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Health Insurance. Bleh.

by J. Money on Monday, August 22, 2011

Meh Shirt
If there’s one thing I still haven’t wrapped my head around w/ this whole self-employment stuff yet, it’s health insurance.  And for good measure (“good” as in keeping me from insanity, but “opposite of good” for staying ignorant about the whole damn thing ;)).  I don’t know what it is about it, but my brain just shuts off the second it gets raised around me.  And lately, that’s been a LOT.

For the first time in my life, I’m actually the one in charge for dealing with it now.  No HR to walk me through it, no parents to call and ask to be added to their plans (that was sweet while that lasted!), nothing.  Only the wifey now reminding me that every day I procrastinate is another day w/out insurance.  Which, right now, has been a solid 21 days in a row. Yep. As I type this, and yet again avoid dealing with it, I currently have no health insurance whatsoever. And I don’t have anyone to blame but myself ;)

I KNOW that it’s important, and I KNOW that I’m playing with fire here, but for whatever reason it keeps getting pushed down my priority list (says the guy who just blogged about how important it is to maintain good health! Sigh…) And the 2.3 minutes I’ve spent on it so far hasn’t been very motivating either.  Costs aside, it seems you need a PHD just to figure out what the hell you NEED to begin with.  Which gives me even more respect to all you in Human Resources, my goodness. Y’all are smarties!

But I’m not here to confess all my dirty secrets with you today, nope.  I’m afraid we’d be here for a lot longer if that were the case. Instead, I’m getting this all out in the open to make sure I hold myself accountable for now on.  I know damn well some of you are jumping out of your seat, ready to knock some good sense into me already, so consider this me asking for it!  But maybe focusing less on the  hate, and more on the tip’age :)

Who do you all use for insurance?  Did you get it on your own, or are you going through your employer?  Do any of you own small businesses where you created your OWN group insurance?  I was talking to a friend the other day, and he mentioned that he just created a *group* plan through his own LLC and that worked out nicely for him.  In fact, I called my accountant last week (ooh, I *did* do more research on it all! Haha… already forgot about that, wow that’s bad.), and she mentioned that being self-employed I can now potentially write it off too!  How sweet would that be?

She mentioned something to the affect that to qualify, I couldn’t get it anywhere else like through my wife’s employer or something like that. But luckily/unluckily she gets insurance through her University (She’s still a grad student).  Up until now I’d been on that same plan since getting laid off in December, but now for whatever reason they’re swapping companies and their new insurance plans are all kinds of jacked up.  Which is why I’m just now getting into this stuff, 9 months into J. Money 2.0 ;)  At least I’ll get to learn something new which is kinda cool… just wish it was on stocks or beer or something like that, haha… maybe Beer stocks?

Okay, enough of my rambling.  Hook a brotha up and give him some good pointers! Here are the questions again that come to the top of my head:

  1. Which insurance company do you have?
  2. Do you like them? (aka would you recommend them to me?)
  3. Do you get it through your own employer?  Or are you self-employed?
  4. How much do you think it will cost a 31 y/o relatively healthy young man signing up on his own plan? ;)  The person who gets the closest answer to this will win a special prize, haha… ooh I like that! Yes – tell me how much you think it’ll end up costing me, per month, and whoever gets the closest will win something cool! Aww yeahhh, this got a helluva lot more interesting, didn’t it? :)

Ready. Set. Help J. Money!

—————-
PS: Remember when I had 100% paid-for insurance through my insane startup? I miss that. And possibly the 12 other amazingly sickening (no pun intended) perks that once spoiled me, too.
PPS: Or what about that idea of taking on a side job a few hours of week *just* to get insurance? Back when I thought I’d have MORE time as an entrepreneur? haha… good times, good times.

***UPDATE*** I now have health insurance!!  I ended up using eHealth Insurance and love ‘em :)

(Photo by RobotSkirts)


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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 @paulgebel August 22, 2011 at 6:57 am

Are you going through a broker? I can ask if mine had any recommendations for a good firm in your neck of the woods.

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2 Diane August 22, 2011 at 7:07 am

As a single-member LLC you don’t qualify for group plans.

I am self-employed and it’s my biggest risk item. I had COBRA for a year and then bought a PPO plan on the private market 7 years ago. Since then it has gone up 20% – 40% every year. Last year it topped out at $600/month for a $1K deductible for a single person (not family), so I bumped it up to a $5K deductible and now it’s back down to $300/month (but still going up 20% – 40% every year…sigh). You are younger than I so you should be able to get a plan for around $300 to $400 a month for a lower deductible. I am perfectly healthy BTW.

Yes, you can deduct the premiums – not expenses. HMOs cheaper than PPOs. Expect it will keep soaring – and no, that has nothing to do with any of the health reform stuff unless it somehow retroactively applied to my last 6 years of purchases before it was enacted.

I expect eventually it may be the reason I fold my business and go to look for a public-sector job. Costs in my budget are fine now, but in 5 years…who knows.

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3 Diane August 22, 2011 at 7:08 am

Correction – you can deduct expenses for amounts over 7% (?) of your AGI. But I’ve never made that threshold.

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4 Sense August 22, 2011 at 7:15 am

I’d sign up for one of those low cost, high deductible emergency plans until you have more information to deal with this. That way you are covered if something crazy happens while you are deciding on and researching plans (and your wife gets some peace of mind). While you are waiting for the insurance to kick in, make sure you’re taking care of yourself! (I hereby prescribe you more vacations!)

I always buy short term emergency health insurance for my trips to the US. My latest costs me about $45 a month with 20% coinsurance and a $5K deductible ($7K out of pocket limit). There is usually a one-time application fee, too–$30? Got it through ehealthinsurance.com. Easy process, never had a problem so far signing up. Then again, I’ve never had an emergency to use it (knock on wood), so I can’t vouch for the policies. I pick the ones rated A or higher, though.

I’m guessing full coverage for a good PPO plan with Rx, HSA option, and low co-insurance and with high deductible (because you roll like that) would be $110-$140 a month? For your contest, let’s say $125. It has been 3 years since I’ve paid for full coverage health insurance in the US, though…I’m sure the cost has gone way up.

Good luck!

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5 Diane August 22, 2011 at 7:32 am

I wouldn’t go short-term. If something happens that is serious (major accident, cancer, etc), then it will expire at some point leaving you exposed and making it very hard to find a permanent plan that will accept you for anything like a reasonable rate.

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6 Mom's Plans August 22, 2011 at 7:39 am

Why don’t you just sign on to your wife’s policy through the university until you have time to figure this out? My husband is a grad student, and our family can all be covered under that policy; we just have to pay a bit more. That will give you until December to figure it out, and by then you will have done your research, right ;), and know what policy will work best for you. Please don’t go another day without insurance!!!!!

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7 Steve August 22, 2011 at 7:48 am

I don’t want to say what plan I have, since I actually work for the insurance company, but we do have a pretty good plan though them. It’s not the best plan I’ve seen, but it works, and a lot of the terms of the employment based plans are largely dictated by the employer themselves, anyway.

Self insurance is expensive as all hell, so it sucks that you have to go that route, but I would definitely talk to a broker to try to find out what plan would work best for you. I would also try to get a plan that has nationwide participating providers (which most of them do anyway, but still) since you do travel a lot.

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8 RT August 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

1. Which insurance company do you have? Carefirst
2. Do you like them? (aka would you recommend them to me?) I would reccomend my plan….but its hard to recommend a specific insurance company, as it all depends on what plan you have. Though I would suggest in general staying away from Metlife, Humana and Cigna. And this advise comes from someone who works with insurance.
3. Do you get it through your own employer? Or are you self-employed? I get it through my employer who is a small business owner, though I am the one in charge of picking the plan and the such.
4. How much do you think it will cost a 31 y/o relatively healthy young man signing up on his own plan? ;) I am thinking you can get a pretty descent plan in the realm of $200 a month.

I would suggest going through a health care insurance broker, as opposed to buying it on your own. A broker can in essence act a bit as your HR department would. They can explain to you the nuances of the policy, and can often present you with different options. If you like, you can email me, and I can give you the contact information for the broker we use, as I know you are in the DC area as well.

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9 Emily August 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

J! Seriously? I’ve gone through the whole not having insurance thing – and it’s NOT good. Most of my debt that’s on my credit card is medical bills.

1- My insurance is Blue Cross Blue Shield Concordia Plan Services
2- I LOVE IT. It’s especially useful for me because I have a disability, and it still covers what I need it to.
3- I get it through my employer – a church. It’s probably one of the things my denomination has going for it if you are employed through them. If you work in a church that’s part of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, more than likely you have the opportunity to get insurance through Concordia Plan Services. Granted, my church is very generous and chose a plan for all of us that’s VERY good.
4- … I have no idea. I’m sorry! It’s one of those things I need to learn that I really should know these things and not just trust the money people at work to handle it.

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10 Edward Antrobus August 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

I agree with “Mom’s Plans.” Even if the new university plans are ridiculous, they are almost certainly going to be cheaper then self-insured premiums.

We have an Aetna Blue Cross PPC plan through my wife’s employer for medical insurance. Dental is covered by another company and vision by a third. The vision insurance is INCREDIBLE. Medical is…okay. Part of the problem is the employer is based out of Ohio, so our local hospital is considered “out-of-network” and we pay pretty much full price for an E.R. visit.

So that would be my big thing to recommend is to make sure that your providers are in the network of your insurance coverage.

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11 Stephanie August 22, 2011 at 9:21 am

This is the one issue that would keep me from ever going full-time on my side business! I work for local government full-time, so I have pretty awesome health insurance. Our premiums are low, and we have a $250/person, $500/family deductible, but the deductible is waived if there’s a copay (so no deductible for office visits or prescriptions). And it’s a PPO, which is nice – no referrals!

I do have a friend who did what Sense mentions, a low-cost, high-deductible plan, for a few months between college and her first real job. It worked out well, but only because she didn’t get sick or injured during that time, so she (a) didn’t have any high out-of-pocket costs and (b) didn’t go into her new plan with any pre-existing conditions. It’s a gamble though!

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12 LB August 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

Most group plans allow you to be a group if you employ 2 or more people just depending on the plan. So hire your wife and/or kid down the street, because it will save you a butt-load of money.

1) UnitedHealthCare
2) I would recommend them, because they are the best of what I have found lately, but I am not self-employed yet
3) Through my husband’s employer
4)Too many variables. Depends on the deductible, where you live and what insurance you are going with. My guess would be, since you are healthy, young, and don’t like paying a lot of something you don’t need. You would go for the $100 range per month or less.

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13 Ginger August 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

Your best bet is going through an employer, if you can be added to your wife’s plan DO IT. She would have to call her HR and get you added on as a “change of life event”. Tell her to use that phase. Do not wait, you only have 30 days to do it as a change of life event. This will be your cheapest way of getting health insurance.

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14 Diane August 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

@LB: It’s not as simple as “hire your wife, or the kid down the street” – that makes tax filing way more complicated, and creates other issues for business structure and liability. Not recommended to have faux employees unless you want to tangle with the IRS.

You also won’t find long-term (ie not 90 days max) insurance for under $100/month, period. At least not a PPO. The cheapest you might hope for, with a very high deductible would probably be $150/month. As I mentioned above – for a PPO plan that is comparable to most employer-provided plans with a reasonable deductible ($1K?) might run you $300/month.

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15 Cassie August 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

I am self employed and my coverage is with Florida Blue Cross. I pay just under $200 a month.You’ll find a links to most of the big providers that offer on-line quotes here: http://beyonddave.com/2011/07/i-cant-afford-medical-insurance/

Get this done J. before it bites you !

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16 Brian August 22, 2011 at 11:37 am

1. Which insurance company do you have? Anthem

2. Do you like them? (aka would you recommend them to me?) I can’t complain about them yet, since I have only had them for 3 months, but most people I know who have them seem to like them

3. Do you get it through your own employer? Or are you self-employed? I got it on my own after having insurance from my wife’s old employer. She got a new job and her insurance is $12/month (and fantastic), but to add me it would go to $250 a month. My plan is only $98/month. I’m a government contractor and we get a “health and wellness benefit” which is supposed to cover insurance and retirement. My employer doesn’t want to pay taxes and forced everyone (who during original enrollment) didn’t have a group plan from a spouse to enroll in their health insurance at $421/month for a single person, $820 for a coupled and $1200 for a family. Needless to say I didn’t tell them when I lost health care from my wife’s old company. My plan is much much less expensive and much much better as far as deductibles and max out of pocket.

4. How much do you think it will cost a 31 y/o relatively healthy young man signing up on his own plan? Since I am 30 and just went through this (of course I am in low cost Indiana) I would guess you should be right around $100/month. Insurance companies know 30ish year old men don’t go to the doctor so our premiums are lower.

Good luck and stop playing Russian roulette with no insurance!

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17 Diane August 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

The other issue with hiring someone is that your plan costs are then dependent on their health condition as well as yours. Sure, you get a discount, but if they get sick your rates will go up a lot. The smaller the pool of employees, the more one outlier can trigger cost increases.

It might make sensetot hire your wife, as she will probably be on your plan anyhow, but if you do so you need to be squeaky clean about it – tax withholding on their salary, paying their SSN and Medicare tax, salary paid regularly (not just draws when and if you feel like it), employer tax withholdings on W2s, etc etc etc. That doesn’t sound worth it to me, and it’s why I have not hired people permanently – just contracted here and there when I’ve needed some temp help.

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18 Amanda August 22, 2011 at 11:41 am

Hi! I Just found your blog and LOVE it! Thought I’d share since I am in the same boat…self employed, left to figure it all out by myself.

1. Assurant Health (www.assurant.com)
2. Yes–they’ve been good for me. I’d recommend them. After I meet my deductible, they cover 100% on mostly everything. (See explanation below for my situation)
3. I am self-employed, so it’s an individual plan I purchase privately.
4. If you’re willing to have a high-deductible, then you can get a very reasonably priced plan that still provides good coverage. I’m a girl, so I opted for maternity coverage, which means I pay about $280 a month, but for a guy, you should be able to find a plan for $120 or less.

Here’s what I do, and it works great. I have an individual plan with Assurant Health. I have a high-deductible health plan, and my deductible is $3,750. Sounds insane, but I also have a Health Savings Account in conjunction with it. This means I save money every month, and when I need to go to the doc, I pay for it with my HSA debit card. (You can contribute when you want…no monthly contribution required. There is a max per year, depending on married/single. I think for married its like $6,000. This is NOT a cafeteria plan where you use it or lose it. This money rolls over year to year. And it’s owned by YOU , not the insurance company. If you change insurance companies, you can keep your HSA. (I use HSAbank.com.) You get some tax breaks by having it…not sure on the details of that, but ask your tax person to find out for sure. You can use the HSA to pay for dr. visits, medicine, and other health-related purchases. The point is to save enough in your HSA so that if you were to have a major medical claim, you would have enough to cover your deductible in full. (And then of course, if you can save more, great!)

A lot of employers are offering options with HSAs because they cost less than traditional plans (and a lot of companies will contribute to the HSA every year for the employee– so free $$ for health care, basically). Hope that helps! :)

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19 Becky August 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

1. I currently have insurance through my employer (Aetna) and its good. I know I can go to the Dr. or hospital if needed. I originally had insurance with my husband through his employer, but he left that place, so we picked up mine. When we had it through his company, I set up an FSA with allowed me to pay for co-pays, deductibles, and prescriptions. Now, with my company, we have an HSA, but we can still use the money left in my FSA through the end of the year. I like Aetna.

2. When I was self-employed, I had insurance (basic) through Blue Cross Blue Shield. It was around $200/mo.

You really need to get out the and start finding out your options. Health insurance is important and the longer you go without, the worse you are.

I see I didn’t answer the questions in the right numerical order… Forgive me!

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20 LB August 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

@Diane I said “hire” not make fake employees. Hire the next door neighbor, a new receptionist, who cares, it does save money.

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21 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I’m no help here since I don’t have health insurance either (way longer than 21 days). I’ve looked into a few times, but it’s like everything is written in jibberish and I can’t make any sense of it. Good luck on your search. :-)

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22 Diane August 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

@LB: My point was that it may not make any sense to do so unless there is a real business need and you treat the person as a real employee.
a) it may not save money depending on what you pay the person and if the business can really afford that outgo as salary. b) it may not save money if the person has underlying health issues that will drive up the costs of the plan c) it may not save money since you will have to pay the employer part of their insurance, so if you calculate that payment in, the savings for your own personal plan may not be worth it d) it may not save money since you have to then pay all the SS/Medicare tax for that individual.

As someone who has run my own business for 8 years, I am just saying – it’s not so simple. You may save a bit on health insurance, but spend way more overall. Anyone considering this needs to look at their overall P&L and staffing needs, not just cost of insurance.

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23 davesnyd August 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Talk to a broker. See what plans they offer.

Join your local chamber of commerce– or more than one of them– and see if they have a group plan you can join.

See if any of the other affinity groups you belong to (alumni, trade associations, etc.) offer any options.

Look to see if there are any other options at the school where your wife is a graduate student for covering you under their plan.

Going without health insurance risks undoing everything else you’re doing for your long-term financial position– an accident or a catastrophic illness could completely wipe out your savings and leave you deep in debt.

The questions to ask of a plan (besides the price) include things like: in a normal year, what are my likely out of pocket costs? If something horrible happens (a car accident or cancer, for instance) with huge medical costs, what will I be on the hook for?

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24 Kelsey August 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I’m on my husband’s insurance now, but before I went through http://www.ehealthinsurance.com to get private insurance– the cost wasn’t too bad, about $100 a month. I just paid attention to my deductible, prescription costs, etc. You can also get dental, vision, and life insurance there. That site lets you compare plans and I’ve never had any problems. Coventry is usually pretty affordable, as is Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

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25 aj August 22, 2011 at 1:19 pm

all insurance is a gamble…it sucks.

I have BC/BS through my employer. Since my husband is self employed I pick him up on my coverage. That is basically the only way he can afford to do what he does, because I have a “normal” job w/ all the insurance & benefits.

That is the one thing I worry about if something should happen to me…I have everything else pretty much covered but I don’t know what he would do for insurance.

Glad you are investigating this for me, lol! I will definitely be eager to hear what you find out!

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26 Sarah Smith August 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Buckle down & spend an hour or so taking care of it, and you won’t have to worry about it for months or years again. We got a policy through ehealthinsurance.com.

$$ – We like to have flexibility in doctors, so we got a PPO.

$$ – We also got a policy that has 0% coinsurance (that is the percentage you pay after you meet your deductible). Why 0% as opposed to 40-50%? Because to me, the whole point of having health insurance is safety in case of dire emergency – a car accident, surgery, something awful. Not necessarily routine doctor’s visits (we’re young & in good health, like you). It does help with routine drs appts, but 0% coinsurance will come in handy if you have to spend a lot of time in the hospital.

Now, both of those criteria mean we’d be paying a lot each month for coverage. BUT, because we have a decent emergency fund (as do you), we can afford to have a higher deductible. Our deductible is $3,500 per person annually, or $7,000 for our family. Thus, our monthly premium is lower (around $270 for our family). We are being rewarded for being able to afford that $3,500 if we had to. And to be honest, the chance of us having to spend $3,500 is rare – but if it did happen, I’ll want that 0% coinsurance because it’s probable that I’d have a higher overall medical bill, and if I’m paying $3,500 – I don’t want to pay anything more.

Make sense?

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27 Sarah Smith August 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

P.S. Our $270 a month also includes a dental rider policy, which you can get.

P.P.S. I hope you have life insurance! USAA has some fantastic policies – very easy to get!

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28 Peliroo August 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

When I was unemployed and not in the military I had USAA for short term health. You can get that until you decide, right? That way you have one less thing to worry about until you sign up with someone.
I’m the same when it comes to thinking about this stuff. My brain shuts down. I grew up active duty military dependent, so there was no thought to healthcare. You got sick, you went to the base hospital, signed a paper and that was it. Lucky.
Now I have BC/BS through Uncle Sam, VA Hospital for service connected issues and TRICARE when I’m in uniform and let me tell you, I remain perpetually confused. I don’t have the time to sit down and understand the intricacies of HMO, PPO, whatever….

Stay healthy J$! It’s cheaper!

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29 LB August 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

@Diane I agree it isn’t that simple, but I like simple. I also don’t see why I need to explain all the varaibles to J Money. My opinion stands, it can save a butt-load of money.

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30 Ashley @ Money Talks August 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

When I was looking for group health insurance for my employees I called up an HR type company and they came to my house and met with me. The guy said that me and my husband would each be considered separate “accounts” and that would be considered a group. He had to be on the payroll though, which is not hard to do. Then each of my employees was their own “account”. Make sense?

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31 Diane August 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm

@LB: Just saying – for me it would cost a lot more than it would save – by orders of magnitude. I already can deduct the premium on my taxes, which saves me 33% of my insurance costs. Given I would need to pay an employee well over my total cost of the entire thing ($3600/year) it would hardly be worth it. Unless you are going to pay your employee zero or not contribute to their insurance premiums or not pay their taxes there’s almost no way to make it work for a one-man shop.

But enough said – I gather you have a different experience in your business, so we will have to just represent different perspectives on the issue. It could be that your business is slightly larger than mine and you have already accounted for overhead of employees, etc. That’s a step up from where I am at.

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32 Jenna August 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

My boyfriend has been looking at the same thing recently. He’s in school, and while his school offers a plan, it’s not very good, so we’ve been doing some research. I’ve found this site helpful in researching different plans: http://www.healthcare.gov/

The premiums really depend on the deductible (and out-of-pocket limit, if greater than your deductible). There are all sorts of other options that will affect premiums as well (prescription coverage, HMO/PPO, etc.), but deductible is the main driver from what I’ve seen. Same as with all insurance, I suppose. If you’re relatively healthy (no health conditions needing regular treatment), you’d probably be fine with a high-deductible plan just to cover your butt if it lands in the hospital. Plans should now be phasing into the new healthcare law that requires them to provide preventive care, so you should at least be able to do an annual physical at no cost.

As for myself, I’m thankfully covered through my employer, who pays most of my premiums. I have a high-deductible plan through United Healthcare, so I pay pretty much everything out of pocket (except preventive care) until I hit the deductible. I also have an HSA account which means I’m saving tax dollars on all those out-of-pocket costs! I would definitely recommend looking into an HSA if you go with a high-deductible plan. Since you can keep your HSA account for life, HSAs can also be used to save for medical expenses in retirement, tax-free.

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33 rainbowfish August 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I carry the group plan through my employer. The cost to me is still very low. I dropped that carry for my family. It would coast $7200 a year for family coverage. None of us use that much insurance.

I went with a BCBS plan for them. It has a $2500 deductible each. But the premium is $3600 a year. I will save almost $3000 in premiums. Plus the plan covers regular office visits and well care. The deductible and co-insurance don’t start until you go to the hospital.

Even with a group plan, ANY MAJOR medical issue can bankrupt a lot of people. It was not longer worth the cost of the group plan to keep my family on it.

And I get delays, it took me 3 years to get the courage to change their coverage. But $7000 a year must be my limit. :)

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34 J. Money August 22, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I DID IT GUYS!!! I spent 2 freakin’ hours this afternoon and just killed it! (Could have been 20 mins really, but I’m not good at decision making when it comes to “what ifs” haha…). Went through eHealthInsurance.com too – was awesome!

We’ll see if I get approved, but the process is in the works (guess I didn’t get lucky w/ the auto approval) I’ll blog about it soon w/ details :) THANK YOU for motivating me and getting me to suck it up! F’ing love you guys… so much so that I’m going to respond to every single comment now ;)

@@paulgebel – You know, that idea didn’t even pop through my mind. So probably not, at least right now, haha… appreciat the offer though! That’s awesome of you bro.
@Diane – SCARY!! Dang… I was hoping to set it and then forget it, but obviously not if it keeps rising like that, what the hell? As for LLC, my friend had a group one and it was just him, but maybe it differs per state? Either way, I researched it and it was almost double what a single one was so that’s not gonna happen anyways… thx for the feedback! I hope it really isn’t the reason for you to fold your biz :(
@Sense – Haha, roger that – got you in for $125! :) But I must warn you I’m not that much of a high-deductible roller.
@Diane – Yeah, I’m def. looking for full-time regular insurance. I don’t wanna have to worry about another company or school or whatever changing things around w/out my knowledge anyways. I’m ready to have my own.
@Mom’s Plans – I don’t think I can anymore :( But even if I could, I’d just delay the research another 4 months! haha… I’m on it now though, watch out!
@Steve – Dang, good point. Forgot about the traveling stuff… that’s why I have you guys here to put me in check! :)
@RT – Awww, thanks! That’s so nice of you :) I decided to go online and give it a shot first, but I’ll def. keep that in mind if something goes kapooey on me. Your guess of $200 is locked in now too!
@Emily – Oooh well that’s cool! Good for you on being able to receive it through your church, that is hot indeed :)
@Edward Antrobus – Yup! All good pts my man.
@Stephanie – I’m hoping SO BAD that my wife ends up working for the Gov’t after grad school JUST for that! haha… well, that and all the other perks y’all get, but still. And she’s told me that she is indeed gonna look there, so woohoo!
@LB – Haha, everyone takes me for a gambler on those high deductibles eh? We’ll see soon ;) (and you’re def. right about United Health Care – I didn’t like them either when we had ‘em back in the day).
@Ginger – She doesn’t have an employer, she goes to grad school and gets insurance through them. And also, we already did that last year but now things are changing over there w/ her insurance :( Good idea though!
@Diane – Oh yeah, DEF not playing around w/ that. I’m afraid of the IRS!! :)
@Cassie – Thanks Cassie! And I’m on it! :)
@Brian – Haha, roger that good sir. I’ll put down your $100 guess too :)
@Diane – Def. not worth it to me either. Too much mess.
@Amanda – YES, that did help actually! I considered it when I was researching this afternoon, thank you :) And also for the kind words, I’m glad you enjoy the blog! Stop by and say hi anytime!
@Becky – Haha, no forgiveness needed – you’re a-okay in my books, thanks for stopping by and sharing :)
@Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Well you better get on the boat w/ me, friend! I just applied so now it’s your turn, haha…
@davesnyd – Woah, ALL good tips – never thought of the Chamber of Commerce before?! Thanks man :)
@Kelsey – YES! Because all of you (and some friends via email) kept telling me about ehealthinsurance today, I actually did it :) Stay tuned to see the results…
@aj – haha, anytime my friend ;)
@Sarah Smith – YES! Makes total sense! And I was hearing your voice the whole time I was researching options on eHealth today :) Freakin’ love that site! Haha… will be posting up the results shortly, hopefully. And of course I have USAA life insurance! I’m not *that* crazy ;) (well, I am, but USAA doesn’t offer health so I’m always lost w/ out them, haha…)
@Peliroo – I’m workin’ on it, trying to be as healthy as I can my friend :) And I TOTALLY miss the military benefits too – I haven’t been to a base hospital in over 15 years, boooo…
@Ashley @ Money Talks – Yup, makes sense but too much work for me to handle right now ;) Esp the payroll part, so fingers crossed my online application goes through!
@Jenna – Thanks Jenna :) All *great* stuff to keep in mind! And which I did when applying earlier today, you guys are awesome.
@rainbowfish – Haha, well good job changing over :) Hopefully I’ll be out of this mess real soon…

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35 Basil Siddiqui August 23, 2011 at 2:43 am

I’ve been slacking with my health insurance too! I’ve been paying almost $400/month for cobra since I quit working a couple months ago; the benefits are awesome but the cost isn’t worth it for me right now. I’ll check out ehealthinsurance.com too :)

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36 wldflr August 23, 2011 at 11:57 am

Hi JMoney,

1. Our health insurance is Medical Mutual – bought through a broker.
2. Luckily we haven’t had a claim since we started with them on June 3. Fingers crossed.
3. Hubby is a self-employed landscaper and up until the end of May we were riding it out on COBRA thru my former employer who laid me off in Nov 09 and we were paying $365/mo. for both of us including dental. So since hubby is a LLC, I had him “hire” me as his operations manager (hey, I handle the bookkeeping/scheduling anyways) and we got a group plan with a high deductible health, no dental plan route. Now paying $467/mo. Keep in mind that we are late 40′s, and in pretty much in good health/non-smoking.
4. There are so many variables/deductibles that will determine how much you will end up paying J.Money….but I would guess for a good plan with a moderate deductible, you will end up paying $210/month.

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37 J. Money August 23, 2011 at 1:16 pm

@Basil Siddiqui – Yeah, I’m very impressed with them so far!
@wldflr – Oh nice! Glad to see the LLC route working for another person :) I don’t think it’s gonna be good for us yet, but we’ll see what happens once my application gets approved or not (scary!!). I’ll count your vote in too, you may or may not be the closest so far ;)

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38 Heather August 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm

My husband is in the military, so we get free health care (TriCare). I love it, but it does suck sometimes. You have to make your appointments to see your Primary Care Physician at least a week in advance. Of course, the one time I had pink eye and needed to see someone immediately they fit me in that day. But Active Duty military always takes priority so even if you schedule an appointment at 8:30am, if they are behind in appointments, they always take the active duty service members first. However, getting free health care and prescriptions sure beats the alternative of co-pays and expensive medicine.

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39 Paula @ AffordAnything.org August 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I’m self-employed and I get high-deductible HSA-compatible insurance through a company called Celtic, though they just raised my premium so I might shop around a bit more. Humana and Kaiser also offer decent deals.

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40 Paula @ AffordAnything.org August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pm

oh yeah — and I see a bunch of people in the comments are recommending ehealthinsurance.com … if you do go through them, click on a PF blogger’s affiliate link to share the love! I’ll post one on my site in the coming weeks when I’m not so lazy (I’m about to go on vacation for 2 weeks, baby!), and PT Money already has a link set up on his site.

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41 J. Money August 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm

@Heather – I know, I miss TriCare!! We had it too back in the day. Dad was in the Marines – Hoo-Rah!
@Paula @ AffordAnything.org – HAH! Funny you should mention that, I just signed up as an affiliate before I clicked over to their site ;) So now, I can do it too – woo! And save money for myself even, haha…

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42 Jerry August 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

This is the eternal problem for the self-employed – finding the right health insurance. But asking around usually leads to finding the right one.

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43 Sarah R August 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm

1) I’m in CA and have Kaiser Permanente.
2) LOVE them because 1) they saved my life when other doctors at several specialty (i.e., fancy, more expensive) clinics missed diagnosing–or even simply TESTING me–for seven years even though I tried to get help. 2) it’s all in one place, so it is sooooooooo much easier. And your primary care doc manages your care. Oh, and free (and awesome) online services so I don’t even have to go in for minor stuff. Just email my doc and move on. Was so nervous cuz my bro had Kaiser in the ’80s and it was NOT good. But they’ve come a long way baby. The only caveat is that you may have to change your doc once or twice til you get one you really like. But that’s no biggie, in my opinion, cuz you often have to do that in the real world too–but when you do it at Kaiser, the new doc has your whole medical history there on the computer. Um, is it clear I’m happy with them? lol.
3) I get my insur thru my employer. Sorry.
4) Here’s the thing about cost… it completely depends on what plan you sign up for. And with what insurer. Could be anywhere from $250 (for a really high-deduc) to $500 for a fully covered plan. So… you basically have to pick the response you like the most b’c no one will be “right.”

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44 J. Money September 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Oh wow, I’m GLAD they saved your life!!! That is incredible – and scary, man. I pray I pick the right plans/companies! Haha… thanks for sharing :)

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45 wldflr September 4, 2011 at 10:48 am

So J.Money…did you finally get some health insurance?

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46 J. Money September 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I just might have! Look for an update on it shortly ;)

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