and SEP's
With either Covered Ca or off-exchange, we have to enroll during Open Enrollment which is usually Nov 1st - Jan 31st.
Otherwise, we need a special enrollment period trigger.
The most common are:
- Loss of eligible coverage
- Significant move
So the first question is whether we can enroll right now in Sacramento.
If we can't, then it's probably short term health insurance or health sharing to get us out to Open Enrollment.
You can quote Sacramento short term health insurance here.
Health sharing is not insurance but offers an option if we can't enroll or if it's too expensive for the standard plans.
You can quote Sacramento health sharing plans here.
If we CAN enroll now, let's look at the big deciding factor.
Tax credits for Sacramento health insurance.
This is really the main jist of the ACA health care law (Obamacare).
Based on income, there can be big tax credits to offset the cost of health insurance for Sacramento families and individuals.
Finding the best plan starts with this question...
Do I qualify for tax credits through Covered Ca?
It's a question of these two elements primarily:
- Size of household (everyone that files taxes together)
- This year's household income (line 37 on the 1040 for most people)
We can help you with this calculation.
You can also run your Sacramento health insurance quote WITH tax credits here:
Make sure to enter your household size and income estimate.
Call us at 866-486-6551 or email with questions.
We're happy to walk through the income piece and there's no cost for assistance as licensed Covered Ca agents in Sacramento!
Once we determine that we can enroll and whether we'll be eligible for a tax credit, let's then look at the best health carriers available in Sacramento.
So...who do we have in the greater Sacramento area for individuals and families?
Here are the carriers available both in Covered Ca and off-exchange:
- Blue Shield of California (PPO and HMO)
- Health Net PPO
- Kaiser HMO
- Western Health Advantage HMO
- SutterHealth HMO is available off-exchange only
In the Sacramento area, it's really become a question of Kaiser versus everyone else!
If you pick Kaiser, you must stay within their network and they operate as an HMO.
If you want access to other providers such as Sutter or Davis, then you would look at one of the other providers.
When you run your Sacramento individual family quote below, you can click on provider search under any of the plans.
Sometimes it's best just to ask your doctor's office what "Covered California"� plans they take.
Even if going off exchange, use that language since they all know this branding and you'll get the correct information.
If you're eligible for a tax credit, it will apply the same to any of the Sacramento carriers.
You must enroll on-exchange to get that tax credit and we can help you with no cost to you.
Just call 866-486-6551 or email.
You can also request the application through your online Sacramento health quote.
Once we've figured out our carrier preference, what about health plans.
Which is the best plan in Sacramento?
We looked at the carriers.
Now, what about the best plans in Sacramento?
It's best to walk through your situtation with an expert (us!!) but here are some important tips.
The Enhanced Silver Plans in Sacramento
If you're income allows you to get the Silver 87 or Silver 94 benefits, stop looking!
When you run your health quote here and enter your household size and income, you may notice that the on-exchange Silver plans have lower deductibles ($650 or $75).
That means you may qualify for the Silver 87 or 94.
Very rich versions of the Silver plan for the same price of the normal Silver ($2500 deductible).
It's really hard to turn that down especially if you have any expected health care costs.
Keep in mind this offer is available across the different Sacramento carriers.
Again, check with us because the income/household calculation can be confusing.
We can help!
There's no cost for help at 866-486-6551 or by email.
One note...you can still get the Bronze plan for a lower cost but the best option may be the Enhanced Silver!
Then it's back to the basics to find the best health plan.
A few tips on finding best health plan rate and value:
- Compare difference in deductible versus annual different in premium
- Consider Silver and up for quicker help with office visits and RX
- The max out of pocket (big bill protection) is comparable for every plan but Platinum
- Preventative is covered at 100% on all the plans in-network
- Consider HSA Bronze plan (HDHP) to get tax savings on medical out of pocket
These tips can go a long away towards picking the best plan.
If only it were that easy.
Again, feel free to run your situation by us.
It's what we do all day long!
This is easy. And Online!
You can quickly run your individual and family health quote here.
Make sure to enter all household size and income to see if you may get a tax credit
Choose on-exchange first.
If you're eligible for a tax credit or enhanced Silver plans, you'll see it up top.
You can adjust your income easily from the quote page.
What if you need to enroll?
This is where we can really help.
Right though the quote, you can request to apply for a given plan.
- If off-exchange, the app will process through right away.
- If on-exchange (Covered California), we usually enroll by phone in 5-10 minutes.
It will save you about an 1 hour and it's 50% more likely to be correct!
Feel free to reach out to us regarding enroll in Sacramento health insurance here.
This is where we shine!
We have helped businesses in the greater Sacramento area navigate the group health market with skill, experience, and as an end result...with savings!
Whether constructions, manufacturing, tech, retail, or hospitality...we've seen it all.
Of course we're happy to help you understand the best options available to your company at 800 or by email but some general guidance.
Let's get a sense of the market first.
Some rules are at a state-level or even Federal level so let's tackle those first.
General eligibility for Sacramento companies:
- Small Business is 1-100 employees; Large Group is 100+
- We need at least one person on payroll
- New plans have the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels
- Employer must pay at least 50% of the lowest priced plan for employee only
- At least 75% of eligible employees must go with the plan
So...those are the hard rules but don't fret.
There are always special offers by carriers and even a year end open enrollment where the rules all but go away.
If you have a special situation, check with us first or run your quote and let us know.
We'll choose the carriers to meet your specs.
Tax Credits for Sacramento Companies
There may be tax credits available to companies that offer health benefits to their employees.
If you have the following:
- 25 or fewer employees
- Average salary (not including owners/officers) under $50K
Let us know!
We may be able to get tax credits to pay part of the premium.
Make a note of that in the group health quote form so we can research further.
Keep in mind that group health benefits are 100% deductible to the employer!
In a tight labor market, that can be a big deal.
Let's move on to the next piece of the puzzle which is unique to the Sacramento area.
Let's look at the best Sacramento carriers for employer health plans.
The market is much broader than what we find on the individual family market!
Top carriers for Sacramento group health benefits:
- Blue Shield
- Anthem Blue Cross
- Western Health Advantage
- Health Net
These carriers make up the vast majority of the group health market.
So what's the best approach?
The greater Sacramento area is tricky.
Kaiser is so dominant.
If you have more than a few employees, you're likely to have some with Kaiser and others with private doctors/hospitals.
We can mix and match Kaiser offerings with another carrier.
For example, we can offer Kaiser plans alongside United plans.
It's called a Kaiser Wrap.
To think that insurance can be creative!
This is by far the most popular approach.
We can even base the company contribution on one plan from either carrier.
For example, we can say the company will contribute based on 75% of the Kaiser Silver plan.
Our worksheet will then show the net cost to the employee after this amount for any Kaiser or other carrier plan.
We'll discuss that more below in how to pick the best Sacramento group health plan.
Speaking of which...
As we mentioned above, let's look at this a different way.
How about we pick our ideal budget and then let the employee pick whatever plan they want.
We can still protect our budget.
Here's how we structure it:
- Determine your ideal monthly budget - either per employee or for the company as a whole
- We'll create worksheets for each employee based on that contribution amount
- Employees can pick from any of the plans after contribution is taken out.
- Their share can be made with pre-tax month via a POP 125
Control + Flexibility
You have total control over your budget.
The employees have total flexibility over plan benefits
It's as close as we get to nirvana in group health benefits.
We can also research Sacramento doctors for you in the calculation.
Feel free to ask us any questions on how to structure this.
There's no cost our assistance at 866-486-6551 or by email.
This is very easy.
You can access the employer health quote request here.
We just need company zip code and employee dates of birth
You can add dependents to quote them as well (do not need to contribute towards dependents)
Make special notes on Kaiser needs, budgetary goals, hospital choice, etc
We generally turn the quote around in 24-48 hours.
We'll quote the entire field unless you specify a carrier to see who is best priced in Sacramento.
With lots of hand holding!
We make enrollment as easy as it can be.
Generally, this is needed to enroll for Sacramento companies:
- Employer application
- Employee applications
- Declinations for those not enrolling
- Most recent DE6/DE9 payroll report to state
Each carrier has different rules but we'll walk you through the entire process.
We're not kidding.
Since we're local Sacramento employer health agents, we can do this!
Run your group health quote here
Lots of good news here.
We have entire articles on picking the best Medicare option in Sacramento but let's hit the highlights.
First, the overview.
As with all things health insurance in the greater Sacramento area, Medicare is a tale of two cities.
Kaiser versus everyone else.
Kaiser is HMO only so if you want a supplement that can be used with any Medicare contracted doctors, that would be one of the other carriers.
We'll discuss this in the carrier section more fully.
In general, there are 3 parts of Medicare:
- Part A - hospital
- Part B - doctor
- Part D - medications
You need part A and B through Medicare in order to get a supplement or advantage plan.
We can help you with eligibility and timing to make sure you're all set.
Just call us at 866-486-6551 or by email.
There's no cost for us as licensed Medicare supplement agents in the greater Sacramento area.
What type of plans are available in the area?
We have two main types of plans available in Sacramento:
- Medicare Advantage plans (HMO)
- Medicare Supplements (work like PPO)
Generally speaking, supplements offer more flexibility, have less out of pocket but cost more monthly.
Advantage plans are more managed, cost less in premium, but share more of the out of pocket for medical expenses.
This is really the first question for Sacramento seniors.
We're happy to walk through the differences at no cost to you.
Important note: The medicare supplement plans are standardized so an F plan will be the same for all carriers.
Let's look at the carriers.
On one hand, we have Kaiser
On the other hand, we have everyone else!
That's just a function of health insurance in the Sacramento county area.
These are the main carriers:
- Anthem Blue Cross
- AARP (through United Health)
- Blue Shield of California
- Health Net
You can quote all these Medicare supplement Sacramento carriers here.
One note...Kaiser is only HMO so they will offer Advantage plans.
For supplements, Anthem's Innovative F plan has been very popular as it's priced really well AND includes additional benefits such as vision and hearing aids.
It's easy to quote medicare supplements or Advantage HMO plans in Sacramento.
Just click right here:
Enter your zip code, date of birth, and eff date.
If you're turning 65, make sure to select eff date that matches 1st of month you turn 65 in.
You'll see all the plans and options by different carriers available.
We're happy to help you compare the plans for you.
There's no cost for our assistance at 866-486-6551 or by email.
We make this process easy.
Once you have selected your desired plan, we'll walk you through the entire process.
Make sure to enroll prior to the 1st of the month you want the coverage to begin.
You can request application right through quote above.
We've given you a lot to consider above.
In the Sacramento area, it's a question of Kaiser versus other carriers first.
We then look at benefits versus cost trade-offs.
Of course, we want to take advantage of tax credits if available to us.
Health insurance in our area is just as tricky anywhere else.
Use our agent experience with over 15 years exclusively in the Sacramento health insurance market.
There's ZERO cost for our assistance.
Feel free to run any questions by us at 866-486-6551 or by email.
How can we help?