Friday, October 15, 2010

Health Insurance Unknown

One of my commenters mentioned that his health insurance costs $700, which is my entire minimum budget. Wow. I wonder why it is so expensive. I know he lives on the opposite side of the country and I think he lives in a big city so maybe those are factors. Pre-existing conditions probably have some effect. All I can think is it must be great insurance for that price.

In my minimum budget I have only $130 budgeted for monthly health insurance premiums. I got that number from doing a search on ehealthinsurance.com. Here are a few of the choices that I found.


I was looking for plans with a deductible of around $3,000 and that had a health savings account option.

I don't know anyone who has one of these plans. Maybe they are only smoke and mirrors. I had a temporary health insurance plan like this while I was inbetween jobs but I never used it so I can't say how useful it really was.

The other unknown factor is how the government health care will effect these kind of plans. It is hard to budget for such a huge question mark. This could mess up my entire plan. For planning purposes though, I will pretend that these plans are legitimate and that they would actually cover me in case of a major medical need. For the minor needs I hope I will still be able to use the CVS Minute Clinic type places to keep my costs to a minimum.

15 comments:

Lizzie said...

It is a huge unknown and could really rock your world as you get older. I would like to think the healthcare bill would address these issues. A government should have some responsibilities. Some friends of mine lived happily in New York for years but moved to Shanghai about 5 years ago when their monthly insurance went though the roof as they got older. Very unsettling at their age.
Lizzie

Lizzie said...

I forgot to say it is time to change the title bar.

A girl, a cat, a dog.... how many dogs???

Lizzie said...

I forgot to say it is time to change the title bar.

A girl, a cat, a dog.... how many dogs???

Dave said...

Daizy, I found my individual HI policy the same way you did, through ehealthinsurance.com. It had the lowest premium.

Here in New York (State, not City) where I live, everything is more expensive. But apparently, my choices are limited, too. The plan I signed up for is not a very comprehensive policy but closer to bare-bones. And I do not have any pre-existing conditions.

At the time I signed up for the plan back in 2009, it was "only" $470 a month. But with premium increases of 20% and 25% since then, I will have to pay $700 a month starting in 2011.

Those big increases are in part anticipatory to the health insurance reforms passed earlier this year. Part of it I believe is due to law changes specific to New York.

I checked out my own auto/home insurance company to see if they offered HI, too, because I might get it for a multiline discount. They don't even offer individual HI policies in New York (and they are a big auto/home writer in New York).

Maybe I should move to Arizona and give you some of the money I would save on HI? :p

Andy Hough said...

My health insurance is through ehealthinsurance.com too. It is only $58 a month and works fine. I rarely go to the doctor though so it may not work so well for someone who has to see a doctor regularly.

PlutoIsNotAPlanet said...

Age is a huge factor in HI premiums. Second only to one's health history/existing health state. If gov't healthcare doesn't offer reasonable coverage in the next few years expect a rapid increase in rates - especially if you are in your 40's or older.

Anonymous said...

I also use eHealthinsurance (Aetna) and love my plan. It's fairly reasonable for bigger things (and lab work), but a $40 co-pay for dr visits. (I don't visit the dr for colds!) I'm 26 years old and pay $95 a month for my plan. Plans and prices really vary from state to state, so it looks like you got lucky!

Michael said...

I have several health problems that seem minor to me. But, I was told by two separate health insurance brokers, that if I applied for medically underwritten insurance, the premium could be uprated or I might even be denied coverage. I didn't want to risk getting turned down. I found a guaranteed issue plan, here in my state, for which I pay about $530/month. If I would have bought my own insurance, before the medical problems developed, maybe I would have saved money. Back then, I didn't know all of my options.

I don't know what the rules are in Arizona. A good health insurance broker should be able to advise you.

The new health care laws may make all of this irrelevant, but then again, maybe the laws will be repealed.

Daizy said...

Yes, Lizzie, it is a big unknown. Maybe I shouldn't quit my job until it goes in to effect in 2014 to make sure I can still afford it.

Daizy said...

Dave, I guess you knew what you were getting in to before you quit so you knew you could afford it. Have you considered moving or did you budget plenty for rising costs?

Daizy said...

Thanks Andy, it is good to hear from someone who has low premiums and is happy with the insurance they have. I seem to have pretty low medical expenses. The most expensive part is the skin cancer but I know what that costs since I have had to pay cash for it so it won't be a surprise.

Daizy said...

Plutoisnotaplanet, I am creeping up on 40. I think I should check the website for older age groups and see what it says.

Daizy said...

Anonymous, good to hear that you were able to find a good policy also. I often hear people say that individual health insurance is too expensive to get and then I try to show them that it is not that bad, at least in my state. Some people just don't want to spend any money on it at all.

Daizy said...

Michael, health reform certainly throws a wrench in my plan. I think things will get more expensive before they get better and who knows how long it will take to settle down. Now I'm getting depressed! Oh no, is depression covered in my plan?

Dave said...

Daizy, I budgeted a greater annual increase (7%-10%) in medical expenses than I did for the rest of my budget. But if they rise 20% per year every year until I turn 65, I will end up paying $14,000 per MONTH ($168,000 per YEAR) for HI when I turn 64. That would wipe out my non-IRA account (along with everyone else's).

I can handle these large increases for a while, although moving to another state where I can buy a low-price, high-deductible is a much better option. Don't they have those types of individual plans here in NY?