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QualChoice was initially created in 1994 to be a third-party administrator for other health insurance plans. Founded by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, it moved shortly thereafter into providing full-service health plans for groups and individuals, with HMO and PPO options.
In 2009 the acquisition of Community Bank Life resulted in a restructuring and the formation of QualChoice Life and Health Insurance Company, Inc. under a holding company, QualChoice Holdings. In 2014, QualChoice was acquired by Catholic Health Systems, making it part of one of the largest not-for-profit health insurance groups in the nation.
QualChoice offers individual health insurance plans both on and off the marketplace across the state. They also write short-term health coverage, and Medicare coverage; you can read our review of their Medicare plans here.
QualChoice Health Plans
QualChoice has a good range of health plans in several categories. Options include HMO and PPO as well as plans that include an HSA.
The Classic Plan is available at either the Silver or Gold level and is a PPO plan offering both in and out of network coverage.
The Silver Classic 6500 has a $6,500 individual deductible that is doubled for a family. Primary care visits have a $45 copay, while specialist visits have an $80 copay. Prescriptions start at $20 for Tier 1. Most other services are subject to a 50% coinsurance after the deductible, including emergency care.
The Gold Classic 2000 has lower $2,000 individual and $4,000 family deductibles. Primary care has a $25 copay, with specialist visits doubled to $50. Emergency room visits have a $100 copay, with most other services covered with a 30% coinsurance after the deductible. Prescriptions start at $10.
Classic Saver Plans
The three Classic Saver plans are also PPO, with both in and out of network coverage available. There is one Bronze and two Silver plans to choose from.
The Bronze Classic Saver 5000 has a $5,000 individual deductible, doubled for a family. All services are subject to the deductible, with a 50% coinsurance up until the out of pocket maximum is reached. This also applies to prescription drugs.
The Silver Classic Saver 4000 is a similar plan, with slightly lower deductibles of $4,000 individual and $8,000 family and a lower 45% coinsurance after the deductible is met.
The Silver Classic 3500 again drops the deductibles somewhat, to $3,500 individual and $7,000 family, but the coinsurance with this plan is only 10% after the deductibles. Services are covered in full after the out of pocket maximum is met.
The Basic plans are HMOs, offering no out of network coverage. There are two plans: Silver and Gold.
The Silver Basic 6500 has a $6,500 individual deductible, which is doubled for family, mirroring the Silver Classic; in fact, all of the coverage mirrors the Silver Classic. The main difference between the two plans is the lack of out of network coverage, which limits the insured to those providers that are in-network.
Similarly, the Basic Gold has the same coverage as the Classic Gold; again the difference is the network access.
Basic Saver Plans
The two Basic Saver plans are the same as the Bronze 5000 and Silver 3500 plans in terms of deductibles and coinsurance amounts. As with the basic plans, these plans differ in terms of the network that is available.
QualChoice offers one catastrophic plan. It has an individual deductible of $7,350, which is doubled for a family. As with most catastrophic plans, coverage is not offered until the deductible is met; one exception is that three primary care visits are allowed per the calendar year at no charge. As the deductible is also the out of pocket limit, all services are covered in full after it is met.
QualChoice has short-term health insurance available with terms from 28 to 182 days. Coverage is available for individuals and families, with a 20% coinsurance amount after the deductible is met.
We ran a quote for a single 30-year-old non-tobacco user living in QualChoice’s headquarters’ county. The least expensive rate returned was $282.78 a month for the Bronze Basic Saver 5000 plan. The next cheapest was the Bronze Classic Saver at $297.66 a month, which is not much of an increase to add out-of-network coverage.
Surprisingly, the most expensive plan was not a Gold plan, but the Silver Classic 6500, at $432.81.
Without comparison to other companies operating in the same county and state, it is difficult to make a clear statement on the value offered by these plans. Certainly, the rates seem in line with what we have seen for similar plans in other states, perhaps a little on the high side considering the generally high deductibles and coinsurance amounts.
Although claims forms are among the forms available for download on the site, most claims will be handled directly with the providers. This may occasionally differ with out of network coverage, but in general, claims are handled without insured assistance as with most health insurers.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
QualChoice Holdings, the holding company created for the corporation, has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This lowered rating is due to failure to respond to one of the four complaints on file in the past three years. One complaint was closed in the past 12 months.
The company is not rated by the National Committee for Quality Assurance due to a lack of data reported for 2017.
There are two Yelp reviews for QualChoice, both of which are negative, resulting in a one-star rating overall. There are a couple of positive reviews among the 14 total reviews on Google, but the rest are overwhelmingly negative, resulting in a 1.6-star rating overall. Most complaints are focused on common issues like poor customer service and denial of claims.
Generally, the complaint volume isn’t high for this company.
The Bottom Line
QualChoice may be worth considering for those who are seeking a high deductible plan with reasonable monthly costs. They appear to have a fairly good reputation but may be on the expensive side for those who have a lot of health expenses. Their plan coverage should be carefully compared to other options before making a final choice.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.