In the past six months we have been inundated with individuals who found our website and our blog post describing how US Health/Freedom Life were falsely marketing themselves as Cigna PPO.
When talking with these individuals one thing that was clear was how confusing the policies were. Instead of having a simple plan with a deductible and copay, US Health/Freedom Life had 3-4 different policies that all worked differently. I’ll explain more in detail later.
To get a better idea exactly how all the plans work we received two quotes one from a US Health Field Sales Leader and another from an agent.
Premier Choice Product Explained
Every US Health policy first beings with the Premier Choice Product. According to the quote this plan pays “first dollar payments for expenses incurred for covered healthcare services without a calendar year deductible having to be satisfied.” It’s a lot of words when it means “Hey this is an indemnity product.”
What is an indemnity product? Simply its plan that pays up to the dollar amount for certain procedures. On the U.S. Health product, it will pay up to $400, $600 or $700 for a hospital room and board. If you were to have a stroke the Daily Maximum is $2,400-$4,200. So, under an indemnity plan your fine if you don’t get sick.
This product is marketing as having no deductible, no copay. This is technically true but incredibly misleading. The plan has no deductible but will only pay up to $75/$100 for a doctor visit and $30 for a lab test. (See below) Limits like this are basically worthless and can lead an individual with tremendous costs if a major event were to take place. If you do get sick, U.S. Health says they have a solution for you in their Premier Med product.
Premier Med is an optional rider that the client will have to elect when signing up. Confused yet…. Well just hang in there. So according to U.S. Health an individual can convert to “Premier Med” at anytime even during a claim. Wait. What?? I’m not sure exactly how it works either. However, lets discuss the benefits of “Premier Med.”
Premier Med is a short term medical-surgical expense plan. Please note the words short-term. The plan is for 90 days only.
How it works is if you elect “Premier Med” you have a $4,000 deductible and a max out of pocket of $7,000. After 90 days you either must join an ACA plan or if its not available you can stay on “Premier Med” however the deductible starts over. Instead of $4,000 its now $1,000. Your out of pocket will remain at 7,000. So, if you have for 180 days your liability is $14,000. In addition, you will have to pay a higher premium once you elect to go onto Premier Med (which won’t be detailed until you go on this plan and all back premiums)!!!!!
So, this brings up a few questions for the consumer:
- If “Premier Med” is so good, why not offer that by itself?
- Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to go to United Healthcare or National General and get a normal short-term product? Especially now since the term will be 1 year?
All good questions that have no answers.
To get a U.S. Health product, you must become a member of the American Independent Business Coalition (Southern Business Alliance). Usually association membership for medical insurance is cheap. Golden Rule through F.A.C.T is $4. For U.S. Health Policies the Fee is $89.95!!! Is there gold or diamonds in this membership?
We tried to access what exactly an individual gets with this however there is nothing available online.
The application fee for a plan with Freedom Life is $40.
Below is a comparison of the Premier Choice/Med vs Golden Rule (United)’s Short Term Product. We used a 39-M living in Scottsdale, Arizona. On our quote with Golden Rule we used a $2500 deductible 80/20 plan up to 2,000 so a max out of pocket of $4,500. The Golden Rule (United) quote was coming in at $116 a month and the Freedom Life quote at $258.27.
E&M Global Insurance are not huge fans of the Affordable Care Act. We have seen client’s premiums become unaffordable resulting in them selecting options that they otherwise wouldn’t. Our solutions with short term products and international offerings are solutions we are proud of.
Freedom Life/U.S. Health offers the rare combo of expensive products and D- coverage. They have been able to grow and flourish because of their aggressive marketing, naive clients and the unaffordability of the Affordable Care Act. We believe strongly that all individuals who have this product have not been told the entire story. If you are considering one of these plans or want to switch, please let us know.