Based in Sunrise, Florida, Cinergy Health & Life is a national insurer, offering short-term, limited benefit plans in 35 states. They provide membership to a discount program or indemnity plan for individuals who don’t need or cannot afford a major medical plan. Cinergy does not technically sell health insurance, which would connect members to hospital care and a large national network. Their services act as an alternative for individuals and families who want to receive discounts on healthcare services – without the cost and underwriting process of a private health insurance company. This means, if you do not qualify for or cannot pay for health insurance, you are at least able to reduce your medical expenses through this kind of arrangement.
Cinergy Health indemnity plans are offered in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
How Cinergy Health & Life Works
Somewhat similar to a major medical insurer, Cinergy contracts with healthcare providers, allowing a specific amount of service costs to be discounted for plan members. Though you pay a monthly fee to be a Cinergy member, these are not nearly as much as health insurance premiums – as they advertise an average rate of $5 per day, depending on the plan. Providing first dollar coverage without a deductible, and not limited to a provider network, Cinergy members can select any doctors and hospitals they wish to use.
Underwriting is also limited with Cinergy Health plans, as they accept individuals with pre-existing conditions, so long as the condition has no been present for at least 12 months. Unlike medical underwriting for year-long, full-benefit plans, Cinergy only looks back one year rather than digging up the past five or ten after admitting to a health problem on an application. This enables individuals who otherwise would not be insurable to get lower costs for typical healthcare services.
Cinergy Health Plan Benefits
Covering both inpatient and outpatient services, Cinergy Health makes sure individuals who buy their plans get access to the basics of medical care. Plans in each state are the same for the most part, with the following services discounted.
- Physician office visit
- Diagnostic X-rays and laboratory work
- Emergency room visits
- Outpatient surgery
- Hospital stay – intensive care (15 day limit)
- Hospital stay (30 day limit)
- Initial hospital admission
Cinergy Plan Options
The Downsides Of An Indemnity Plan
Looking over the benefit summaries for these plans, it is evident that scores of medical services are omitted. Hence, limited benefit plan. Be very careful when investing in a plan like this, as your discounts only go so far and you can still get stuck with large out-of-pocket fees for many types of care. Notice how there are only five covered office visits per year, including 2 reserved for preventive services. You lose one with an annual exam, and two for a flu shot. Then, if you get sick or injured more than three times during the course of the year, your benefit is useless. Given that most people do not visit the doctor this much, the visit limit is practical, but it is very important to notice if you find you need more than five trips to a physician or specialist per year.
If you do have a flawed medical history and have been unable to purchase coverage from an insurer, this may be a viable option, within reason. These plans are still not going to give you the full range of services you may not be able to anticipate in the future. As no one plans how and when to get sick, it is usually preferable to get a wider variety of coverage, which is better provided by an individual health plan. Understandably for some who have been rejected for private coverage, these plans seem enticing, but consider your other options, as well.