Every time I think I can forget about my health insurance, something comes up and reminds me all over again how much I despise it. I know it’s important and there’s nothing you can really do to avoid it unless you were billionaire or something, but I’m still gonna bitch and moan about it anyways cuz this is my blog and I can cry if I want to ;)
For those who were following this site this time last year, you’ll remember I waited quite a while to finally deal with it after months of being self-employed. I had been on my wife’s University plan for the first half of the year, but mid-way through they dropped the coverage of all family members and dependents (d’oh), and I was forced to go out on my own. In the end though it was solved pretty easily as all I did (thanks to some of your recommendations!) was hit up eHealthInsurance.com and sort through the options available after answering a few basic questions. I poked around a bit, talked it over w/ the wife, and settled on a solid (maybe TOO solid) plan with CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.
And then we had a baby ;) All great things emotionally, but not so much w/ money (as you can tell from my continuously updated Baby Money Tracker! Which will be the subject of a new post here shortly…) And since we can’t add him to the Mrs’ plan as I just mentioned, it means he had to be added to mine instead. Which is fine in the long run since it makes things nice and easy – and portable! – for wherever we end up moving to and all that, but getting over the initial shock of seeing my new rates were pretty frightening… you’re about to see them below, jeez…
The crazy part too is that I RARELY even used my insurance at all last year. You wanna know the total number of times I went to see a doctor? One. That’s it. Yeah it’s good I didn’t get all that sick and end up in the hospital any time last year (really good!), and that I’m super covered for the future as well especially now that I’m a parent, but it still pains me to know I spent over $3,000 in total for one simple visit to a CVS Minute Clinic (which are GREAT btw). The whole insurance game is just crazy to me. I know we get jealous of all those countries who have “free” universal health care, even if they’re not 100% top notch as many are quick to point out (I don’t know anything about anything, so I just stay out of the arguments), but I will say it must be nice to at least not have to worry about it all the time. It’s there whenever you need it and it’s not changing every other month…
Anyways, as you can tell I hate dealing with health insurance. Life insurance is fine – you rarely have to go in and make a ton of changes, as we talked about last week during the Life Insurance Movement – but this one just drives me bananas. And I know I’m not alone here ;0
Check out my payments over the past 10 or so years, and look how it’s starting to trend. Ugh.
- $200/mo – what I was paying 10 years ago at my old company
- $150/mo – what I was paying over the next couple of years through a different company
- $0.00/mo – what I was paying for at the height of the last start-up I worked for! To say we had some pretty killer benefits would be an understatement :)
- $280/mo – what I ended up paying at the end of 2010 when all those benefits got cut and the company eventually went under
- $292/mo – what I started paying last year when I went out on my own through eHealth (I ended up picking a sturdy Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, even though there were plenty of cheaper ones)
- $573/mo – what the additional cost was to add Baby $ to the mix (!!!), starting last month.
- $643/mo – what it will cost going forward starting October 1st! Ugh….
A 100% increase in the past two months!!! One for the baby, and one for what I can only assume is a normal yearly adjustment? Which will now cost me an additional 75 boners every month I’m insured, freakin’ crazy. And a good reminder of some of the cons of working for yourself to all you out there who’s considering the same! We enjoy a helluva lot of other great benefits like me sitting here in my boxers right now typing this (tmi?), but financially you can really get a foot up your a$$ every now and then. It’s not fun (although sometimes tax deductible).
The only thing I enjoy out of this is the fact I’m providing for my family and supporting my wee one in all future doctor visits going forward :) That does feel awesome. And that I’m being a good dad to him right from the start – so I can’t complain all the way. And as I already alluded to, we ALSO have a pretty damn solid plan – the reason for such high premiums.
We have a PPO with a $600 family deductible and only 10% co-payments after that. Along with $25 office visits, and up to a yearly max of $5,000 (total) out of our pockets. So I could easily increase the deductibles and co-payments to save a good chunk every month (roughly $100 for two levels up), but knowing how often babies go to the doctors I’m gonna lay low for a bit and see what happens. Apparently your kid gets whatever terms YOUR plan provides, so if I up all my stuff to save some money, it increases the payouts for the baby too. Which scares me to death…
Now on the PLUS side, I can add as many more babies to the plan as I want without paying a penny more! Haha… WOOT. They screw you for that 1st one, but any others after they can care less ;) I hope they mean it cuz I’ll be gladly taking them up on that in the future! You better believe it!
Anyone else dealing with health insurance headaches? Anyone have some awesome (or even worse) plans than myself? Someone make me feel better! Haha… just kidding :) Kinda…
PS: To add my wife to our plan? $150 more and *doesn’t* include maternity coverage. OUCH. I guess that’s where they get you with the “unlimited babies” part?
(Scream photo by CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK)