Non-group health insurance

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932
Location
USA
I was wondering if anyone has had much luck getting individual health insurance? If so, what was your general experience; ie, how much did rates vary from quotes, any special riders, pre-existing conditions, etc.? My wife's employer dumped their health plan last year and mine might be doing the same, or at the very least jacking up our rates significantly (we currently pay around $1,000/month). At the very least, we'd like to insure our kids but only one company offers child-only insurance in our state. So far, the whole process seems very discouraging (we got our first denial in the mail yesterday).
 
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36,537
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: kb01
So far, the whole process seems very discouraging (we got our first denial in the mail yesterday).
I remember Gary Allan suggesting you mail applications all at once, as the first question is often "have you been denied?" IIRC, if you get a catastrophic plan with a $10k deductible you still get the insurance discount on cash-pay small stuff. There's a thread about this floating around.
 

kb01

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932
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USA
Thankfully, we mailed out a big batch of them over the weekend. Hopefully, future applications wont have the "have you been denied" question. If I recall, only the UHC application had that question but Aetna and BC didn't. We already do that with the high deductible. Ours is currently at $5,000 but all of the ones we're applying for are in the $10,000 - $20,000 ballpark. The real issue is for the wife and kids. I can go to the VA but I don't know what to do about the wife. The lack of child-only plans means her pre-existing conditions would mean the kids can't get insurance.
 
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7,256
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USA
Out of curiosity what type of employer dumps a health plan? Is it small business? I feel our state(NH) offers very little in terms of social or education funding. However at least they do offer something called Healthy Kids which is state government health and dental insurance for children. The amount paid is medical need and household income. Our state at least insures low income children.
 

Al

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19,256
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: Papa Bear
You guys need a "summer home" here in Canada. Health care is free.
And if we get something life threatening we can come back to the U.S. smile
 

kb01

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932
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USA
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Out of curiosity what type of employer dumps a health plan? Is it small business? I feel our state(NH) offers very little in terms of social or education funding. However at least they do offer something called Healthy Kids which is state government health and dental insurance for children. The amount paid is medical need and household income. Our state at least insures low income children.
She works for a small business. Even when they offered a plan, most of her coworkers opted out because the rates were so high. If I recall, the premium for a family policy was around $1,400 - $1,500 a month. It was so high that when we saw the paperwork, we thought it was a typo. My state offers child insurance through the CHIP program but the income threshold is very low, so we're not eligible since we both work.
 
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1,344
Location
Clinton Twp. MI
About 1000 to 1500 a month is just about right for group family coverage but most peoples employers pay there premium. It realy hits home when they ask you to pay the whole thing.
 
Messages
1,344
Location
Clinton Twp. MI
Originally Posted By: Al
Originally Posted By: Papa Bear
You guys need a "summer home" here in Canada. Health care is free.
And if we get something life threatening we can come back to the U.S. smile
Because we all know canadians are dropping like flys, in fact we have to fight them back here at the Detroit border trying to sneak in for our health care gladiator
 

kb01

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932
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USA
Originally Posted By: bradepb
About 1000 to 1500 a month is just about right for group family coverage but most peoples employers pay there premium. It realy hits home when they ask you to pay the whole thing.
The national average is about $15,000/year or $1,250/month, for what I've always assumed is a typical PPO. I'm paying $1,000/month and my employer is throwing in another $300 for a high deductible policy. The individual policies we're going after all have very high deductibles and don't cover prescriptions, dental/vision, or any kind of maternity-related care but (in theory) have reasonable premiums. I'm just hoping we can find one that will take my family. I just wish there was some way we could cover the kids, regardless of my wife and myself. When it comes down to it, I have decent life insurance and am getting old but if they get sick, I wouldn't want them getting kicked out of the ICU because of me.
 
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1,344
Location
Clinton Twp. MI
"I wouldn't want them getting kicked out of the ICU because of me." Your being a good parent worrying about that but as bad as things are ,that would not happen .
 

kb01

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USA
Originally Posted By: LT4 Vette
kb01, How big is the business/company you work for ?
About 12 people.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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46,303
Location
New Jersey
They have been advertising "trusts" seemingly of pooled small business resources as an alternative to the expensive, for profit health insurance schemes. Not sure if it is good or not, but they seem to claim that they have set it up as an alternative for situations like yours.
 

kb01

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932
Location
USA
I'm not sure if they have anything like that here. My office was bought out a few years ago, so we really don't have any say in the matter -- All of the decisions are pushed down on us from our corporate office out west. We actually get the same subsidies as our other offices, it's just that premiums in our state are twice what they are in Colorado.
 

kb01

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932
Location
USA
For those who are curious... Not surprisingly, my employer bumped our rates up another 20% to about $1,200/month. With a $5,000 deductible, there was no way we could afford that. Even if we could scrape together enough for insurance, there's no way we could afford actual health care on top of it. Through a broker, we applied for about 10 different policies. We were rejected outright for 7 of them for random things including my wife's C-Section and an anti-biotic used to treat a foot infection 5 years ago. For the other 3, we had to supply a decade's worth of medical records and physician statements. It's not great but we managed to get a bare bones policy through Blue Cross (no maternity, prescriptions, or dental/vision) for about $500/month with a $10,000 deductible. It's all a huge relief. It's not great but it's something.
 
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