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If you’re shopping for health insurance in Los Angeles, you’ve likely come across health insurance plans offered by L.A. Care—and you’re right to wonder which types of plans they offer, and the types of reviews and ratings these plans get.
NerdWallet Health did the research for you. Here are the L.A. Care plans available this open enrollment period, as well as reviews and ratings for L.A. Care sourced from around the Web.
L.A. Care health plan reviews
Yelp’s 15 reviews for L.A. Care are overwhelmingly negative, with all reviewers giving one star. From the comments on Yelp, customers are quite unhappy with the company and report issues with customer service, obtaining the correct paperwork, claim denials and more. Bear in mind that 15 reviews are very few, so you shouldn’t make your decision based solely on this factor—but use it as a starting place as you evaluate whether this company will be right for you. Do you have experience with L.A. Care? Share your comments below.
L.A. Care ratings
L.A. Care only recently started offering private health insurance plans via the Covered California Marketplace, so ratings have not yet been published. However, Consumer Reports lists scores for L.A. Care Medicare and Medicaid plans. For both Medicaid and Medicare HMO plans, L.A. Care ranks equal to or below average in all scoring categories.
L.A. Care health plan: available health insurance plans
There are four L.A. Care plans available through Covered California. L.A. Care also offers Medi-Cal and some other plans; all Covered California plans are called “L.A. Care Covered.” The available plans are L.A. Care Covered Plan Bronze 60 HMO, L.A. Care Covered Plan Silver 70 HMO, L.A. Care Covered Plan Gold 80 HMO, and L.A. Care Covered Plan Platinum 90 HMO.
It’s important to note that these are all HMO plans, which are a more restrictive type of insurance. While HMOs tend to be less expensive in terms of monthly premiums, you may end up paying more if you don’t do your research upfront. The hallmark of HMO plans is that they require you to have a primary care provider (PCP) whom you must see before seeing any specialists, if you want your insurance to pay any of the cost of your care. The theory behind HMOs is that they prevent over-utilization of care by giving you this PCP “gatekeeper.” You’re also required to stay in-network for all care you receive; otherwise, your plan won’t cover any of your care. This is different than, for example, PPO plans, which allow you to self-refer to specialists. And while it’s still less expensive to go to an in-network provider, PPOs will often cover part of the cost of out-of-network visits.
An HMO could be an affordable option if you visit the doctor infrequently and don’t require many specialist visits. Regardless of what you choose, take a look at the network for any plan before you make the purchase to make sure that there are some in-network doctors in your area.
Los Angeles image via Shutterstock.