Help me find someone who will find someone to insure me!
June 28, 2007 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Can someone tell me how to find a good health insurance broker in LA, or recommend one you've used? Finding individual health insurance here is MUCH more difficult than I expected it would be, seeing how I'm extremely healthy. I need to find a professional to help me with this!

Some background: I'm 26 and in the prime of health, except for a very slight heart arrhythmia which doesn't affect my life in the slightest except that I have it on my medical record. I don't take medication for it, mostly don't even notice it, but it's suddenly keeping me from getting health insurance. I keep being told to get a health insurance broker, but I don't know where to start looking.

I had health insurance through HIP/freelancer's union in NYC, which I stupidly canceled when I moved to LA six weeks ago thinking it wouldn't be hard to get individual health insurance here. I will be eligible through my California freelance work for guild health insurance in about 6 months' time, but until then I need insurance. I applied for both Tonik (through Bluecross) and Kaiser Permanente, and was rejected because of the heart thing. I'm fine paying a high deductible and a low monthly rate, because I almost never need to go to the doctor anyway, I just want to be covered in case I get run over by a Hummer. I don't want to just flip through the yellow pages because I don't know what to look for, what kinds of scams are out there, etc, so I'm hoping someone in the community has a name/company for me to contact, or at least some guidelines to be aware of before I dive in.

Lastly, it would make sense for me to have a physical check-up by a company's doctor so they can SEE that I'm ridiculously healthy and insure me. Does that even happen anymore?

Please help! The more specific the better-- I need a broker/brokerage company to contact immediately about this. Thank you!
posted by np312 to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you are a member of a professional organization, often they have decent health plans available for members. Computer scientists have the ACM and IEEE, and many other trades have theirs. The entry requirements for the organizations are not particularly strict, either (pay your money and supply your contact info).

This can be a much cheaper route than going it solo.
posted by zippy at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2007

Speaking as someone who is healthy, self-employed, and ex-military, I too feel like I've been "thrown to the wolves", especially since the servicemen's organization USAA dumped their health insurance, which was my very last holdout. That would have left us with unstable, expensive individual policies. Back in 2005 my wife and I had started the first steps of acquiring Canadian citizenship so that we could move my business to Canada and be assured of fair and uninterruptable health coverage for my family.

However, we finally found a group policy, amazingly enough, through my wife's alumni organization, and that put the brakes on our plan. I would look there, if that's an option.
posted by rolypolyman at 4:49 PM on June 28, 2007

IEEE stopped accepting health insurance enrollees last year.
posted by rolypolyman at 4:50 PM on June 28, 2007

You may want to look into short term health insurance. Because it's short term, the underwriting is much easier (they don't care if you get cancer, since you're out of their hair in a matter of months). Policy terms usually max out at 6 or 12 months, which will easily tide you over until your other insurance kicks in. You can fill out a brief application online and be approved in a day.
posted by stefanie at 4:55 PM on June 28, 2007

Response by poster: Short term health insurance is intriguing-- but where to look?

Also, still hoping for some sort of insurance BROKER recommendation. Thanks though.
posted by np312 at 5:05 PM on June 28, 2007

I'm sorry you've run into this. I couldn't get insurance due to a pre-existing condition either, so I'm paying huge premiums to be in the state high-risk insurance pool, which is just catastrophic coverage. Basically, I found out that anybody that will need to use health insurance can't get it! But I did look into short-term policies, and I agree that that would probably be your best bet. They are the definitely the easiest to get. There is some useful information about this kind of policy and its limitations here.

I submitted my health information at , and the next morning I had five brokers call me. I found short-term health insurance information at a number of places (if you google "short-term individual health insurance, there are a lot of sites). I've heard some positive things about and Assurant . I don't remember if they have any cardiac questions.

Unfortunately, you have been turned down for insurance, and I think that's a question just about all of them ask (and they want to know why). Having worked in insurance, I'd just say be sure and answer everything truthfully, because if you don't and you need the insurance, they will probably find out the truth through medical records, and they'll deny your claim. Also make sure you find out before you buy if your doctor is in their network, and read all the fine print about they will and won't cover.

Best of luck! I hope you can get something that works for you.

(Aargh - on preview the links didn't work)
posted by la petite marie at 6:02 PM on June 28, 2007

The place I just mentioned in my above post that has good general information about short-term health insurance is at
posted by la petite marie at 6:05 PM on June 28, 2007

Second They did a good job of showing me what's available in my state, what the options were, and how much they cost. I recommend using it at least for preliminary information before you actually talk to a broker or choose a plan. (In my case, I never used a broker; I liked what I saw and bought health insurance online.)
posted by exphysicist345 at 6:53 PM on June 28, 2007

No broker recommendation, but CostCo rolled out an insurance plan partnership in southern California a while back that I heard is good bang for your buck.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:57 AM on June 29, 2007

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