Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby xxsocraticxx » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:19 pm

Hey guys...

I just got laid off.

Could i get some recommendations on getting the right health insurance for my famlly.?

Here are some questions.

Where should i go to shop for insurance?
Do i take cobra while i can?
What type of health insurqnce should I get? I was thinking of hospitalization/ some type of major illness coverage only.
Any recommendations on specific plans & companies?

Everyone in the family is generally healthy.

Thanks
xxsocraticxx
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:19 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Dave76 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:23 pm

I have Blue Cross Tradition Plus. It's an emergency-only type of insurance. I pay $163 per month. I've never had to use it, so I'm not sure how good it is. No deductible, and I think I can cancel it at any time.
Dave76
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:28 pm

My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Dave76 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:32 pm

Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


That sounds like a steal! What state do you live in? Those rates are non-existent in New York. I can't even get prescription medication on my plan.
Last edited by Dave76 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dave76
 
Posts: 564
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby BruDude » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:32 pm

Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


I can't tell if this post is serious or missing a few 0's somewhere in there.

OP - you can look at starting rates at http://www.ehealthinsurance.com but I would strongly suggest contacting an independent agent to explain the benefits and help you apply. There is no cost for using an agent versus going through ehealth or direct to the company.
BruDude
 
Posts: 1821
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:28 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:37 pm

BruDude wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


I can't tell if this post is serious or missing a few 0's somewhere in there.
...


We've done this already.

Confused and her spouse are in a situation in which they can get health insurance for a lower premium than most. It is up to them whether they believe it is worth it.

PJW
User avatar
Phineas J. Whoopee
 
Posts: 2388
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby dgm » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:42 pm

If there is a Kaiser Permanente in your area, I'd recommend them.

They are pretty affordable and offer great care. Not as cheap as some disaster-only plans but I think the overall value is hard to beat. My personal opinion is that you should get off cobra as soon as you can and onto your own insurance. My experience has been that cobra is pretty expensive and you can easily find a better value plan (disaster only or otherwise) on your own.

Auto insurance--if you are in CA or OR, I'd suggest taking a look at wawanesa. I haven't been able to find better rates.
User avatar
dgm
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:32 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Saving$ » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:49 pm

Very sorry about the job loss. Hang in there.

1. Don't go without coverage. If that means paying Cobra for one month, do it.
2. Contact an independent broker. DO NOT APPLY ONLINE. The reason this is important is that the broker will know which insurance companies will deny coverage based on which pre-existing conditions. This is extremely important, because if you have a pre-existing and apply with insurer A who declines everyone for that pre-existing, you will now need to check the YES box when asked if you have ever been denied insurance. Then when you go to insurer B, who does not decline for your pre-existing, you will get declined instead for having been denied by other insurers.
3. Consider a high deductible plan.
Saving$
 
Posts: 826
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:33 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:11 am

Dave76 wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


That sounds like a steal! What state do you live in? Those rates are non-existent in New York. I can't even get prescription medication on my plan.


It's extremely doubtful that those very cheap plans would cover them either.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby ResNullius » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:18 am

Around here (NC), Cobra almost always cost a lot more than buying individual coverage yourself. Blue Cross is one of the few companies that even writes individual policies in NC. They have a variety of plans, with differing costs. Good luck.
ResNullius
 
Posts: 2090
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:05 am

Dave76 wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


That sounds like a steal! What state do you live in? Those rates are non-existent in New York. I can't even get prescription medication on my plan.


Utah. I believe some prescription stuff is covered, but I don't know, because neither myself nor my spouse have any prescriptions. I know preventative stuff was covered, but we didn't use that, either.

BruDude wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


I can't tell if this post is serious or missing a few 0's somewhere in there.


No, those numbers are right. Our deductible was $11,900. I called them to have them explain the increase and they said something about the Affordable Care Act and something about a new Utah law that doesn't allow insurance providers to charge more for beyond one child. Which means us childless couples eat the cost. They said they couldn't lower the premium by raising the deductible, so I dropped our coverage. We may eventually go back to covering just my spouse but not me (I'm about $15/month more because I'm in the latter half of my 20s and my spouse is still in the earlier half). Don't know why that makes me more likely to use the insurance, I'm actually far, far less likely.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby magellan » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:11 pm

Confused wrote:...(I'm about $15/month more because I'm in the latter half of my 20s and my spouse is still in the earlier half). Don't know why that makes me more likely to use the insurance, I'm actually far, far less likely.

IMO, the cost difference is most likely due to the difference in your ages. This Kaiser Foundation report shows healthcare costs for 2006 broken down by age (page 6). On average, total healthcare costs for someone 18-24 were $1441 a year. For ages 25-44 costs were $2345, and for ages 45-64 they were $4563. Interpolating those numbers, a 5 yr age difference seems like it could easily add 20-25% to premiums.

As an aside, you can see from those average cost numbers above that without insurance, you're taking a big risk. If you assume that many young adults have little or no healthcare costs, you can only imagine the costs for the unlucky few that skew the data and push the average costs per year to almost $1500 for the 18-24 year old group.

As an example, imagine if 9 out of 10 young adults have average expenses under $100. That means 1 in 10 could have expenses upwards of ~$14,000 each year. Or maybe it's one in 20 with $28k in expenses. I'm fudging the numbers because I don't know the exact distribution, but you can get the idea hopefully. Also, this doesn't even consider that medical outcomes for people without insurance are statistically much worse, including higher mortality for similar ailments, than for people with insurance.

Jim
User avatar
magellan
 
Posts: 2825
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:12 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:34 pm

magellan wrote:
Confused wrote:...(I'm about $15/month more because I'm in the latter half of my 20s and my spouse is still in the earlier half). Don't know why that makes me more likely to use the insurance, I'm actually far, far less likely.

IMO, the cost difference is most likely due to the difference in your ages. This Kaiser Foundation report shows healthcare costs for 2006 broken down by age (page 6). On average, total healthcare costs for someone 18-24 were $1441 a year. For ages 25-44 costs were $2345, and for ages 45-64 they were $4563. Interpolating those numbers, a 5 yr age difference seems like it could easily add 20-25% to premiums.

As an aside, you can see from those average cost numbers above that without insurance, you're taking a big risk. If you assume that many young adults have little or no healthcare costs, you can only imagine the costs for the unlucky few that skew the data and push the average costs per year to almost $1500 for the 18-24 year old group.

As an example, imagine if 9 out of 10 young adults have average expenses under $100. That means 1 in 10 could have expenses upwards of ~$14,000 each year. Or maybe it's one in 20 with $28k in expenses. I'm fudging the numbers because I don't know the exact distribution, but you can get the idea hopefully. Also, this doesn't even consider that medical outcomes for people without insurance are statistically much worse, including higher mortality for similar ailments, than for people with insurance.

Jim


The example makes sense, if most people are paying far below the mean, then there must be some outliers far, far above the mean. But, hypothetically speaking, let's say I was one in ten who had $14,000 in expenses. Of course, these numbers are made up, but we'll go with it. The deductible on the plan we had was $11,900. With a monthly premium of $89, that makes $1,068/year in premiums, plus the $11,900 deductible and we're at $12,968. I would pay the insurance company $12,968 and they'd cover the remaining $1,032. At that rate, I might as well just keep the $89/month premiums in my own pocket and pay cash for the $14,000 in the unlikely event I owed it.

I don't think health insurance makes any financial sense at all for my family. Consider that my spouse and I have been married for three years. We've spent ~$200 over those three years on medical expenses, virtually all of it was contraception. We've since decided to stop paying for that, too, so our medical expenses have been virtually zero for at least a year. I have not been to a doctor in ten years. I have not been to a dentist in five. My spouse has not been to a doctor in the three years we've been married (I don't know when the last time actually was).

And then we must consider that I'm a lunatic when it comes to this sort of thing. I absolutely hate the medical industry. It's super gross and I can't stand to even watch doctor shows on television. Even if I was the person who should have the $14,000 expense, I wouldn't know it because I wouldn't ever find out from a doctor. I don't visit doctors when I'm sick, I don't even take any medications. Ever. Not even a painkiller for a headache. Not even a vitamin. I have no recollection of ever taking a pill in my life. I fully expect that I will die from either: 1) a horrific car accident; or 2) something preventable/treatable that I didn't take care of and just died lying on my couch.

That all aside, though, OP, Regence quoted us at a lower price than Humana, but they would only pay 70% of expenses beyond the deductible (until the maximum of $25,000 grand was reached), then they paid 100%. That is to say, we would've had to pay the first $10,000 (as deductible), and then 30% of all expenses after that until we paid $15,000 more, then they'd cover everything beyond that. Humana covered 100% after the deductible of $11,900.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby RenoJay » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Saving$ wrote:Very sorry about the job loss. Hang in there.

1. Don't go without coverage. If that means paying Cobra for one month, do it.
2. Contact an independent broker. DO NOT APPLY ONLINE. The reason this is important is that the broker will know which insurance companies will deny coverage based on which pre-existing conditions. This is extremely important, because if you have a pre-existing and apply with insurer A who declines everyone for that pre-existing, you will now need to check the YES box when asked if you have ever been denied insurance. Then when you go to insurer B, who does not decline for your pre-existing, you will get declined instead for having been denied by other insurers.
3. Consider a high deductible plan.


+1 - Very well stated.
RenoJay
 
Posts: 724
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Watty » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:56 pm

Do i take cobra while i can?


Yes you should sign up for the Cobra so that you do not have any breaks in coverage.

If you find private insurance is hard to get then don't panic. The rules are constantely changing and many people don't realize it but there is usually another insurance option when Cobra ends called HIPPA so that you can have some coverage if you can't get a private insurance and you do not have another job that provides insurance. The terms of the HIPPA coverage vary greatly from state to state and some are a lot better than others so you need to be sure to research what is available in your state.

It is critical that you research what HIPPA policy you ahead of time can get when Cobra ends because it has a lot of strict and inflexible deadlines that you need to find out about.

HIPPA is mainly for when you can't get private insurance and it will cost more than Cobra but if you cannot get private insurance it is a lot better than going without insurance.
User avatar
Watty
 
Posts: 4504
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:30 am

Confused wrote:And then we must consider that I'm a lunatic when it comes to this sort of thing. I absolutely hate the medical industry. It's super gross and I can't stand to even watch doctor shows on television. Even if I was the person who should have the $14,000 expense, I wouldn't know it because I wouldn't ever find out from a doctor. I don't visit doctors when I'm sick, I don't even take any medications. Ever. Not even a painkiller for a headache. Not even a vitamin. I have no recollection of ever taking a pill in my life. I fully expect that I will die from either: 1) a horrific car accident; or 2) something preventable/treatable that I didn't take care of and just died lying on my couch.


I don't think many others would make the same choices you are. This is a choice you are extremely likely to regret later on.
With all due respect, perhaps you should not be giving advice to others about what health insurance coverage they should get.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:36 am

If you have any serious pre-existing conditions - or even some benign conditions, the list of exclusions can be very long - go with the COBRA before the 60 days of your termination are up - or sooner, if you need to see a doctor. It may be expensive, but it will cover you for sure for at least the next year without any risk of running into any kind of pre-existing condition exclusion, or any possibility of coverage rescission.

Here is one list of common pre-existing condition exclusions : http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/medicin ... itions.htm
Even if you are "generally healthy", something as benign as acne apparently can get you denied !

With yesterday's election results, it can now reasonably be assumed that the last provisions of the Affordable Care Act will take effect on January 1, 2014 . All private insurance companies will have to take you after Jan 1, 2014, and won't be allowed to charge you a different price, regardless of medical history. If you are still not working after that date, you could terminate your COBRA and go with a private insurer, if you find a better deal.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby stoptothink » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Confused wrote:
magellan wrote:
Confused wrote:...(I'm about $15/month more because I'm in the latter half of my 20s and my spouse is still in the earlier half). Don't know why that makes me more likely to use the insurance, I'm actually far, far less likely.

IMO, the cost difference is most likely due to the difference in your ages. This Kaiser Foundation report shows healthcare costs for 2006 broken down by age (page 6). On average, total healthcare costs for someone 18-24 were $1441 a year. For ages 25-44 costs were $2345, and for ages 45-64 they were $4563. Interpolating those numbers, a 5 yr age difference seems like it could easily add 20-25% to premiums.

As an aside, you can see from those average cost numbers above that without insurance, you're taking a big risk. If you assume that many young adults have little or no healthcare costs, you can only imagine the costs for the unlucky few that skew the data and push the average costs per year to almost $1500 for the 18-24 year old group.

As an example, imagine if 9 out of 10 young adults have average expenses under $100. That means 1 in 10 could have expenses upwards of ~$14,000 each year. Or maybe it's one in 20 with $28k in expenses. I'm fudging the numbers because I don't know the exact distribution, but you can get the idea hopefully. Also, this doesn't even consider that medical outcomes for people without insurance are statistically much worse, including higher mortality for similar ailments, than for people with insurance.

Jim


The example makes sense, if most people are paying far below the mean, then there must be some outliers far, far above the mean. But, hypothetically speaking, let's say I was one in ten who had $14,000 in expenses. Of course, these numbers are made up, but we'll go with it. The deductible on the plan we had was $11,900. With a monthly premium of $89, that makes $1,068/year in premiums, plus the $11,900 deductible and we're at $12,968. I would pay the insurance company $12,968 and they'd cover the remaining $1,032. At that rate, I might as well just keep the $89/month premiums in my own pocket and pay cash for the $14,000 in the unlikely event I owed it.

I don't think health insurance makes any financial sense at all for my family. Consider that my spouse and I have been married for three years. We've spent ~$200 over those three years on medical expenses, virtually all of it was contraception. We've since decided to stop paying for that, too, so our medical expenses have been virtually zero for at least a year. I have not been to a doctor in ten years. I have not been to a dentist in five. My spouse has not been to a doctor in the three years we've been married (I don't know when the last time actually was).

And then we must consider that I'm a lunatic when it comes to this sort of thing. I absolutely hate the medical industry. It's super gross and I can't stand to even watch doctor shows on television. Even if I was the person who should have the $14,000 expense, I wouldn't know it because I wouldn't ever find out from a doctor. I don't visit doctors when I'm sick, I don't even take any medications. Ever. Not even a painkiller for a headache. Not even a vitamin. I have no recollection of ever taking a pill in my life. I fully expect that I will die from either: 1) a horrific car accident; or 2) something preventable/treatable that I didn't take care of and just died lying on my couch.

That all aside, though, OP, Regence quoted us at a lower price than Humana, but they would only pay 70% of expenses beyond the deductible (until the maximum of $25,000 grand was reached), then they paid 100%. That is to say, we would've had to pay the first $10,000 (as deductible), and then 30% of all expenses after that until we paid $15,000 more, then they'd cover everything beyond that. Humana covered 100% after the deductible of $11,900.



I could have written this, and we even live in the same state. I went without insurance for the past 6yrs, my (now ex)wife had to have it for school so I put her on a private policy. BUT, my previous employer-provided PPO would have been ~300/month for me alone and it covered practically nothing; after crunching the numbers there was almost no circumstance where having coverage would have us coming out ahead financially. We were both in graduate school, I was the sole provider, $450+/month for something that we were extremely unlikely to use simply wasn't in the budget. My healthcare costs for those 6yrs: $0. In the 4yrs we were married her only costs were contraception, so a mere fraction of the premiums I was paying. My wife was finishing dental school, so all the dental work I could have wanted was free of charge. I have visited a healthcare facility a grand total of once in the past decade (other than for work physicals) and that was because I broke my clavicle racing motorcycles(something I stopped doing) 8yrs ago, and at the time I had amazing employer-provided coverage which was completely free to me. In that same period I can recall putting a pill in my mouth once, ibuprofen, and it literally knocked me out. I take care of myself (nutrition & exercise are my career) and see no benefit to visiting a doctor for minor illnesses that my own immune system should take care of on its own in a matter of days.

I just moved to Utah and I did notice that premiums here seem to be cheaper. My new employer offers an HDHP and HSA, $122/month for just me with a $5000 deductible, employer monthly contribution is $248 and $54 to HSA. Far better than my options in Texas, but still crazy as far as I am concerned. For me it is just another tax-deferred investment vehicle, the chances of ever having to use it are very slim, and even then it might be cheaper to just pay out of pocket.
stoptothink
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:00 pm

stoptothink wrote:I could have written this, and we even live in the same state. I went without insurance for the past 6yrs, my (now ex)wife had to have it for school so I put her on a private policy. BUT, my previous employer-provided PPO would have been ~300/month for me alone and it covered practically nothing; after crunching the numbers there was almost no circumstance where having coverage would have us coming out ahead financially.


I just have to shake my head. It is simply amazing to read the above in a financial forum.

A very large chunk of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.
See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501347
46.2% of all bankruptcy in the 2001 study and 62.1% in 2007 study, were caused by medical bills.

If you are uninsured, you are assuming potentially unlimited financial risk in the form of medical costs. It doesn't matter how often you have visited a doctor before, one long hospital stay, major illness, or accident, could potentially wipe you out.

I trust that if you are on the bogleheads forum, you don't invest in vehicles that have unlimited loss potential such as say, shorting stocks, certain option strategies, etc.
So why are you taking this risk by choosing to be uninsured ?

It is not even just a financial risk also, you could end up both bankrupt and without treatment for conditions that may develop.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby baw703916 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:17 pm

The OP should take COBRA. That lasts for 18 months. By then, the new rules under PPACA will have gone into effect and the pre-existing conditions issue goes away.
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.
User avatar
baw703916
 
Posts: 5500
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:10 pm
Location: Northern Virginia

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby interplanetjanet » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:27 pm

madbrain wrote:I just have to shake my head. It is simply amazing to read the above in a financial forum.

A very large chunk of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.

I, myself, have had a need for medical services that would have easily bankrupted me at the time without insurance. I paid my deductible and did not look back.

I have strong opinions on the concept of medical care and social welfare, but those aren't really appropriate here. What is appropriate is the message that a lack of insurance opens you up to a huge risk. I have rolled the dice in my life many times and voluntarily chosen to "self insure" (I know that's not really the correct term, bear with me here) in other areas; that is not feasable for the vast majority of us where healthcare is concerned. It is surprisingly easy to run up six-figure medical bills in the event of a major calamity, and many of those are simply out of control. I can picture seven-figure bills in bad situations.

One of my relatives didn't carry insurance and had a major accident while bicycling. His total bills came to more than $70k after various reconstructive surgeries. He's in his 60s and while he expects to be able to settle the debt for less, it is still a major blow to his finances. Why he didn't carry insurance, I'll never know (his wife is a doctor and had the ability to add him to her group plan).

I take a number of risks in my own life that many others here would not. I would not go through life in the USA without ensuring health coverage.
User avatar
interplanetjanet
 
Posts: 2177
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: the wilds of central California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby zaboomafoozarg » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:31 pm

Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


If the coverage is decent then that's an amazing price.
User avatar
zaboomafoozarg
 
Posts: 1031
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby stoptothink » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:02 pm

madbrain wrote:
stoptothink wrote:I could have written this, and we even live in the same state. I went without insurance for the past 6yrs, my (now ex)wife had to have it for school so I put her on a private policy. BUT, my previous employer-provided PPO would have been ~300/month for me alone and it covered practically nothing; after crunching the numbers there was almost no circumstance where having coverage would have us coming out ahead financially.


I just have to shake my head. It is simply amazing to read the above in a financial forum.

A very large chunk of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.
See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501347
46.2% of all bankruptcy in the 2001 study and 62.1% in 2007 study, were caused by medical bills.

If you are uninsured, you are assuming potentially unlimited financial risk in the form of medical costs. It doesn't matter how often you have visited a doctor before, one long hospital stay, major illness, or accident, could potentially wipe you out.

I trust that if you are on the bogleheads forum, you don't invest in vehicles that have unlimited loss potential such as say, shorting stocks, certain option strategies, etc.
So why are you taking this risk by choosing to be uninsured ?

It is not even just a financial risk also, you could end up both bankrupt and without treatment for conditions that may develop.


If something catastrophic happened, bankruptcy would have been the absolute last of my concerns. Being a 20-something undergrad then grad than doctoral student and supporting another graduate student(at the time), I had no assets to lose and there simply wasn't the funds available should health coverage been my #1 priority after shelter/food/clothing. Curious to know what financial risk I was taking, considering my deductible would have exceeded the value of my assets.

I am on bogleheads now because I have since completed my doctoral studies, gotten divorced and am therefore no longer supporting another individual, and now actually have assets to lose(and insurance). Different period in my life and now I am actually in a position to make a decision about insurance and investments. But, go ahead and continue to judge.
stoptothink
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:19 pm

stoptothink wrote:If something catastrophic happened bankruptcy would have been the absolute last of my concerns. Correct me if I am wrong, but you'd have to actually have something "to lose everything" wouldn't you? Being a 20-something undergrad then grad than doctoral student and supporting another graduate student(at the time), I had no assets to lose and there was not $450/month available should health coverage been my #1 priority after shelter/food/clothing. What I was putting at risk was less than what my deductible would have been.


Hmm, your life ?

Catastrophes are not necessarily just one-time event. They can not just wipe you out once but continue to do so in the future if you lack coverage.
It's not just that you would lose whatever assets you may or may not have.
The risk is not just financial. It's that you also won't have any way to cover ongoing treatments that may be necessary.

Have you looked at what treatments for some chronic conditions cost ?

This may be an extreme example, but my HIV meds are about $2500/month. Same for my partner. My partner started them 6 years ago, myself 2.5 years ago. At this time it's $60k a year for the two of us, every year, until those brand-name meds go off-patent. Unless we move to newer brand meds as they come on the market. There are currently no generic HIV drug regimens. The prescription costs have been going up about 10% a year. The patients are all captive. We are not supposed to go one day without taking the pills or we may become resistant to the meds and have to be switched to something else that may cost even more. So, continuity of coverage is essential. Patients with too much drug resistance have no more treatment options.

Suggest you take a look at this top ten most expensive condition list :
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidwhelan ... onditions/

HIV barely makes the list, it's the least expensive of those top 10.
Though it can be argued it will still cost the most over one's lifetime, as people will not have transplants, strokes, cancer, or end-stage renal disease every year of their remaining life.
But others like hemophilia are lifelong, heart disease can be chronic, etc.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:44 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
madbrain wrote:I just have to shake my head. It is simply amazing to read the above in a financial forum.

A very large chunk of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.

I, myself, have had a need for medical services that would have easily bankrupted me at the time without insurance. I paid my deductible and did not look back.

I take a number of risks in my own life that many others here would not. I would not go through life in the USA without ensuring health coverage.


Unlike you, I take zero risks (aside from diving my car, but I'm strapped into a steel cage, so the risk is minimized).

zaboomafoozarg wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


If the coverage is decent then that's an amazing price.


Perhaps compared to your health insurance it is an amazing price, but I'm guessing your income is more than mine and my spouse's combined. We can't afford it.

madbrain wrote:
If you are uninsured, you are assuming potentially unlimited financial risk in the form of medical costs. It doesn't matter how often you have visited a doctor before, one long hospital stay, major illness, or accident, could potentially wipe you out.

It is not even just a financial risk also, you could end up both bankrupt and without treatment for conditions that may develop.


madbrain wrote:Catastrophes are not necessarily just one-time event. They can not just wipe you out once but continue to do so in the future if you lack coverage.
It's not just that you would lose whatever assets you may or may not have.
The risk is not just financial. It's that you also won't have any way to cover ongoing treatments that may be necessary.

Have you looked at what treatments for some chronic conditions cost ?


See, the problem is that you assume that I would do something about the major illness, condition, etc. Just because you suddenly get pneumonia doesn't mean you are suddenly required to visit a doctor. Just because a doctor prescribes some expensive medication to take for the rest of your life, it doesn't mean you are required to do so. You claim I am assuming potentially unlimited financial risk in the form of medical costs. I claim I will never have those medical costs because I will refuse those medical services.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby dgdevil » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:03 pm

Confused wrote: I have not been to a doctor in ten years. I have not been to a dentist in five. My spouse has not been to a doctor in the three years we've been married (I don't know when the last time actually was).



Wow! Mildly speechless. Are you Honey Boo Boo's parents?!

Even without much insurance coverage, I still make a point of regular (1-2 year) checkups. I negotiate a cash amount that's pretty great. Ditto for blood (cholesterol, etc) tests which seem to be cheaper if you DON'T have insurance. We are in 21st century America, time to take advantage of modern know-how. And yes, I realize you're likely in great health and will likely outlive me ...

PS I see you are in your 20s, so I can now relate to some of your thinking. Men at that age are fairly invincible, my doctor tells me. But all it takes is a slip in the shower ... Don't be a girly-man -- get a checkup in next few years.
dgdevil
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby floydtime » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:17 pm

Watty wrote:
Do i take cobra while i can?


Yes you should sign up for the Cobra so that you do not have any breaks in coverage.

If you find private insurance is hard to get then don't panic. The rules are constantely changing and many people don't realize it but there is usually another insurance option when Cobra ends called HIPPA so that you can have some coverage if you can't get a private insurance and you do not have another job that provides insurance. The terms of the HIPPA coverage vary greatly from state to state and some are a lot better than others so you need to be sure to research what is available in your state.

It is critical that you research what HIPPA policy you ahead of time can get when Cobra ends because it has a lot of strict and inflexible deadlines that you need to find out about.

HIPPA is mainly for when you can't get private insurance and it will cost more than Cobra but if you cannot get private insurance it is a lot better than going without insurance.


Can anybody confirm whether or not HIPAA (e.g."the need to use 18 months of Cobra so that you can get HIPAA") will become obsolete in January 2014?
Last edited by floydtime on Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master" - Alexandre Dumas
User avatar
floydtime
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:09 pm
Location: A book

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby BuckyBadger » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:58 pm

I agree, Confused, that you probably should not contribute to these threads on health insurance. Because your views are so far removed from the norm, all it does is side track and derail the conversation. We have had how many posts now about your unique situation -- a situation that isn't relevant to the OP at all.

Most people are not willing to let themselves die from a treatable condition as you seem so willing to be. I work with people who are trying to do everything that they can to survive, and yet you're willing to let yourself die from things that a $30 course of generic medicine would cure you.

I'm mostly amazed that you found yourself a partner who feels the same way. That she is also willing to roll the dice with her health and not get pelvic exams or routine physicals. And to be so young -- with so much life ahead of you that you are willing to throw away...

Tragic.

But tragic or not, it has nothing to do with the OP's question, so maybe you shouldn't post on these sorts of threads -- unless you are posting because you enjoy the attention that you get from them.
BuckyBadger
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:28 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:08 pm

dgdevil wrote:PS I see you are in your 20s, so I can now relate to some of your thinking. Men at that age are fairly invincible, my doctor tells me. But all it takes is a slip in the shower ... Don't be a girly-man -- get a checkup in next few years.


BuckyBadger wrote:I'm mostly amazed that you found yourself a partner who feels the same way. That she is also willing to roll the dice with her health and not get pelvic exams or routine physicals. And to be so young -- with so much life ahead of you that you are willing to throw away...


Don't assume that I am the male and my spouse is the female. I intentionally keep both of us "sex-less" on the Internet. Thank you.

P.S. - I originally said, "My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence." I simply pointed the OP to a couple of cheaper options and indicated what the price was for us. Everyone else started jumping all over me.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby BuckyBadger » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:14 pm

Confused wrote:
dgdevil wrote:PS I see you are in your 20s, so I can now relate to some of your thinking. Men at that age are fairly invincible, my doctor tells me. But all it takes is a slip in the shower ... Don't be a girly-man -- get a checkup in next few years.


BuckyBadger wrote:I'm mostly amazed that you found yourself a partner who feels the same way. That she is also willing to roll the dice with her health and not get pelvic exams or routine physicals. And to be so young -- with so much life ahead of you that you are willing to throw away...


Don't assume that I am the male and my spouse is the female. I intentionally keep both of us "sex-less" on the Internet. Thank you.


Way to focus on the least relevant point of my post. Did you even read the rest of it??

The way I read a previous post of yours made me think that it was your spouse who stopped getting contraception at a doctor. Upon rereading, I see that it is vague.

However, it matters not if you are opposite sex, same sex, or which is which. My statements still stand.

1) You should stop contributing to posts about health insurance.

2) It is tragic you are willing to throw your life away for want of a $30 prescription.

3) It is amazing that you have found another like-minded individual to marry.
BuckyBadger
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:28 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby mnnice » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:43 pm

You don't' necessarially need to sign up for COBRA the day your employee sponsored coverage ends in order to participate in COBRA. I think you get about 60 days to sign up. Your soon to be former employer will give you forms before your last day.

We had a situation earlier this year with a job change where our health coverage from employer A ended March 3, 2012 and our health coverage from employer B started May 1, 2012. The first month of COBRA is about the only time you get to pay for insurance retroactively. We knew that we had more coverage coming and we did not pay for COBRA, but we would have if we had had any medical needs that would have exceeded the deductible of employer A's HDHC plan. Then we would have bought the COBRA coverage. Since we didn't have any illnesses or injuries that required medical care we ended up not having to pay the almost $2,000 that COBRA would have been for the same time period.

I would never be comfortable being uninsured as a normal mode of operation, but this was sort of a special case.

Anyway good luck at finding a new position or whatever new thing is ahead for you.
mnnice
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:48 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:57 pm

Confused wrote:Unlike you, I take zero risks (aside from diving my car, but I'm strapped into a steel cage, so the risk is minimized).


Again, mind-boggling that you could say that.
There is no such thing as zero risk ! Risk shows up even before you are born. Ask my boss with his 2 twins born 3 months premature.
When driving, it doesn't matter what kind of vehicle you are in, a drunk driver can still hit your car and injure you.
Even if you just cross the street as a pedestrian you are taking risks too.

zaboomafoozarg wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


If the coverage is decent then that's an amazing price.


Perhaps compared to your health insurance it is an amazing price, but I'm guessing your income is more than mine and my spouse's combined. We can't afford it.



It's obviously not decent coverage, and you couldn't even state what it covers when asked. The fact that you can't afford it doesn't make it in any way whatsoever outrageous. You are not living on planet earth.

See, the problem is that you assume that I would do something about the major illness, condition, etc. Just because you suddenly get pneumonia doesn't mean you are suddenly required to visit a doctor. Just because a doctor prescribes some expensive medication to take for the rest of your life, it doesn't mean you are required to do so. You claim I am assuming potentially unlimited financial risk in the form of medical costs. I claim I will never have those medical costs because I will refuse those medical services.


Utter BS. It is so easy for you to say that now while you are healthy. But when - not if - you will be faced with the actual situation, I absolutely guarantee that you and whoever is living with you will be singing a completely different tune. At that point, you will be begging for life-saving treatment, which could be as simple as an inexpensive course of antibiotics in the case of pneumonia. Very few people choose to go willingly without a fight.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:09 am

mnnice wrote:You don't' necessarially need to sign up for COBRA the day your employee sponsored coverage ends in order to participate in COBRA. I think you get about 60 days to sign up. Your soon to be former employer will give you forms before your last day.

We had a situation earlier this year with a job change where our health coverage from employer A ended March 3, 2012 and our health coverage from employer B started May 1, 2012. The first month of COBRA is about the only time you get to pay for insurance retroactively. We knew that we had more coverage coming and we did not pay for COBRA, but we would have if we had had any medical needs that would have exceeded the deductible of employer A's HDHC plan. Then we would have bought the COBRA coverage. Since we didn't have any illnesses or injuries that required medical care we ended up not having to pay the almost $2,000 that COBRA would have been for the same time period.

I would never be comfortable being uninsured as a normal mode of operation, but this was sort of a special case.



Yes, it's a special case because you were actually still guaranteed to be covered retroactively within the 60 day COBRA period. You just didn't have to pay the premium because you were lucky enough not to require any medical services during that time.

You can sign for COBRA on the day you need it.
When I left one employer a few years ago, I needed medical care before I had even received any paperwork for COBRA.
Kaiser made me sign a form to promise to enroll in COBRA and I was able to see a doctor and get treatment.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:05 am

floydtime wrote:Can anybody confirm whether or not HIPPA (e.g."the need to use 18 months of Cobra so that you can get HIPPA") will become obsolete in January 2014?


It's HIPAA, not HIPPA. Any private insurer will have to take you in January 2014 for an individual policy so you won't have to wait the 18 months if you want an individual plan. You could end your COBRA and go for an individual policy.

You can expect individual plan premiums to change widely after 2014 as they won't be medically underwritten anymore. I would think the average plan will go up in price. But if you have serious medical conditions but are still privately insurable currently, the individual premiums will go down.

To get a HIPAA policy, I believe you will still have to wait the 18 months on COBRA.
The HIPAA policy might have better rates than some of the individual private plans, as they tend to be large groups. The benefits on HIPAA policies vary widely by state. In California, the HIPAA are pretty decent plans.
I don't know what will happen to HIPAA after 2014, sorry. Have been googling for some time but can't find a definite answer. Even healthcare.gov doesn't appear to yield easy answers.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby floydtime » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:18 am

madbrain wrote:
floydtime wrote:Can anybody confirm whether or not HIPPA (e.g."the need to use 18 months of Cobra so that you can get HIPPA") will become obsolete in January 2014?


It's HIPAA, not HIPPA. Any private insurer will have to take you in January 2014 for an individual policy so you won't have to wait the 18 months if you want an individual plan. You could end your COBRA and go for an individual policy.

You can expect individual plan premiums to change widely after 2014 as they won't be medically underwritten anymore. I would think the average plan will go up in price. But if you have serious medical conditions but are still privately insurable currently, the individual premiums will go down.

To get a HIPAA policy, I believe you will still have to wait the 18 months on COBRA.
The HIPAA policy might have better rates than some of the individual private plans, as they tend to be large groups. The benefits on HIPAA policies vary widely by state. In California, the HIPAA are pretty decent plans.
I don't know what will happen to HIPAA after 2014, sorry. Have been googling for some time but can't find a definite answer. Even healthcare.gov doesn't appear to yield easy answers.


Thanks, that helps. Since I'll be retiring early, I'll have little-to-no actual income, so will be getting a subsidy for my private policy once I choose one via the exchanges...so that's likely what I'll do (unless new details about HIPAA emerge). A HIPAA policy probably wouldn't make sense financially unless it was also subsidized (unlikely).

18 months of COBRA is also awfully expensive (at least my employer's plan is) - so it will be nice to avoid it.

HIPAA (not HIPPA), you're right of course - I must have been thinking about HIPPOS. :wink:
Last edited by floydtime on Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master" - Alexandre Dumas
User avatar
floydtime
 
Posts: 401
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:09 pm
Location: A book

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:34 pm

madbrain wrote:
Confused wrote:Unlike you, I take zero risks (aside from diving my car, but I'm strapped into a steel cage, so the risk is minimized).


Again, mind-boggling that you could say that.
There is no such thing as zero risk ! Risk shows up even before you are born. Ask my boss with his 2 twins born 3 months premature.
When driving, it doesn't matter what kind of vehicle you are in, a drunk driver can still hit your car and injure you.
Even if you just cross the street as a pedestrian you are taking risks too.

zaboomafoozarg wrote:
Confused wrote:My spouse and I had Humana, and it was $69/month for the two of us ($59/month a year ago), but it jumped to $87/month. So we cancelled because that's outrageous and we can't afford it. So if you're looking for rock bottom price, try Humana or Regence.


If the coverage is decent then that's an amazing price.


Perhaps compared to your health insurance it is an amazing price, but I'm guessing your income is more than mine and my spouse's combined. We can't afford it.



It's obviously not decent coverage, and you couldn't even state what it covers when asked. The fact that you can't afford it doesn't make it in any way whatsoever outrageous. You are not living on planet earth.

See, the problem is that you assume that I would do something about the major illness, condition, etc. Just because you suddenly get pneumonia doesn't mean you are suddenly required to visit a doctor. Just because a doctor prescribes some expensive medication to take for the rest of your life, it doesn't mean you are required to do so. You claim I am assuming potentially unlimited financial risk in the form of medical costs. I claim I will never have those medical costs because I will refuse those medical services.


Utter BS. It is so easy for you to say that now while you are healthy. But when - not if - you will be faced with the actual situation, I absolutely guarantee that you and whoever is living with you will be singing a completely different tune. At that point, you will be begging for life-saving treatment, which could be as simple as an inexpensive course of antibiotics in the case of pneumonia. Very few people choose to go willingly without a fight.


Obviously I got past the "pre-birth risk" stage (and it didn't matter in the slightest if your boss, himself, was insured in that example). Yes, someone could hit me while I'm driving or walking, but the chances of that are close enough to zero that I will roll the dice rather than pay to insure a one-in-a-million event.

Where is it obvious that the coverage wasn't decent? Me not knowing the coverage/exclusions is irrelevant information. And it is most definitely outrageous. I can get auto insurance for less than $25/month and I am far, far more likely to need that. I can get renters insurance for $58/year. Why should my health insurance cost 3.6 times as much as my auto insurance and 18.4 times as much as my renters insurance (before I dropped renters insurance as well)? And, not to get political, but the Affordable Care Act will only give a "too-expensive" waiver if I can't find health insurance for less than 8% of my income! 8%!! Why would I be okay with spending 8% of my income on health insurance?! I only spend 13.5% on housing!

I'm not going to say, "Oh, well, I'll just pass on the medication, but thanks for the offer." I am physically unable to take medication. There is a psychological block there. My spouse has tried many different techniques to get me to swallow a pill, including physically clamping my mouth shut after jamming a pill (a cut-in-half pill, no less) in there. I can't do it, not I won't do it. A hospital would have to physically restrain me if they wanted to put an IV in my arm.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby linuxuser » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:06 pm

I don't know about your auto insurance, but the medical coverage with my Amica policy is minimal and the rate is lower because it is based on that I have medical insurance.
User avatar
linuxuser
 
Posts: 1107
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:40 pm

Confused wrote:Where is it obvious that the coverage wasn't decent?


From the way-too-low price.

Me not knowing the coverage/exclusions is irrelevant information.


Of course, it's relevant, because it shows you obviously don't care having decent coverage.
If you did, you would have a better, more expensive plan.

And it is most definitely outrageous. I can get auto insurance for less than $25/month and I am far, far more likely to need that.


Nobody is forcing you to drive, you only need auto insurance if you do. Anyone who lives needs health coverage. Auto insurance has set limits. You must have a policy with the minimum legal liability.
See
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/06 ... h-20120306
Quote: "The average hospital cost for a U.S. patient’s total stay was $15,734; Germany was next at $5,004. "
As I previously mentioned, medical costs are essentially unlimited.
In California, the minimum liability is $30,000 for auto insurance. So your health insurance would have to be capped at only 2 days of hospital stay to cost the same premium !
Also, the auto insurance premiums go down with age as you gain more driving experience.
The health insurance premiums go up with age as you are more and more likely to get sick as you age.

You are completely wrong about the odds of needing each insurance.
I personally make a claim on my auto insurance perhaps once every 3 years on average. On the other hand I visit some sort of medical provider about twice a month on average. Plus the 7 daily prescriptions I take, some of them being combo pills.

And, not to get political, but the Affordable Care Act will only give a "too-expensive" waiver if I can't find health insurance for less than 8% of my income! 8%!! Why would I be okay with spending 8% of my income on health insurance?! I only spend 13.5% on housing!


If you are only spending 13.5% on housing, what else are you spending your money on ? You probably easily have the means to spend 8% on health insurance.

I'm not going to say, "Oh, well, I'll just pass on the medication, but thanks for the offer." I am physically unable to take medication. There is a psychological block there. My spouse has tried many different techniques to get me to swallow a pill, including physically clamping my mouth shut after jamming a pill (a cut-in-half pill, no less) in there. I can't do it, not I won't do it. A hospital would have to physically restrain me if they wanted to put an IV in my arm.



That doesn't sound physical at all, but only psychological.
Many tablets other than delayed-release can be crushed and mixed into water. Capsules can be opened too and mixed with water. It may taste bad, but as long as you are able to drink you should still be able to take the meds one way or another.
Also, it would take no effort on your part to receive medication through IV, so why would you need to be physically restrained ?
It sounds like you are in dire need of psychological help. Your former health insurance probably would not pay for that, though.

I currently take 7 prescriptions, 1 OTC med, and 5 supplements. Total number of pills/gels/capsules is about 30 per day. I swallow 7-8 at a time in about 2 ounces of water. In fact, just took about 15 as I was typing this. I hope you can picture it.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby dgdevil » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:06 pm

Confused wrote: I am physically unable to take medication. There is a psychological block there. My spouse has tried many different techniques to get me to swallow a pill, including physically clamping my mouth shut after jamming a pill (a cut-in-half pill, no less) in there. I can't do it, not I won't do it. A hospital would have to physically restrain me if they wanted to put an IV in my arm.


Fascinating. Sounds like some unresolved childhood trauma. Trips to the dentist must have been fun all those years ago. Can't you/your gender-neutral spouse hide the pill in your food, like people do with cats? Or toss it in your mouth as you're about to swallow some food?
dgdevil
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby BuckyBadger » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:10 pm

I find that my dogs will eat pretty much anything if I stick it in a bit of cheese.
BuckyBadger
 
Posts: 463
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:28 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby stoptothink » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:30 am

madbrain wrote:
You are completely wrong about the odds of needing each insurance.
I personally make a claim on my auto insurance perhaps once every 3 years on average. On the other hand I visit some sort of medical provider about twice a month on average. Plus the 7 daily prescriptions I take, some of them being combo pills.


It is unfortunate that you are in a position to need regular care, but for many of us the likelihood of using car insurance is absolutely higher than of using health coverage. You may need it on a bi-monthly basis, I have needed it exactly once in my 15yr adult life (9yrs of which I had very good health coverage). I take my health fairly seriously. Being the director of health for a pretty large organization and sitting on the county health advisory committee, I better considering I analyze risk and make health-related decisions for large groups of people for a living. It would be a pointless risk to go without coverage now that it is financially feasible, but it wasn't a difficult decision when it simply wasn't.
stoptothink
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Confused » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:45 am

madbrain wrote:
Confused wrote:Me not knowing the coverage/exclusions is irrelevant information.


Of course, it's relevant, because it shows you obviously don't care having decent coverage.
If you did, you would have a better, more expensive plan.


That's just evidence that I really have no need for the coverage.

madbrain wrote:
Confused wrote:And it is most definitely outrageous. I can get auto insurance for less than $25/month and I am far, far more likely to need that.


Nobody is forcing you to drive, you only need auto insurance if you do. Anyone who lives needs health coverage.

See
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/06 ... h-20120306
Quote: "The average hospital cost for a U.S. patient’s total stay was $15,734; Germany was next at $5,004. "
As I previously mentioned, medical costs are essentially unlimited.
In California, the minimum liability is $30,000 for auto insurance. So your health insurance would have to be capped at only 2 days of hospital stay to cost the same premium !


Yes, and I do drive. So I need the insurance. It's possible that I, for example, fall asleep at the wheel and crash into someone and break my leg. It's not possible that I'm going to accidentally fall asleep on the couch and wake up with a broken leg. However, I'm not following what you're trying to say with those figures.

madbrain wrote:You are completely wrong about the odds of needing each insurance.
I personally make a claim on my auto insurance perhaps once every 3 years on average. On the other hand I visit some sort of medical provider about twice a month on average. Plus the 7 daily prescriptions I take, some of them being combo pills.


I'm sorry you have to take so much medication. But you taking medication doesn't mean I have to take medication.

madbrain wrote:
Confused wrote:And, not to get political, but the Affordable Care Act will only give a "too-expensive" waiver if I can't find health insurance for less than 8% of my income! 8%!! Why would I be okay with spending 8% of my income on health insurance?! I only spend 13.5% on housing!


If you are only spending 13.5% on housing, what else are you spending your money on ? You probably easily have the means to spend 8% on health insurance.


Most of our money goes straight into savings. Where it belongs. The breakdown is more-or-less as follows:

12%: Taxes
3%: Roth 401k
13.5%: Rent
2%: Utilities (gas, electric, and Internet)
5%: Food/Toiletries/Etc
5%: Gasoline
10%: Charitable Contributions
50%: Savings

Those are approximations. The entirety of the savings is going to our house down payment, and once we have a house, it will be going to paying off that house as fast as possible. All expenses need to be absolutely minimized in order to keep socking away cash. I've been trying to convince my spouse that we can lower our grocery bill if we increase the percentage of time we eat rice and beans, but so far I haven't gotten us up to more than four meals every two weeks. As many dollars as possible need to stay in my pocket - 8% on health insurance (a product I have no intention and no desire to use) is not going to happen. 8% is like taking our entire income in January and throwing it at insurance.

madbrain wrote:
Confused wrote:I'm not going to say, "Oh, well, I'll just pass on the medication, but thanks for the offer." I am physically unable to take medication. There is a psychological block there. My spouse has tried many different techniques to get me to swallow a pill, including physically clamping my mouth shut after jamming a pill (a cut-in-half pill, no less) in there. I can't do it, not I won't do it. A hospital would have to physically restrain me if they wanted to put an IV in my arm.



That doesn't sound physical at all, but only psychological.
Many tablets other than delayed-release can be crushed and mixed into water. Capsules can be opened too and mixed with water. It may taste bad, but as long as you are able to drink you should still be able to take the meds one way or another.
Also, it would take no effort on your part to receive medication through IV, so why would you need to be physically restrained ?
It sounds like you are in dire need of psychological help. Your former health insurance probably would not pay for that, though.

I currently take 7 prescriptions, 1 OTC med, and 5 supplements. Total number of pills/gels/capsules is about 30 per day. I swallow 7-8 at a time in about 2 ounces of water. In fact, just took about 15 as I was typing this. I hope you can picture it.


Yes, I have been able to take some tablets in the past. Pills, I have never managed to swallow, but tablets I have managed on one occasion. I crushed them into a very fine powder and mixed them into applesauce. Indeed it did taste disgusting, but I got it down. That was a very big milestone for me. I was able to eat it because it was food. Food goes in my mouth, other stuff doesn't. The problem is that many forms of medication cannot be crushed up and mixed into applesauce, so I can't take them. As for the IV thing, it's just an extension of the psychological block. I have to leave the room when my spouse watches House, for example. I can't watch someone on TV (let alone in real life) get an injection, or bleed, or anything of that nature. Same reason I don't donate blood and I'm not an organ donor. I'm sorry, but I just can't handle it.

dgdevil wrote:
Confused wrote: I am physically unable to take medication. There is a psychological block there. My spouse has tried many different techniques to get me to swallow a pill, including physically clamping my mouth shut after jamming a pill (a cut-in-half pill, no less) in there. I can't do it, not I won't do it. A hospital would have to physically restrain me if they wanted to put an IV in my arm.


Fascinating. Sounds like some unresolved childhood trauma. Trips to the dentist must have been fun all those years ago. Can't you/your gender-neutral spouse hide the pill in your food, like people do with cats? Or toss it in your mouth as you're about to swallow some food?


Yes, if I wasn't aware I was taking a pill that was hidden in my food, I could take it. But I'm highly likely to discover it while I chew my food and then remove it from my mouth. I chew my food very carefully, so I strongly doubt it would make it through undetected. My mother used to make fun of me for chewing my ice cream. I drink beverages through clenched teeth because I want to use my teeth as a strainer in case something got into the beverage.

Yeah, I have problems.
Confused
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:19 am

stoptothink wrote:
madbrain wrote:It is unfortunate that you are in a position to need regular care, but for many of us the likelihood of using car insurance is absolutely higher than of using health coverage. You may need it on a bi-monthly basis, I have needed it exactly once in my 15yr adult life (9yrs of which I had very good health coverage).



I'm not saying everyone needs it that often. But at the very least, you should get an annual checkup, anything less is irresponsible, especially if you have coverage. Most diseases are best treated if diagnosed early. When diagnosed late they are much more expensive or deadly.

Unless you are a very bad driver or very unlucky, you won't be using your auto insurance once a year on average.
But again, these can't be compared because of the limited liability and policy limits on auto insurance, vs unlimited risks with medical coverage.

I take my health fairly seriously. Being the director of health for a pretty large organization and sitting on the county health advisory committee, I better considering I analyze risk and make health-related decisions for large groups of people for a living. It would be a pointless risk to go without coverage now that it is financially feasible, but it wasn't a difficult decision when it simply wasn't.


Even more amazing that you are in this position and still hold this view. I don't know how many times I need to repeat the point about taking unlimited risk when having no coverage, putting not just your current assets at risk, but also future income, as well as your health.
Life is all about choices, you made some risky choices by foregoing coverage. It could have gone very wrong. You are simply lucky you got through it without having the need to use healthcare more.
There may have been other choices you could have made that would have allowed you to get coverage, such as saving less, living in shared housing, dining out less, taking public transportation, etc. Specific don't matter - you just didn't make health coverage a priority in your life, and chose to assume that huge risk.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:30 am

Confused wrote:That's just evidence that I really have no need for the coverage.


No, that's evidence you don't think that you need it. Some day you will, that is a guarantee.

Yes, and I do drive. So I need the insurance. It's possible that I, for example, fall asleep at the wheel and crash into someone and break my leg.


If you break your leg while driving, your auto insurance likely won't be paying for most of your health expenses while driving. The medical coverage on auto policies is optional and very limited..

It's not possible that I'm going to accidentally fall asleep on the couch and wake up with a broken leg. However, I'm not following what you're trying to say with those figures.


Depends, there could be an earthquake and furniture could fall and break your leg while you sleep.
Or you might wake up with something that will turn out to be cancer at some point.
Or wake up with a cold that you contracted from somebody else.
You are assuming incorrectly that all illnesses must automatically be resulting from your own actions. But they don't necessarily.
Many of them are completely beyond your control.

Most of our money goes straight into savings. Where it belongs. The breakdown is more-or-less as follows:

12%: Taxes
3%: Roth 401k
13.5%: Rent
2%: Utilities (gas, electric, and Internet)
5%: Food/Toiletries/Etc
5%: Gasoline
10%: Charitable Contributions
50%: Savings

Those are approximations. The entirety of the savings is going to our house down payment, and once we have a house, it will be going to paying off that house as fast as possible. All expenses need to be absolutely minimized in order to keep socking away cash. I've been trying to convince my spouse that we can lower our grocery bill if we increase the percentage of time we eat rice and beans, but so far I haven't gotten us up to more than four meals every two weeks. As many dollars as possible need to stay in my pocket - 8% on health insurance (a product I have no intention and no desire to use) is not going to happen. 8% is like taking our entire income in January and throwing it at insurance.


Well, you certainly couldn't say with a straight face that you can't afford to spend 8% of your income on health insurance if you are saving 50%. The average rate of saving is close to 0%.
What you are doing is choosing to forego insurance and assume the risk. Which will show up, in time.

Yes, if I wasn't aware I was taking a pill that was hidden in my food, I could take it. But I'm highly likely to discover it while I chew my food and then remove it from my mouth. I chew my food very carefully, so I strongly doubt it would make it through undetected. My mother used to make fun of me for chewing my ice cream. I drink beverages through clenched teeth because I want to use my teeth as a strainer in case something got into the beverage.

Yeah, I have problems.


Yes, you could say that. And with the right health insurance policy, you could seek care and perhaps resolve them one day ...
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby dgdevil » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:34 am

Confused wrote:Yeah, I have problems.


Sorry. That's no fun. You may want to get some counseling. Sure there are free options at local med schools, county health facilities.
dgdevil
 
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby stoptothink » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:42 am

madbrain wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
madbrain wrote:It is unfortunate that you are in a position to need regular care, but for many of us the likelihood of using car insurance is absolutely higher than of using health coverage. You may need it on a bi-monthly basis, I have needed it exactly once in my 15yr adult life (9yrs of which I had very good health coverage).



I'm not saying everyone needs it that often. But at the very least, you should get an annual checkup, anything less is irresponsible, especially if you have coverage. Most diseases are best treated if diagnosed early. When diagnosed late they are much more expensive or deadly.

Unless you are a very bad driver or very unlucky, you won't be using your auto insurance once a year on average.
But again, these can't be compared because of the limited liability and policy limits on auto insurance, vs unlimited risks with medical coverage.

I take my health fairly seriously. Being the director of health for a pretty large organization and sitting on the county health advisory committee, I better considering I analyze risk and make health-related decisions for large groups of people for a living. It would be a pointless risk to go without coverage now that it is financially feasible, but it wasn't a difficult decision when it simply wasn't.


Even more amazing that you are in this position and still hold this view. I don't know how many times I need to repeat the point about taking unlimited risk when having no coverage, putting not just your current assets at risk, but also future income, as well as your health.
Life is all about choices, you made some risky choices by foregoing coverage. It could have gone very wrong. You are simply lucky you got through it without having the need to use healthcare more.
There may have been other choices you could have made that would have allowed you to get coverage, such as saving less, living in shared housing, dining out less, taking public transportation, etc. Specific don't matter - you just didn't make health coverage a priority in your life, and chose to assume that huge risk.


Your assumptions about the position I was in could not be more wrong and I will not stoop to making assumptions as to why you are in the health condition you are. It was not simply luck why my healthcare needs were and continue to be almost nonexistant. The conscious choices I make every time I put something in my mouth, wake up each morning at 5am to train, and refrain from risky behaviors determine my health far more than my insurance status. Those decisions pay dividends every 2wks when I get to deposit more tax-free money into an HSA which I likely will never have to use.

Although it is probably an anomaly on this board, it is a harsh reality that healthcare coverage is not feasible for many people today. I work every day with large segments of the population where that is life and I do not judge them because of it, it is my job to find ways to improve their health regardless. Be thankful you (apparently) have never been in that position, I am glad I no longer am.
stoptothink
 
Posts: 1213
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:53 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby madbrain » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:22 am

stoptothink wrote:Your assumptions about the position I was in could not be more wrong and I will not stoop to making assumptions as to why you are in the health condition you are. It was not simply luck why my healthcare needs were and continue to be almost nonexistant. The conscious choices I make every time I put something in my mouth, wake up each morning at 5am to train, and refrain from risky behaviors determine my health far more than my insurance status. Those decisions pay dividends every 2wks when I get to deposit more tax-free money into an HSA which I likely will never have to use.


Sorry if my assumptions about your ability to afford healthcare offended you.
However, I stand by my comments about the risks you took. The healthiest behaviors in the world will not help if you get for example into serious accidents, and can not just bankrupt you but leave you with lifelong medical expenses. Even if the odds of this were not high, you were still playing russian roulette, whether you were conscious of it or not.

Be thankful you (apparently) have never been in that position, I am glad I no longer am.


No, I have not indeed, but I did make some conscious choices to prioritize getting access to healthcare over other things that others may not have - for example I didn't learn to drive until I was 25, but I always elected to get health insurance through my job in the US since I was 19, and before that I had universal healthcare in France. And on the occasions that I quit or lost jobs, I always continued my healthcare through COBRA. I have never had a break in coverage since I have been in this country. I do prioritize healthcare as high as food and lodging, none of those 3 are really optional as far as I am concerned.
madbrain
 
Posts: 2326
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby stemikger » Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:24 am

In the New York area we have something called Family Health Plus and it goes on a sliding scale. If you currently have no income it can be free.

If not, I would go with a high deductible plan for now and wait until 2014 and go with one of the State Exchanges when that part of the Affordable Care Act kicks in in 2014.

Good Luck and sorry for the layoff.
Stay the Course!
stemikger
 
Posts: 2228
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:02 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Yam the Bomb » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:30 am

This person's stance on not opting to buy health insurance is not unusual. Many if not most young adults in their 20's feel the same way. They are the ones who can buy it very inexpensively but won't.

The affordable care act resolves that for them in 2014. They will be taxed (or fee which ever they choose to call it) to encourage them to do the right thing.

Their plan is always the same and it does work. Don't use medical care for minor thing or preventive. If something major hits them...bankruptcy and start over. Financially the plan has worked well for most of them.
Yam the Bomb
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:20 am

Re: Laid off-Health Insurance Needed

Postby Yam the Bomb » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:35 am

For the original poster who is laid off, short term health insurance is the option designed for you. It's much cheaper than Cobra or regular (guaranteed renewable) health insurance. It's sold in 6-month blocks and is for people between jobs.

It's sold by Anthem, Humana, Assurant, etc.
Yam the Bomb
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:20 am

Next

Return to Personal Finance (Not Investing)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 3CT_Paddler, amitb00, BL, DSInvestor, jvclark02, Leesbro63, Rob Bertram, Sibelius, Steelersfan, timwri and 41 guests