Navigator, the online insurance service that lets people compare health insurance policies across multiple companies, has launched a pilot program in Puerto Rico that gives people the option to pay $200 for an annual insurance policy, up from $60.
Navigator is a division of Navigant, a technology company owned by Altria Group Inc., which is also a major shareholder in Navigants health and wellness business.
In the pilot, Navigator customers will get access to a premium quote on a single-year plan, or three years worth of plans.
They can then compare rates and compare plans by geographic area or geographic area of interest, such as their home state.
The company has not said when the pilot will be expanded.
The pilot program is being led by the company’s CEO and Chief Financial Officer, and it will be open to all Puerto Rico residents who qualify for a plan, according to a Navigator news release.
“We want to make sure people who are able to afford it, who have the time and resources to shop around, who are ready to make a choice and get started,” said Navigat CEO Tom Selleck.
The goal is to have a broad base of customers, with a goal of providing “a real-time and accurate comparison of health insurance plans,” according to the release.
Navigatio says that it will charge for all health insurance, whether the insurance plan is single or a family plan.
“People who are currently on the island can enroll now,” the company said in a statement.
“If they are on a family insurance plan, Navigato will give them a discounted rate to get started.
If they don’t have any family coverage, Navigo will help them plan for the coverage they may need and will also offer an annual fee waiver to help offset any out-of-pocket expenses.”
For example, a typical family insurance rate in Puerto Rican is about $3,800 a year.
Navigation will give those customers a discounted cost of $2,400 for an individual policy and $2 for a family policy.
If people sign up for a single policy, the premium for the year will be $3.75 a month.
But if they have three or more insurance plans, the individual plan will be free.
Navigators Health Care and Wellness plan will cost about $6,000 a year, or about $30,000 per year.
For the family plan, it will cost $4,800 per year or $50,000.
“It’s about giving people the opportunity to compare health plans, not to be charged a premium for it, but to get a rate that’s comparable to other insurers,” Sellek said.
“That’s going to be a great benefit for people who want to get into this insurance marketplace.”
The insurance plan will also be available for purchase on a first-come, first-served basis through a partnership with Puerto Rico’s public utilities, and in the near future, the company will offer it through its own website, Navis Health Care website.
Navigate has been in the health insurance market since 2008, and the company says it has more than 2,200 employees in Puerto Ricos territory.
About 25 percent of Puerto Rico population lives in poverty.
It said that the insurance companies are in the process of launching a third version of its Health Navigator app, but it said it has no timeline for when the app will be available.
“This is a very important first step in making sure that we can continue to provide coverage to the population that needs it,” Siegel said.