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Advice on health insurance (for self-employed)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Stretch15, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Stretch15

    Stretch15 Member

    Does anybody have any good experiences with obtaining health insurance while self-employed?

    My 8 year old daughter wears glasses due to a condition called retinopathy of prematurity. She's never been in the hopsital for the condition, no surgery or treatments required, except for her glasses. She's been declined from a couple of insurance companies, which blows my mind. The chances of her requiring any treatment for this condition are slim to none, and yet they keep dinging her.

    We're trying to find a health insurance company that is less stringent on covering pre-existing conditions.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    This shouldn't blow your mind. It's happened to people around the country for years.

    The media have done a complete dogshit job of covering it, though, and maybe that's why it comes as a surprise.
  3. Stretch15

    Stretch15 Member

    I hear you Dye...it blows my mind, but really doesn't surprise me. We were actually expecting the declines.

    Somebody out there must have worked for themselves as a freelancer or something else. With so much diversity on this board, I can't believe nobody has been self-employed.
  4. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I don't want to sound unsympathetic, but you may not find anyone who's been in this situation.

    The people who don't experience coverage problems are the ones running around claiming the system works just fine.
  5. Stretch15

    Stretch15 Member

    Great point Dye, and by the lack of responses, it appears that you are correct.
  6. Knighthawk

    Knighthawk Member

    I have the health insurance offered through NASE (nase.org), and it is ... OK, I guess. Helped with my glasses and on prescriptions. If something big happens, it will be good for that.

    I've tried to come up with better plans for myself, but I've gotten dinged every time.
  7. DyePack

    DyePack New Member

    I'm probably asking the completely obvious here, but you mentioned "we." Does your significant other have some sort of plan you can use?

    And what is your health insurance history? You can use COBRA retroactively if necessary. It's not cheap, but it can get you back into coverage for a while.
  8. In Exile

    In Exile Member

    You might want to explore the National Writer's Union, nwu.org. I know they have a group plan.
  9. D.Sanchez

    D.Sanchez Member

    We have our family policy through Humana. We used to get our insurance through my wife's job, but when she quit to stay home with the kids I had to do some shopping since the offerings at work stink. It ended up being slightly cheaper for me to get a similar policy on my own rather than through work. I also opened up a health savings account through a separate company (HSA Bank). With the HSA I make tax deductible contributions up to either my family deductible amount or $5200, whichever is smaller. You can then use those contributions to pay for any medical expenses tax free, plus the balance rolls over year to year (unlike my work's flex account). Since I have yet to max out our deductible, I'm building a sizeable pot of money just in case we have any major medical expenses down the line.

    As far as pre-existing conditions, my wife had a minor condition that while not life threatening does involve some treatment from time to time. Humana put a rider on our policy so we have to pay any expenses from that condition out of pocket.

  10. e4

    e4 Member

    I am diabetic and tried to get my own coverage about a year ago when I was in between jobs. At the time I was under COBRA, with my insurance payment being relatively $500 a month. Had I gotten my own health plan as a freelancer I would have only had to pay roughly $150 to $180 for the same coverage I was receiving under COBRA. I made the phone calls and answered all their questions, filled out information forms, etc., and then they asked if I had any chronic illnesses/diseases. Because lying would have been insurance fraud, I said, "Yes, I'm diabetic." The guy said sorry can't help ya, and hung up the phone. Now I am facing a potentially similar situation as I plan to move again in the next couple months. It's frustrating as all hell, and I think if I were to ever let my insurance coverage lapse, I'd be in a freakin' mess trying to get another company to cover me down the road. It's complete b.s.
  11. Stretch15

    Stretch15 Member

    I feel your pain e4...

    Good luck in the next couple of months with your move.
  12. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Stretch -

    You don't say what kind of plan you're looking for. Comprehensive? Minimal? With vision/dental/etc? Or do you need something simply in case of dire medical emergency?

    If you and your family are relatively young and healthy, you might be able to get by for six months (or until you find a better plan through work, or a relocation; or set up a Medical Savings Plan, per the post above) by relying on a catastophic health insurance policy you can find online.

    I've been freelancing for the better part of fifteen years and am generally healthy. Rather than pay hundreds a month for office visits and prescriptions I don't need, I carry a million-dollar catastrophic hospitalization policy that covers me and mine against any unforeseen accident or illness. Costs about $150 a month. It's a little more with kids on the plan.

    I pay out of pocket for the infrequent visits we make to see our doctor.

    It's not ideal, obviously, but if you're in a state which allows policies like this (some don't - just as some states haven't come around to MSAs), you might try one as a stopgap.

    Try Googling Fortis Health. If there's nothing forthcoming, PM me, and I'll dig up my paperwork and see where to send you.
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