Costco Offers Health Insurance Quotes
They sell pretty much everything else, so why not offer health insurance too, right? Costco entered the insurance market several years ago to offer property and casualty (auto/home/renters) policies on behalf of Ameriprise Financial and it must have worked out pretty nicely.
Because not long after they went on to partner with mega health insurer Aetna when they created the so-called Costco Personal Health Insurance program. This looks to have since been replaced as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and now Costco simply offers health insurance quotes.
Insurance companies are always looking to partner with organizations that are trusted by thousands (if not millions) of people. This way, they ride the coattails of a previous relationship to get access to more insurance premium dollars.
For the record, Aetna was the company that underwrote the policies and paid insurance claims under the old setup.
Today, Costco works with a insurance broker by the name of “Custom Benefit Consultants, Inc.” (CBC) to provide customers with health insurance quotes. And you do not need to be a Costco member to request a quote.
Once you access Costcoquote.com, you’ll be able to compare health insurance providers in your state.
What Health Insurance Products Are Available Through Costco?
We’re looking at basic, standard individual health insurance plans here, along with more complex product offerings. This might be up your alley if you are one of the millions of Americans who:
– Does not qualify for health insurance through your employer.
– Feel your employer’s health care plan is simply too expensive!
– Are self employed.
You can apply for the following health insurance coverage via Costco’s Health Insurance Marketplace:
- Individual Plans
- Family Health Insurance
- Small Business Plans
- Short Term Medical
- Medicare Insurance Programs
The Costco Health Insurance Marketplace currently offers quotes for individual plans in all states expect for Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
OK, What’s the Benefit to Using Costco?
Back when they were partnered with Aetna, there were apparently savings from selling insurance online (versus in-person we assume) that were passed on to the Costco customer.
Basically, this meant that the Costco-Aetna health insurance policies cost less than Aetna policies sold via the traditional channels.
However, it didn’t mean they were guaranteed to be the most cost effective health insurance plans out there when compared to plans from other health insurance providers.
Simply put, they were supposed to be cheaper than policies purchased directly through Aetna.
This made sense, as Aetna probably spent much less money on advertising. In fact, they expected to sell more insurance while spending less on advertising.
Also, there was a deal in place to purchase prescriptions from Costco, resulting in lower co-pays for those who opted for the Costco-Aetna health insurance plan. This may have been a lifesaver for those who purchased medication on a regular basis.
Today, you can take advantage of Costco’s partnership with Health Advocate, a company that can help you better navigate the complex and confusing health insurance industry.
The service matches you with a Personal Health Advocate, generally a registered nurse (RN), who can assist you with a variety of tasks such as finding the best doctors/hospitals, researching treatment methods, resolving billing issues, and more.
I suppose it’s kind of like a health insurance concierge. Other than that, it appears that the Costco Health Insurance Marketplace is exactly that, an online health insurance quote marketplace.
You can probably get the same exact quotes on other websites that compare health insurance providers.
Free Samples and an Insurance Agent?
Thankfully, no. Costco will not have insurance representatives handing out free samples of Lipitor to get us to buy their health insurance in bulk.
This is going to be an online program on the Costco website for the time being. Really, it’s just an online quote marketplace and not much more than that.
You will, however, be able to grab a brochure from in-store employees should you decide you want a little information before hitting the Costco website for a quote.
This type of dual marketing is likely to be repeated with many large retailers across the United States. There is really almost no way to lose for either company.
Custom Benefit Consultants, Inc. gets access to a large group of people for which they have a lot of information – based on Costco’s raw consumer data, and Costco gets to earn a hefty commission by acting as an insurance broker, while taking no actual risk (i.e. not paying out health insurance claims).
Is There Any Downside to Getting Health Insurance from Costco?
Insurance can be complicated…especially when it comes to health insurance.
It is always recommended that you speak to an insurance agent for help navigating the insurance waters. What may seem like a great deal based on the premium may not be the best option for your individual needs.
If Costco is able to find you a health insurance product that best fits your needs and also saves you some money, then this could be a great route to take.
Of course, the only way to be sure is to compare multiple insurance quotes online from several health insurers while consulting with a professional to determine your needs before making your final purchase.
Read more: Is health insurance tax deductible?