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Oy. I got home to a letter from the health insurance company asking… 
30th-Nov-2007 05:32 pm
Oy. I got home to a letter from the health insurance company asking for information about previous insurance coverage and when I first presented symptoms for my condition etc (I'm going to assume it's my thyroid meds they want to know about and not the birth control pills; however, I tried to call them to confirm this, since all that's on the letter is a claim number, not what med the letter is about, and their offices were closed. At 4:45. Yargh.) I'm going to be damned annoyed if they preexisting condition my damned thyroid. It's not like I went out and got health insurance1 because of my thyroid; I have insurance because the school is requiring it.

On a related note, next year I will more than likely be adjuncting and thus, will not have insurance again. I'm probably just going to go back to paying out of pocket and trying not to break things, but is anyone on my lovely friends list currenting self-insuring themselves and have recs for affordable coverage? Blue Cross Blue Shield is the big local choice, but the cheapest they have for a non-maternity quote is $100 a month with a $5k deductible, and, um, no.

1. Luckily, the graduate school is paying for it.
30th-Nov-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
Catastrophic insurance (deductible over $500 or so) is the only type that dips under the $200/adult/month mark. I can only speak to the Washington insurance scene, but we pay just over $250/adult/month and just over $150/month/child for a very nice / complete $0 deductible, $30/$10 co-pay (office / perscription) that includes maternity, mental health, and alternative medicine. It covers 80%-100% on most major (required) surgeries, and 60%-80% on most elective. It also has a $9.8k/person annual maximum out-of-pocket (after which it pays 100% on everything). Not sure that helps you, though. (:
1st-Dec-2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
Yea, not quite what I'm looking for, but thanks for the info. :)
30th-Nov-2007 11:46 pm (UTC)
I have insurance, which I am required to pay a freaking fortune for, through the school. And so far I see it as a "payment deferral policy." I give the card to people. They bill the insurance. The insurance declines to pay them. Then I pay them. It's really stretching out the process, but I am not sure it is doing anything else useful.
30th-Nov-2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
Heh. In our case, it's even worse, because it's reimbursement only. So you get things done, because you have to, and then they can dick around for as long as they want and you have to hope they reimburse for it instead of randomly turning it down.

It's $360 a semester, which is damn cheap for health insurance, but from what I here from other grad students, it's not even worth that much.
30th-Nov-2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
I pay over $100 a month - something like $1350 / year - for this privilege.
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30th-Nov-2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Previous insurer? You're funny. :) I haven't had insurance since 2003.
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1st-Dec-2007 12:06 am (UTC)
*mutter* I'd forgotten about this kind of thing.

Well, hell. All I can do is fill out their form and see what happens.
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1st-Dec-2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
It's not that big a deal - my medical stuff is pretty cheap. It's more the principle of having health insurance and it still not covering things, ya know? :P
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1st-Dec-2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
The last time I had health insurance, I was working for a non-profit with really good coverage. When my job ended there (end of the city funding for it) my cobra coverage would have been 3/4 the cost of my rent and 20% of my monthly (gross) income at the new job. This was not an operable equation.

I'm not fussing at you, I'm just saying, Cobra can be worth the money, but you have to HAVE the money. :)

I don't think I'll be Cobra eligible when I graduate in May. I'm receiving the insurance because of my employment, but it's student insurance, which I'm eligible for not because of my employment but because I'm a student. Bob's your uncle as to what the rules are about that, but I'll find out. :)
1st-Dec-2007 05:22 am (UTC) - health insurance advice
My sister sent this to me a while back when I was looking for coverage where I was basically unemployed. . here's what she said. It was advice for me living in Wa State, but I think a bunch of the stuff can be used countrywide. . .

"Joining with groups of self employed people can cut your costs:
www.nase.com National Association for the Self Employed www.nfib.com Also look at www.workingday.org

These websites can provide quotes to individuals:
www.ehealthinurance.com which is highly recommended by someone www.heatlhinsurancesavings.com www.MostChoice.com www.NetQuote.com www.Insurecom.com www.goodhealthplan.com

Consider high deductibles and copays to lower your premiums. Many plans have 3 visits before the deducible kicks in. Usually the savings you have in premiums this way are much more then the copays would be for the three visits making it a smart move. The NASE I mentioned above can explain tax free health savings programs (HAS) that is like a savings account for expenses later, but PRE tax. www.hsainsider.com

Also consider supplemental insurance groups like www.ameriplan.com (Michelle at Reiki is a rep) or www.medisaver.com. These memberships provide discounts on standard rates for office visits. Doctor, Dentist, Orthodontist, Chiropractic, Vision, RX. I saved $1250 on Michael's braces alone.

Keep your eyes open for free clinics and such advertised at your local DSHS.

One last thing....The bigger the provider the better the coverage....

Primera has a program called Lifewise that is fabulous coverage for the self employed, but possibly expensive Regence has many plans available"

I used e-health insurance and got a regence plan, which works okay, but it's kind of spendy, but I needed to have maternity coverage at the time.
1st-Dec-2007 01:48 pm (UTC) - Re: health insurance advice
Wow, lots of great information. Thank you!

I'm not going to need maternity coverage, and I don't have any major health issues, so the self-pay-and-be-careful plan is probably going to be what I do, but it doesn't hurt to look around, too. Thanks!
1st-Dec-2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
ehealthinsurance.com is a great place to research rates and plans.
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