Author Topic: cheapest health care option  (Read 2032 times)

toomey8

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cheapest health care option
« on: May 25, 2014, 11:23:28 AM »
Hi Mustachians, 
 
Ive been frugal over the past 45 years, and now own my own home with my sweetie + have about 100k stash. 
 
Ive recently started reading MMM and am making the following changes: 
 
Investing in some utility saving measures in my home 
Gardening and orcharding more aggressively 
Switching iPhone to republic wireless 
Renting out my third bedroom part time 
Being stricter about buying less stuff 
Canceling a few small monthly expenses 
Eating out less 
Being more carefully about charity/generosity (i.e. careful with the $200 diner parties!) 
 
I am self employed as a tech consultant, and work from home (and bike around the Mustachian city of Keene, NH). 
 
As a self employed tech contractor, do people have recommendations on the cheapest way to get Obamma care coverage? I make an upper class income, but want to spend as little as possible. I am fine with a 1020k deductible, given that this is only for emergencies.

geekette

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Re: cheapest health care option
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 12:28:49 PM »
What you can get is dependent on the state you live in, and your age.  Start at healthcare.gov.  Right now, open enrollment is closed, so you can only start if there's been some change (like losing coverage via a job, a move, divorce, etc.)  The next open enrollment starts in the fall for coverage beginning in January '15.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: cheapest health care option
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 06:18:17 PM »
The thing about ACA is that the requirements for the plans are quite strict--the deductibles can't be but so high, preventative care has to be free, etc. So compliant plans are just not that cheap. It would cost about $550 for my family of four. California and Colorado have their own exchanges; I think everyone else is on healthcare.gov. Good luck!

(If you don't have any insurance at all, you can always buy noncompliant short-term insurance quite cheaply, but there is no point in doing that unless there's an end date in sight because once the policy ends, if you have gotten sick, they won't sell you another one. But, for instance, my family bought four months' worth to take us from one job to another. Our group plan won't have a limit on preexisting condition.)

Gin1984

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Re: cheapest health care option
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 06:39:54 PM »
The thing about ACA is that the requirements for the plans are quite strict--the deductibles can't be but so high, preventative care has to be free, etc. So compliant plans are just not that cheap. It would cost about $550 for my family of four. California and Colorado have their own exchanges; I think everyone else is on healthcare.gov. Good luck!

(If you don't have any insurance at all, you can always buy noncompliant short-term insurance quite cheaply, but there is no point in doing that unless there's an end date in sight because once the policy ends, if you have gotten sick, they won't sell you another one. But, for instance, my family bought four months' worth to take us from one job to another. Our group plan won't have a limit on preexisting condition.)
That is not true.  I know my state has their own exchange (NY) and I believe 17/50 states do.

garrettld

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Re: cheapest health care option
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 03:29:10 AM »
New Hampshire uses the federal exchange, so you could go to healthcare.gov and sign up.

You said that you make an upper-class income, so you're probably not eligible for subsidies. That frees you up to buy health insurance from an insurance agent outside of the exchanges. Obamacare doesn't require you to buy from the exchange, it just requires you to have coverage.

Off-exchange insurance plans are still subject to the new regulations regarding how premiums are determined, what they must cover ("Essential Benefits," google it), etc. There's no harm in calling an insurance agent and getting a quote, then comparing the cost and coverage to what you can get on the exchanges. Just don't fall for a trap by picking the lowest-premium option -- look at all the costs including premiums, deductible, co-pays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket max.

If you do buy from the exchange and are comfortable with a $10-20k deductible each year, you'll want to get a "Bronze" plan (lowest premiums, lowest coverage). But you won't find any $20k deductibles -- they don't exist. The limit for out-of-pocket max on Bronze plans is 12,700/year for families (half that for individuals). The limit for deductibles is the same, but since the Bronze plans are required to cover 60% of healthcare costs on average, the deductible will be lower, probably under $6000/year.

With all that being said, unless you had a qualifying event then you can't get health insurance until the next open enrollment period, like geekette said.

edit: Gin1984 is correct. 17 states run their own exchanges, 7 others have a partnership exchange with the federal gov't, and the rest let the feds run it entirely.