Nation's Cheapest Health Care Here

August 25, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — An online health insurance firm that compared premium costs in the country’s 100 largest cities rated Grand Rapids as being the most affordable city for family health insurance and as second-most affordable for children’s health coverage.

In the survey released last month, eHealthInsurance reported that monthly premiums for a family of four were the least expensive in Grand Rapids, at $159, and the most expensive in Spokane, Wash., at $962.

The monthly premium cost for a child in Grand Rapids was reported at $39.62; only St. Louis had a lower reported premium of $29 a month. The highest, $185.87, was found in Honolulu.

eHealthInsurance conducted the survey in March by examining 5,000 health insurance plans offered by 140 health insurance companies in the nation’s 100 most populous cities, excluding Boston. The survey looked at monthly premiums for a non-smoking family of four with a maximum deductible of $2,000 and a 20 percent co-pay.

The family consisted of a man age 37, a woman age 35, a boy age 11, and a 9-year-old girl. The survey reported the lowest quoted cost the company found.

Detroit was rated 19th for family insurance at $247.42 a month and 35th for children’s insurance at $60.16 a month.

eHealthInsurance Vice President Bob Hurley said state mandates on health insurance accounted for the large differences in premium prices. “In very heavily regulated states, prices are horrendous,” he said.

eHealthInsurance said it is the leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. The company was founded in 1997 and is located in Mountain Valley, Calif. 

GR: Individual, Family Leader

According to an eHealthInsurance survey, here are the top-ranked cities for the least expensive family health insurance:

                                            Monthly Premium        Monthly Premium
City                                           Per Person             Per Family of Four
1. Grand Rapids                          $39.77                         $159.06
2. Columbus                                $44.92                         $179.68
3. Akron                                      $47.87                         $191.46
4. Des Moines                             $48.60                         $194.46
5. Lexington-Fayette, KY           $49.44                         $197.75
5. Louisville, KY                         $49.44                        $197.75
7. Phoenix                                   $50.81                        $203.24
7. Tucson                                    $50.81                        $203.24
7. Mesa                                       $50.81                         $203.24
7. Scottsdale                                $50.81                        $203.24
11. Omaha                                  $53.02                        $212.08
12. Long Beach                           $55.00                        $220.00
12. Glendale                               $55.00                        $220.00

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