Celtic Insurance Company Review

Pros, cons, and what you need to know
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert Written by Ann Herro
Ann Herro, Insurance Expert
Written by Ann Herro

Ann Herro has been writing about insurance and employee benefits for over 15 years. She has covered topics as easy as insuring a car, and as difficult as transparency in healthcare costs.


Celtic Insurance Company at a Glance

  • Celtic Insurance Company, formerly known as Celtic Life,  is a national health insurance company providing healthcare solutions to individuals, families, and the self-employed
  • Acquired in 2008 by St. Louis-based Centene Corporation, a publicly traded company
  • Centene is the largest Medicaid Managed Care Organization in the country, and the largest carrier on the Health Insurance Marketplace
  • Celtic Insurance Company is not individually rated by the BBB or AM Best

Celtic Insurance Company pros: Celtic Insurance Company offers an online member portal that can be used to view ID card and benefits, check a claim status, find or change providers, make a payment, and more. The company also offers a variety of pharmacy resources, including 24/7 medication help through US Script, one of Celtic’s partner companies. The company has over 58,000 pharmacies in its network. Offers Ambetter health plans on the health insurance exchange. These plans are designed to offer affordable health insurance for lower-income individuals and families who may not qualify for Medicaid or other government programs.

Celtic Insurance Company cons: Celtic Insurance Company offers little information on its website or elsewhere regarding the details of its plans or services. While members can access information on the member portal, prospective customers will find it difficult to garner any information about the company. The company has a limited service area, but details of what states Celtic does operate in are hard to find as well. Celtic’s customer service options are minimal.

What Type of Insurance Does Celtic Insurance Company Offer?

Celtic Insurance Company and its parent company Centene Corporation offer the following types of health insurance plans and programs.

  • Medicaid: Partners with state governments to provide health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, and pregnant women.
  • Medicare: Medicare Advantage and Medicare-Medicaid plans provide access to personal, local care.
  • Health insurance marketplace: Affordable plans for individuals and families who may not qualify for Medicaid or other government coverage.
  • Specialty pharmacy: Comprehensive specialty drug management services focused on improving care and outcomes for patients living with complex conditions.
  • Pharmacy benefit management (PBM): National comprehensive specialty pharmacy services and PBM helps organizations reduce pharmacy spend and maximize individuals’ health. 
  • Dental insurance: Dental care solutions driven by a large network of dental service providers and designed to cut costs without sacrificing service or quality. 
  • Vision insurance: Vision plans offer members eye exams and affordable access to eyewear including frames, prescription lenses, and contacts. 
  • Nurse line and after hours support: Call-in nurse advice line is available 24/7 to support individuals and organizations looking for alternatives to ER visits.

The best way to learn about what types of health insurance plans are best for your family or your business is talking with an independent insurance agents. Local agents can get quotes from multiple insurance companies to help you make sure you have the coverage that meets your needs and budget.

Using our insurance company directory can help you find the best insurance companies that specialize in your specific coverage needs. The company directory can also help you get connected to an agent near you.

What to Know about Celtic Insurance Company

Celtic Insurance Company was founded in 1978. It is based in Chicago, Illinois, and was acquired in 2008 by St. Louis-based Centene Corporation, a publicly traded company. This merger brought potential for growth for both companies.

Celtic’s parent company, Centene was founded in 1984 as a nonprofit Medicaid plan by a former hospital bookkeeper, Elizabeth “Betty” Brinn. Now, with more than three decades of experience operating government-sponsored programs, Centene is the largest Medicaid Managed Care Organization in the country, and the largest carrier on the Health Insurance Marketplace and a national leader in managed long-term services and support.

Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities.

What Discounts Does Celtic Insurance Company Offer?

Celtic Insurance Company does not publish information about any discounts or savings opportunities that it offers. The best way to learn more about carrier discounts is to talk with an independent insurance agent who can help uncover more ways to save.

Celtic Insurance Company Customer Service

Here's what to know about Celtic Insurance Company’s customer service options.

  • Customer service department is available by phone during regular business hours to assist agents and policyholders with application, billing, and claim questions
  • Ambetter members can reach the Member Services department 24/7 through an online member account, or by calling Ambetter Member Services during business hours


Monday-Friday Not specified

Saturday Not specified

Sunday Not specified

Local independent insurance agents can provide even more personalized service. If you have questions or concerns about your policy, an independent agent can advocate on your behalf.


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Celtic Insurance Company FAQ

What is Celtic Insurance Company’s average claims response time frame?

Celtic Insurance Company does not provide any information about its average claims response time.

What is Celtic Insurance Company’s customer service availability?

Celtic customer service is available by phone or email during regular business hours. Ambetter members may contact customer service via an online member portal

What is Celtic Insurance Company’s claims process?

Celtic does not publish information about its claims process. Health insurance companies typically work directly with providers to file and pay claims, and members are billed for any amounts left over that they must pay.

Does Celtic Insurance Company create a user-friendly experience for customers?

Celtic does not create a particularly user-friendly experience. For shoppers, very little information is available online about the company’s plans, service area, or pricing. You can search for providers online, however.

Members can call or email a Celtic representative for service, but the company does not offer a live chat feature, a mobile app, or publish its customer service hours.

Ambetter members can access a  nurse advice line 24/7 for health advice. These members can also access an online member portal where they can pay premiums, view benefits, and print an ID card.

Does Celtic Insurance Company have good health insurance?

Celtic Insurance Company and its parent company Centene Corporation have several decades of experience in the health insurance industry. Both companies cater to uninsured and underinsured customers and certain government or military groups. Celtic/Centene may not offer the best health insurance for everyone, but the plans offered through Ambetter may be viable options for people searching for healthcare coverage on the healthcare marketplace.

Ambetter policies have some of the cheapest rates available on the exchanges, but are not available in all states. They typically offer basic coverage, so benefits and providers may be limited. The company has numerous highly negative reviews filed with the BBB.

Is Celtic Insurance Company a good insurance company?

Celtic Insurance was founded in 1978 and is a subsidiary of Centene Corporation. Celtic is based in Chicago, Illinois, and was created specifically to help uninsured and underinsured customers. Through Centene, the company offers several health plans and peripheral services, as well as healthcare marketplace plans via Ambest. The company is committed to serving underserved communities through local affiliates and partnerships.

Celtic Insurance Company Customer Reviews

No reviews were found for Celtic Insurance Company. Better Business Bureau reviews for Centene Corporation were entirely negative. 

Better Business Bureau
“After a visit to urgent care for myself and my daughter, the visit was denied as out-of-network though the clinic was listed online as in-network on their site and I was told they are an accepted form of insurance by the front counter receptionist at the clinic. This turned into a fiasco involving a letter to the state's dept. of insurance and months of interactions with various parties to get it fixed. Throughout it all I never once received accurate nor quality assistance on the phone with any Ambetter rep. I was in fact misled, told that the provider must be listed as in-network on the website to be considered in-network, and that I must ask at every medical facility for the healthcare provider's name to ensure that they are listed individually or risk no coverage of the claim. Only later was I told by the dept. of insurance that this is false and that an entire chain of clinics can be in-network while individual providers' names may not necessarily be listed online. The entire in- and out-of-network setup is handled sloppily, healthcare clinic employees told me Ambetter frequently denies claims as out-of-network, and that it's a common issue with them, and Ambetter failed to fix my issue until I complained to the dept. of insurance.”

Better Business Bureau
“This company is absolutely horrible. Uses very means possible to avoid paying claims and delay in authorizing necessary medical treatments. Consistently pushes decisions regarding pre-approvals out 20 days before advising insureds.”

Better Business Bureau
“Would give no stars if possible. You get what you pay for. Unfortunately, this is what many can afford. Customer service reps are useless and rude. Good luck finding a provider who will accept this insurance. I cannot wait to change insurance companies. The "Find a Provider" feature on their website is a joke. Very few local providers, when you research the doctors, you see 1 and 2 star reviews. If you call, the phone numbers are disconnected, or they are not taking new patients. Or worse, they don't even accept Ambetter. Every phone call to customer service takes forever.”

Better Business Bureau
“Terrible customer service. Never return a phone call, or follow through on what they say they will do. Have claims not processed because of their error.”

TrustedChoice.com's Final Review

We award Celtic Insurance Company a final rating of 1 out of 5 stars. To begin with, the company offers little in the way of information about its service area or plans online. The relationship between Celtic, Centene, and Ambest is confusing, at best. We do know that Celtic offers insurance plans on the health insurance exchanges through Ambest, and that these plans offer basic coverage for lower-income uninsured or underinsured people.

While these plans serve a very important purpose and an underserved group, they are definitely not for anyone looking for comprehensive coverage and a wide provider network. What’s more, those who have purchased policies appear unhappy based on the number of negative reviews filed with the Better Business Bureau.

The company does promote certain wellness goals and offers rewards for members who reach them. It also offers a convenient, 24/7 nurse advice line and a variety of pharmacy resources.

We suggest working with an independent insurance agent for help with choosing a health insurance plan, even if you intend to purchase coverage on the health insurance exchange. Local agents can help you understand how different plans work, and help you choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

If you’re looking for an insurance company that works with independent insurance agents, use our insurance company directory. You can locate companies that specialize in your specific coverage needs and get connected to an agent near you.

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