NU Online News Service, Feb. 8, 2005, 2:50 p.m. EST

A unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., has developed a collection of inexpensive, no-frills health insurance plans for individuals and families.[@@]

The unit, Golden Rule Insurance Company, Indianapolis, is rolling out the Saver option plans along with other individual and family policies that offer richer benefits.

Deductibles for the high-deductible plans range from $1,000 to $5,000 for individuals and from $2,000 to $10,000 for families.

Golden Rule also sells co-pay plans that offer lower deductibles and higher co-payments.

Choosing the new Saver option plans may cut costs sharply for customers who are willing to go without coverage for routine medical care.

The lifetime maximum benefit for all the plans is $3 million, but the Saver plans focus mainly on coverage for catastrophic care, such as hospitalization costs, and they offer little coverage for ordinary doctor office visits.

But the Saver plans do pay 80% of the cost of mammograms, Pap smears and PSA tests, and Golden Rule sells a separate, inexpensive product that can cover the cost of routine preventive care.

Buying a no-frills, high-deductible Saver plan would cost about $40 per month for a single male in his 20s, Golden Rule says.

Customers who are willing to pay more can get a Plan 100 plan that eliminates coinsurance costs, covers 100% of the cost of office visits once the deductible is met, and offers deductible options ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.