Can you believe it? Only a couple weeks since blogging about how stupid I was too – I’m pretty impressed with myself ;) And also with the site a lot of y’all sent me to: eHealth Insurance! By FAR the best (and quickest) thing I’ve done in quite some time, I was kinda shocked. Especially since the site does come across as kinda spammy, haha… but I assure you it’s definitely not! (I later found out Kiplinger has been ranking it as one of the best insurance websites out there for a while).
I literally spent 3 minutes answering the following handful of questions, and 15 seconds later I had over 80 plans to sort through and narrow it down to my favorite – custom-fit to my specific situation:
- Insurance type? (Options: “Individual & Family,” “Small Business,” “Short Term,”Medicare,” “Dental,” and “Travel.” I later chose a dental plan – trying to be a good boy, and all ;))
- Zip Code? (Self-explanatory… though I was tempted to put in 90210)
- Start Coverage Date? (I chose September 1st, 2011, but you had the option of backdating it a bit too. I figured if I’ve already made it a handful of weeks w/out it, though, I could wait just one more.)
- Sex? (Yes please!)
- Date of Birth? (Old.)
- Tobacco Use? (Not for me, unless you count a Swisher Sweet every now and then ;) I did not.)
- College Student? (No… *tear*)
Now once you hit “GO” you’re then presented with alllll the options you want depending on your needs. Like I said, I had about 80+ plans to sort through until I found my top 3 which I then compared side-to-side (You can also compare the list by price, best sellers, deductible, ratings, and company – it all depends on how important these are to you). This is where it got hard for me, as I’m not a quick decision-maker. Especially when it comes to a plethora of “what ifs” and my brain thinking the worst ;)
Option #1: The “Small Business” Health Insurance Plan
Originally I had thought “small business” would be the way to go, since a few of my friends had mentioned it worked for them (and also so that the Mrs and I could both get in on it (she’s my proofreader, even though I pay her in hugs ;))), but I quickly came to the conclusion that $1200/mo was WAY over budget. And that was the *cheapest*!! You don’t even wanna know what the highest one was, oh Lord… I guess if you had a lot of employees it would have been a different story, but either way it was a swift “hell no” from the get go. I don’t know how my friends pulled it off cuz that’s just insane-balls. And again, REALLY makes me appreciate what I used to have at my 9-5!
Option #2: The “Family” Health Insurance Plan
After I caught my breath and wiped all the perspiration off my face, I quickly went back and filled out the questions again – but this time chose the “Individual & Family” plan (keeping the Mrs. and I still in it). These results were MUCH much better. Though still a bit to high for what we were looking at. The plans ranged from $400/mo, to well over $1,000 – all depending on what deductibles and coverages you wanted. The one we liked the most was $550/mo, but was still a bit high considering Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy still had the option of going through her school still w/ a fairly decent $150/mo plan. Which ALSO included maternity coverage, which this one did not (I don’t even wanna know how much that woulda put us over – it’s scary going out on your own plan!). Since we’re now back in baby consideration mode, this one’s gonna be pretty important shall the even rise at any point… which could come pretty soon with all that practicing I’ve been doing ;) Bow chicka wha wha!
Option #3: The “Individual” Health Insurance Plan
Lastly, I gave the individual plan a shot. And mind you, it’s literally only taken me about 12 minutes to get to this point, having quickly shot down the previous 2 options within minutes of eHealth spitting ’em out for me. It really is that FAST! (I wanna keep stressing that for all you slackers out there just like me — I was pleasantly surprised how awesome/borderline fun it became trying to narrow down the best of the plans for me ;) It became a pretty cool challenge seeing how low I could get it! Haha…).
After sorting through the dozens of options I had left — the last of them since now I was totally on my own w/ these plans here – I narrowed it down to my top 3 faves:
- Plan #1 @ $246/mo: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield PPO – which had always been my favorite plan over the years. This one comes with a $500 deductible, and covers 80% of the costs, leaving me with 20% after. Max out of pocket is $2,500 for the year.
- Plan #2 @ $258/mo: Another CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield PPO, but this time with a $300 deductible. The rest is all the same (80/20 with $2,500 year max)
- Plan #3 @ $292/mo: And lastly, the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield PPO at 90/10 with a $300 deductible and a $2,500 year max.
Now, you might be wondering why these are still pretty high when I could easily be getting plans in the mid-to-high $100’s (which is def. true – there WERE some like that, even as low as $60/mo!), but for me it all comes down to comfort and ease of mind. And with deductibles at $1,500+, and $20,000 maximum out of pockets for the years, that didn’t jive well with me. Even though I know the odds are low that it would ever come to that – being a relatively healthy 31 y/o (and the fact that I rarely go into the doctors anyways, even IF something is wrong! haha…)
But the other little person on my shoulder kept speaking up and reminding me that if, God forbid, something major occurred any any point in the year – even just once! – I need to make sure my sexy little Net Worth is as protected as I can comfortably make it. And if all it took was $100 a month extra to make this happen, then to me it’s worth it :) It may look a lot more expensive now, when everything is peachy keen, but I get in one stupid accident and those 90/10’s look a helluva lot better than the 80/20’s and $500 deductibles. And worst case I spend $600 this year for nothing… (except for the fact it means I’m healthy, haha…)
So if you haven’t guessed it already, I ended up choosing Plan #3. The one that cost almost $300/mo and rated the highest of the plans at eHealth, but the one that’ll also allow me to sleep much much better. And hopefully get me to GO TO THE DOCTORS a lot more when needed, than being afraid of what it’ll cost me (which in itself is huge, cuz I REALLY need to start going in more, and earlier, than waiting until ___ hurts like crazy!).
If there’s one thing I’m learning about myself over the years, it’s that I’m getting more and more willing to pay for higher quality when there are bigger stakes in the game. I’m still brand new at all this stuff, so we’ll see what happens over the year, but for now I’m going big and fully protected. I just hope I don’t ever have to prove it’s the right decision!
FYI: After you select the plan you want w/ eHealth, you then have to get approved. Sometimes it’s instantaneous right there after submitting it, and others you have to give them more information. Which, for me, happened to be the case. Kinda annoying, but I understand why they have to do it. I had to go back 5 years and try and remember everything that happened – which is HARD since I can hardly remember what went down last WEEK! Haha… but I did my best and listed off a few things like ear aches, broken bones in my feet (rough soccer game) and getting prescribed for A.D.H.D. medicine. Which, oddly enough, they classified as a “Nervous and Medical Condition,” haha… after only taking medicine once? Oh well, I just had to sign a doc saying I either can’t go in for it in 10 months, or prove I haven’t had an absence in coverage for too long… and luckily the later is the case (not that I *need* it to survive, when loads of coffee does the trick!).
PS: I know this post sounds like an ad for eHealth Insurance, but I assure you it’s not ;) I just like pimping the products I really really think are awesome – and these guys are one of them. So all links here are affiliates, which means if you end up using them, I get some bones for referring you over. Which is awesome cuz it means you liked them too, and we all win!
PPS: The winner who guessed the closest monthly payment last month? Wldflr! Congrats! At $210, you win the prize even though you were 50% off, haha… shoot me an email and I’ll send you over your very own autographed J. Money dollar bill ;)
(Photo by David Hilowitz)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!