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Navigating maze of options on health insurance

SACRAMENTO — Buying health insurance is no one’s idea of fun. But for many folks who have lost a job, just graduated from college or maxed out their COBRA, it’s a necessity. One of those is 60-year-old Nancy Thompson of Camino, who lost her shipping office job at Sierra Pacific’s mill last year. This month, the COBRA health coverage from her former employer ran out. Determined to stay covered, she went shopping for individual health insurance online and found it an unpleasant experience.Using one of the many comparison sites for health insurance, she started filling out her online application.

“It was overwhelming. There were so many questions and I started feeling uncomfortable,” Thompson said. “I didn’t even finish filling it out. That’s when the e-mails, phone calls and letters started arriving from brokers or agents eager to sign her up.

Frustrated, she opted to buy a $541-a-month Aetna policy from a Citrus Heights insurance broker who came to her home. (Her husband, who is retired, has health coverage through Medicare.) “It can be a very onerous process,” said Sam Gibbs, senior vice president of Health insurance, a Mountain View-based online insurance site. “You have to fill out extensive medical questionnaires about doctor visits, prescriptions.

Many individuals qualify for a policy instantly, he said, but for those with complicated medical histories, “it can take weeks to get an answer back.Despite the difficulties, most people can’t risk going without insurance.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 4:26 am and is filed under Health Insurance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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