|Does anyone do private health insurance?||Greg Bluntzer||5/4/12 9:28 AM|
For those of you who are contractors or freelancers and are not
military what do you use for heath insurance,dental, vision?
I am trying to research how much it would cost a family of 3. Two
parents and 1 kid.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Nicholas Borko||5/4/12 9:50 AM|
It's tough to do. Your best bet is a high-deductible plan with an HSA, but if you or your family needs frequent care, you don't have many options. In that case you might want to rethink independent consulting.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 9:51 AM|
Make sure to look at HSA insurance plans and ask your doctor/dentist/etc. for the "cash price" when you go there. The cash price is frequently less than half the list price for any given service because they know they'll get paid without all the hassle of dealing with the insurance companies.
About 6 years ago, when I was self employed, an HSA from BCBS for an individual was about $300/mo for the entire family with $5K deductible per person, $10K for the entire family, and $1M per incident, $2M lifetime coverage limits. I have no idea how much this has changed because of the Affordable Care Act, but I know there were some changes.
I also found a doctors office on the South East side (no idea if it's still open) that was REALLY cheap (like $25 visits) but they didn't accept ANY insurance at all. You had to pay cash for everything and then fill out any insurance paperwork yourself. Perfect for somebody with an HSA.
Remember, this is all very dated info, as I've been an employee since Oct. 2006.
Good luck! I know it can be done!
On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 11:28 AM, 10BitWorks on behalf of Greg Bluntzer <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com> wrote:
"I don't necessarily believe that software should be free, but if you pay for it, it should work." -- Me
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Jon||5/4/12 10:33 AM|
I have done a stupid amount of research into this and I have a project (VERY slow moving) to hopefully form a hackerspace insurance plan.
To understand how the insurance industry works, and all the BS behind it, takes a bit of determination. And by how it works, I mean a literal translation, not a superficial one that they feed you.
Some things that are good to understand if you go down the private insurance path:
I can write up more if you want, but there is no easy way to determine what insurance will cost unless you have a fairly specific circumstance (which means you'll be paying a lot - or nothing, as you will be uninsurable). Everything is relative in the insurance business, and heavily weighted against you.
Regarding the LLC thing, you can get small business group plans for an LLC of at least 3 people easier than signing up for yourself. They want you to have assets they can seize if you don't pay up. They don't actually confirm this, however - lol. There is actually a version of an LLC you can form that supports buying insurance for yourself and 2 others. This also allows grouping together with other small companies (specially formed or not) in a special insurance co-op entity that can use all of it's collective employees as a large number to swing around for better rates.
So yeah... and I didn't even mention the reasons it costs so much. Hopefully this knowledge will give you a bit more when speaking with these jackasses and trying to keep your family in good standing with the hospital bandit.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Jon||5/4/12 10:39 AM|
Oh, HSAs are cheap because they are a just a glorified bank account that you are required to put money in to. Sure, it's a regulated tax shelter, and sure, it gets discounted 'insurance' rates because of the extortion of the rest of their business. I disagree with them, simple because it's making it acceptable for the rest of their already deplorable behavior. I mean come on, you can afford insurance! It doesn't matter that they don't actually pay for your coverage before you have paid tens of thousands out first! It's totally not just a debit card!
Ultimately, this might be your best option and hope for the best. There are certain advantages over a straight up savings account (tax free, possible saftey net after you have been bankrupted, etc) but you are going to be dicked over by any plan you choose. First you are paying for it, then if anything happens you are either REALLY paying for it or left stranded.
|Re: Does anyone do private health insurance?||mike perez||5/4/12 10:44 AM|
Since March ive been without health insurance. My situation is different in that i don't have much to worry about AFAIK and i don't have kids. BUT not having that safety net of insurance has made me uneasy enough to glance over some options. Sometime in the past couple of weeks i had posted about two practices using direct-pay business models.
Dr. Norris intends to cap how many patients she sees at 750 to give each more time and attention. They'll pay a monthly access fee of $49.
Dr. Rodriguez, meanwhile, will charge patients $25 a month, plus $10 for each visit, hopefully to attract people who can't afford health care.Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Sick-of-status-quo-doctors-test-no-insurance-3500678.php#ixzz1tvKeUtGu
On Tuesday im going in for an eye exam at "Todays Eyes", paying direct $65
Having never used my health insurance in the 6 years i was at my previous job, i got an annual, several dental, and even a specialist on my way out to my much better job so im pretty confident i don't much to worry about in the near future. If you find any direct-pay dentists or some way to search for direct pay health, please post here. Without some insurance plan website to tell me where to go, i am a little lost :D
|Re: [10BitWorks] Re: Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 2:33 PM|
Just call some dentists and ask. Many of them have a second pay schedule for cash sales. I'd bet it wouldn't take more than 5 calls to find one just going through the phone book (you DO remember what that is, right? ;^).
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 2:39 PM|
Great info! Thanks.
One thing, the purpose of an High Deductable/HSA is to treat healthcare like auto care with benefits. You don't buy "Care Maintenance" insurance do you? No, you pay for your oil changes, tire rotations, etc. If you choose not to do those things, you KNOW it's going to cost you. Why should healthcare be any different? You buy insurance on your car to cover catastrophic events (theft, fire, hitting a deer, being hit by an uninsured driver, etc.).
The benefits of HSAs are that the money you put into them (you are not, last I checked required to put money into an HSA in order to get an HD policy) grows tax free, similar to a Roth IRA. It will remain tax free as long as it's used for a legitamate (read non-elective) medical procedure, OR long-term care. So, if you build an HSA when you're young, and you never use it, it will pay for your nursing home or home health care service when you are old, and if you die, it will go to your heirs, try THAT with your BCBS policy.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||joshjordan||5/4/12 3:38 PM|
If you exercise and don't eat fast food, it can't be a good deal to get health insurance. You pay the same as someone who eats fast food and doesn't exercise!
Maybe some of us healthy people could get together for a good deal on a group plan?
|Re: [10BitWorks] Re: Does anyone do private health insurance?||KC||5/4/12 3:59 PM|
I'll tell ya'll this... CPS Energy's dental insurance now SUCKS. I'm even going to the UTHSCSA Dental School for EVERYTHING and it's a major pain to get the United/Aetna mega-corps to do what you'd expect them to do. If it wasn't for my Flexible Spending Account being charged up with the maximum $2,600 a year in un-taxed benefits that can only be used for health care, I'd be screwed out of all of this TIME-SENISITIVE dental work that I have in my plan. I'd be interested in a dental deal. If anyone found something that was worthwhile in the paying up-front department.
As you all know from my previous rant, I don't believe in insurance. Save your money, don't be reckless, and keep your family close.
As it stands right now, this year's $2,600 is about depleted, and I don't think I'm going to get insurance to pick up their fair share according to the dental plan details (50%, up to $2000 a year). They always find ways to screw you, because it's all a Ponzi-scheme, and that's how they keep it solvent.
But I WOULD buy into a savings plan or something for people who benefit the doctors/dentists by NOT being part of the medical mafia fia$co...!
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Jon||5/4/12 4:51 PM|
Last I checked there was an annual usage deadline with most HSAs to prevent a tax free inheritance as you suggest.
In other words, you put so much in and you have till an annual point at which point you lose it.
Sorry I wasn't clear there - you don't have to put money into it, but you still have to pay for it. It's certainly cheaper than most health insurance plans but there are a few major flaws. Quite a few insurance companies do not consider it 'creditable' so if you develop a condition or become injured while using it, one of the most important tasks that insurance performs (to keep you out of a pre-existing condition waiting list), is missing.
Because I love to bitch about health insurance, here is some more slightly non sequitur but still related info. The discounted rates that places offer are usually still MORE than what they get if you go to them with insurance.
I go to a specialist for a specific condition, the insurance claim usually read something around the following when I was on my last plan:
$100.00 assessed by insurance
$30.00 approved covered
Calling them right now while i'm not insured per visit?
So what you see here? The insurance companies are hitting the system from multiple angles and everyone has it rough because of it.
Ideally, and I believe it started this way, the doctors would charge a flat rate, insurance participated as a neutral party between patient and physician. But what started to happen is the insurance companies started to strong arm the doctors.
'We are going to bring more business to you, if our insurance is offered there. At the same time we will get more customers because more doctors accept us!'
**turned into **
'If you want people to come visit you, you have to give us a special deal.'
So the doctors had to increase their price to meet bottom line after the 'discount'. It's a pretty common thing if you talk to doctors about an uninsured rate. They certainly don't advertise it if they are playing the modern insurance game.
So the second tactic worked, and then it worked better. The doctors increased their rates, and people became more and more unable to afford their own health care. The insurance companies began to put pressure on people in a round about way, and then they grew more.
So yeah, you pay for maintenance on a car; but then again I pay for utilities, rent.... I pay more for food that isn't complete junk. The problem here is that when my car breaks down, I can catch a bus or save for a new one. I can always walk.
If I get serious cancer or have an unexpected major emergency, the treatment that I need to live is either through insurance (which can drop me due to profit margins if it's not through a job) or I have to sell everything and then beg just hope that I can afford enough treatment that I don't die a painful death.
Sorry, I take offense to your analogy. I am not a disposable item, I cannot be replaced. Doctors are not oil changes, they are the people that make sure you live pain free.
So to give you a bit of perspective, without a job I am considered un-insurable due to a single condition that is treated by a single medication. The medication and pharmaceutical that makes it, another facet of corruption within the health care system, have used loop holes repeatedly to hold the patent on this drug for nearly 20 years now. They were granted orphan drug status, which extends copyright and exclusivity, preventing generics for something like twice as long as a standard pharmaceutical copyright. That does not add up to 20 years, but more or less they had made enough money to reinvent it twice, claim copyright and use their funds to push out any hopes of competitors with a sea of lawyers for the rest of the time. Now they are re-branding it and claiming 'small molecules' as a copyright point. They have already successfully defended a generic from entering the market using this claim.
The end result? I pay 400-500 a month. Extortion, if I want to live normally. And the insurance companies refuse to offer me insurance at all. They won't even exclude that one condition, they just outright reject me. It costs more for them to do proper research, than to make assumptions.
The kicker is that they are only just now finding ways to treat my condition, not just the symptoms. That drug hasn't hit market yet because (surprise) there aren't enough people to buy it. Add that to the fact that the chemical that treats it is naturally occurring and cannot be copyrighted, as well as the administration equipment (a nasal sprayer). In reference to the last paragraph, there is no way they have read the research papers published in the past 3 years and changed their policy based on it. They really have no idea how to assess my condition; but then again it costs money.
So to be blunt, fuck the insurance racket.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Jon||5/4/12 5:01 PM|
To top THAT off I became uninsured by 'choice'. I could have payed $1600 a month for cobra to retain my 'creditable' insurance status (only paying for a 500 dollar perscription and maybe four 125 dollar doctors vists a year). I tried to get private insurance to prevent this, and because of the condition they wouldn't accept me. Creditable doesn't count when you are buying your own insurance, you need to be working for a company. Never mind that I can afford treatment on my own, and I was willing to accept a gap in coverage types in exchange for staying insured.
Oh, yeah. HSAs wouldn't cover me either, never mind the fact that I would have paid for all of the above on top of the cost.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||kc||5/4/12 5:05 PM|
Here! Here! Jon.
From: 10BitWorks on behalf of Jon <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
Sender: 10BitWorks on behalf of Jon <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 18:51:16 -0500
To: 10BitWorks on behalf of Donald Greer<sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 5:06 PM|
Quick response (on my phone now;).
Please research "Health Savings Account". There is no time limit on it's use. It is just like a Roth ira except instead of retirement restriction it's use must be for health or care-facilities use.
I've forgotten the proper name for the one you describe (ADP's acronym starts with F... That's all that's coming to mind at the moment :/), but it's a use it or lose it plan to use for paying mess and deductables that are planned (like kc did for his dental stuff).
Hope that helps.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||kc||5/4/12 5:13 PM|
Flexible Spending Account.
Plan goes year to year... And they give you until March 31 to spend the previous years savings before you lose it. Gives you a chance to adjust, if you need to.
My dental plan, at the LOW COST UTHSCSA Dental School clinic, was upwards of $10-12 THOUSAND, at inception. I have about $8,000 left to go. So, for the next couple of years, I have no fear of NOT being able to spend it all. After that, not sure what I'll do, but this HSA thing sounds good...
If neither of these existed, I'd do savings at about half that rate and still have SOMETHING for incidentals.
From: 10BitWorks on behalf of Donald Greer <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
Sender: 10BitWorks on behalf of Donald Greer <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 19:06:34 -0500
To: 10BitWorks on behalf of Jon<sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Jon||5/4/12 5:25 PM|
Fair enough, they do have roll over accounts.
I recall these now, similarly I was rejected. So the problem here is you are still getting dicked by a few factors.
So yeah, great, it's another version of the same shit. Maybe more viable? Still unacceptable.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 5:45 PM|
Don't know why you were turned down, has'a used to be the easiest to get because of the high deductable, but as I said it's been a while.
And when I looked, you don't loose you has when you lose the hdhp, you just can no longer contribute to it. You can still use it as before and it still has no taxes or penalties for health related expenses.
I'll do some research when I can get on line next.
Oh, and I think you maybe right about the cost because the hdhp with my employer is actually nor expensive than the ppo, which is freakin' nuts! I guess they became too popular. ;)
And who ever said aetna sucked, AMEN, BROTHER!!!
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||kc||5/4/12 6:12 PM|
If we all did anything, we should consider entering into some sort of health savings group trust or something. Patronize only local doctors who take cash/direct VISA/Master Card.
You know... THAT'S WHAT'S NEEDED... Some sort of health savings credit union. Insurance with a credit union mentality.
Or just individually save your money, be careful with your health and habits, and keep your family close.
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 19:45:55 -0500
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Nicholas Borko||5/4/12 6:17 PM|
This all sounds good on paper, but no amount of savings on a 5 figure salary is going to prepare you for a transplant, bypass surgery, cancer, or any number of problems that can result through no fault of your own but for which you can be responsible: uninsured drunk driver, head trauma from an assault, etc.
I'm not an advocate for the medical insurance industry, but realistically, unless the system changes, you have to work within it.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 6:44 PM|
That used to exist, but in the 70 Teddy Kennedy and his crew thought HMO's where a good idea and so they outlawed a whole lot of options in order to make HMO's work.
There's been a lot of things like that that were tried, but in the end, they usually run afoul of either state or federal regulations.
Regualtory capture is a bitch! ;)
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 6:49 PM|
That's what hdhp/hsa plans are supposed to be for. You pay your own way for routine visitation, meds, etc. And have insurance for the catastrophic stuff.
I suspect that if you Sig a little, somewhere between 2005 and now somebody made changes that required these folks to cover stuff like mamagrams or prostate exams or something else and that's why the prices have risen so much.
I'm just guessing though.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 6:54 PM|
BTW, invade I sound like too much of a curmdgeon, I DO like Jon's idea of some sort of hackerspace coop. If I wasn't already employed, I'd gladly participate.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Christopher Hardee||5/4/12 6:55 PM|
Very interesting discussion all around. I'm learning stuff every post. :)
If anyone can figure this out it's Jon, he's been working on this for
the past year and the drive to do it.
> --Chris Hardee
San Antonio Hackerspace
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Nicholas Borko||5/4/12 6:56 PM|
Right, but my BCBS PPO plan is maybe $50 more per month than a HD plan. If you are single or are young with no kids, you might be able to save money. Or if you can't get decent coverage otherwise (e.g. independent contractor), it's the only option.
My point though is that those looking for an alternative to insurance companies, it's a big risk, but in the end, as Ned Flanders says, it's a form of gambling.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||KC||5/4/12 6:57 PM|
Realistically, since insurance costs over $1000 a month if you buy it outright, that is EXACTLY what you CAN do.
Realistically, what do they require for car insurance? Like a $30,000 bond? $500 a month for 5 years = NEVER PAY FOR AUTO INSURANCE AGAIN. (Until you actually have an accident and SHOULD be expected to pay for your negligence. Which you can do with your bond and saving for another 5 years.)
Realistically, $12,000 a year for 10 years = transplant/bypass surgery/ or cancer treatment for most TREATABLE forms of cancer.
Transplant, bypass surgery, or cancer also usually equal death a few years after the treatments, anyway. Many cancers are treatable, most are not reasonably treatable.
Realistically, folks shouldn't expect to live after such major events. I don't. I expect insurance to find a way to DROP me when such an event occurs. And I will be left whining to the public about my condition and situation until my inevitable death, whereupon I will still be dead.
Insurance companies routinely find a way to exit after the first occurrence of such health conditions due to the pure statistical fact of it all. This leaves people crying foul and just plain screwed. Realistically, it happens DAILY and will continue to happen because people will not band together to form armies to physically force the companies to pay for this care. Why not? This little thing called "felony" that wipes out our precious little American Dream.
No sir, no sir! I say there is NO POINT to paying people to gather money and distribute it to various places when people can keep the money themselves and not PAY the SHEISTERS to sell them an etheral money transfer GAMBLE con.
People should consider the term PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY as something OTHER than just what Republicans say all the time. It a GOOD DAMN sans-partisan IDEA . I EMBRACE that term and I am DEFINITELY NOT voting for George W. Bush again! HAHA!
If people don't produce a physical good you can hold in your hand or direct expertise such as expertly cutting out your cancer or building your house, THEY SHOULD NOT BE PAID MONEY. If their labor is IMAGINARY, then IT IS NOT LABOR.
The MARKET is showing this pipe-dream to be UNSUSTAINABLE. It's a microcosm of the whole socialist idea. It won't work. The problem is, you always run out of other people's money to spend.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Nicholas Borko||5/4/12 8:20 PM|
I'm not going to engage in armchair analysis if the health insurance industry, but I think you underestimate the survivability of conditions that may have been considered fatal as recently as 20 years ago.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 9:30 PM|
Nick's right. Most forms of cancer are now treatable, and in fact the majority of cancer patients have a solid 5 year survival rate. I fear cancer like crazy because it's gotten most of my family, but my family were all smokers, and the one who didn't smoke lived to 82 when she broke her hip.
While 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their life time, death rates are more like 1 in 10, and that includes all the octogenarians (of which there are BUNCHES now days). I promise you that among the people reading this message, a fair percentage will seen the centennial of their own birth.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Jon||5/4/12 10:06 PM|
So I don't have a time for quite the lengthy response this time.
I am working on a co-op based approach to insurance, that can eventually become a bit more established.
Just last year the planned health care reforms had two of it's most useful pieces come into effect. First, insurance companies are now legally obligated to return any dollar amount not used on health care up to 85% of the total amount. People started seeing checks cut at the end of last year - there were a lot of pleasantly surprised posts on reddit.
Second, there is a funding pool of 4 billion (from where lol) that start up co-op insurance plans can apply for. If you can meet certain requirements and have enough backing locally, they will provide you enough to become a major competitor on the health insurance market.
I have more details but the big one they look for is being able to provide for the entire state. It's not required, but the response and reward are proportional.
My current plan is to spring board off the ATX hackerspace transition to a co-op. It can start small and separate.
Also I did extensive research into affinity plans (group insurance without employer employee) and they just tried to sell me bullshit. I know more about that style plan than every single insurance broker I called, and basically had to educate them and follow up with a request for them to ask their affiliated company(ies). They never returned with what I asked, and just tried to sell me what they knew. Like I said they have no idea what they are doing, and are used car salesmen. Most of the time they presented a 'preferred underwriting' plan - basically a method of bribing the underwriters by sending a large number of people through at the same time, with a potential promise of a lower monthly rate. You can get these without starting your own - costco and sams have them.
I personally refuse to put any responsibility in their hands, since they are so unable to answer such direct industry related questions and then less than 48 hours later calling to offer me something different. Also I'm not a fan of gambling - all people would still be assessed as individuals and have just a likely chance of not being accepted onto the plan.
There are structures in place and legal documents on the texas board of insurance web site. There are ways to get sub backing in case of extreme health emergencies, so being backed by the system that is already in place. Also as a business, when it's formed, you can define the policies of operation which can include a stop loss policy for keeping the insurance alive when one of the insured need a large sum of money.
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||5/4/12 10:21 PM|
When you have time to flesh this out, I'd love to see it. Like I said, I don't need it now because of my employer's plan, but I'm certainly hoping to be independent again someday :^).
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||kc||5/4/12 10:34 PM|
Roger that, Mr. Nick!
Ahhh, that said, we can agree to disagree.
Thanks for everyone's participation, Jon's research... Etc!
It is this kind of talk, and informing ourselves, that makes us all better voters and better citizens. I thank you all for that.
And now, a Good-Night to all my homeys!
Sender: 10BitWorks on behalf of Nicholas Borko <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 22:20:38 -0500
To: 10BitWorks on behalf of kcoriginal<sa-hack...@googlegroups.com>
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Denzuko||5/20/12 4:23 AM|
Greg, I'm with the Freelancer's Union so they provide my 401k, Health, Life, Dental, and Disabliity Insurance. If your interested just visit freelancersunion.org and sign up. As a member I would suggest not to be daunted with the Union's pro-new york outlook; the benefits are nationally covered and well worth getting.
On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 11:28 AM, 10BitWorks on behalf of Greg Bluntzer <sa-hack...@googlegroups.com> wrote:
For those of you who are contractors or freelancers and are not
Dwight Spencer, President / CEO
CompuTEK Industries, LLC. - ComputekIndustries.co.cc - +01.719.357.7209
Follow us online: @computek_ind & /computekindustries
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||mike perez||6/22/12 7:29 AM|
okay so it looks like i may need to see a doctor about my knee. for as
long as i can remember my left knee has always felt a little weird
during deep bends but wednesday or tuesday i got out of my car weird
and now there is definitely something going on. I think i have bone
spur in my left knee.
Anyways, it hurts walking up the stairs now and getting out of my car.
Anyone know of a knee doctor?
|Re: [10BitWorks] Does anyone do private health insurance?||Donald Greer||6/22/12 9:21 AM|
San Antonio Sports Medicine
My wife does Workers Comp adjusting and she says they're the best folks in town for ortho. The Spurs use them for all their injuries as well, if that makes a difference.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.