Photo: Flickr via jae_yong
Costco’s rapidly expanding its growing inventory of financial products. Last week, the wholesaler rolled out two new partnerships that will make mortgages and health insurance available to members. The mortgage venture seems harmless enough, but the retailer’s stab at the health insurance market raised our eyebrows.
In partnership with Aetna, Costco will dole out the Costco Personal Health plan in several states, according to a company press release – Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia, with more to be added later in the year.
To get a better idea of what the plans offer, we took a trial run through the registration page at www.costcopersonalhealth.com.
-You’ll pay nothing for preventative care, which includes important exams like pap smears, cancer screenings and mammograms.
-If you use doctors within Aetna’s network, some plans waive the deductible requirement.
-Most plans charge just $15 for generic prescriptions.
-One of the plans is designated for consumers who maintain a health savings account (HSA).
-There’s also a dental option.
–There is NO maternity care, unless you incur “pregnancy complications.” This could be a major deterrent for many consumers, especially considering how important families must be to business.
–Deductibles are sky-high, which is unfortunately a growing trend for private health care plans. For individuals, they range from $3,000 to $7,500 for in-network care and $6,000 to $10,000 for out-of-network care. For families, deductibles start from $6,000 to $15,000 for in-network and $12,000 to $20,000 for out-of-network care.
-After you’ve met your deductible, the plan covers just 30% of the cost of lab work, outpatient surgery and hospital stays.
-ER visits will set you back $350 unless you’re actually admitted for treatment.
-Consumers with preexisting conditions might not qualify for the plan at all, at least not until Obamacare goes into effect.
This isn’t the first time a major retailer has ventured beyond the realm of groceries and cheap patio furniture. Walmart received a rocky reception at best when it started offering free tax services to consumers in-store earlier this year.
For more information on Costco’s plan, call 866-286-3155 or check out www.costcopersonalhealth.com.
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