Author Topic: Health Insurance  (Read 6748 times)

bak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Richmond, VA
Health Insurance
« on: August 05, 2012, 09:55:06 PM »
After thinking about this for a couple of months I decided that it would be most beneficial to me to actually acquire health insurance. As a foreign student, my University provides a "cheaper" plan which still ends up to be around 170$ a month which is not something I can afford at this time (nor do I think I need). I am probably going to buy a car for the first time the following year (after a long time of car pooling I find that the nuisance I cause to my aunt and uncle are not worth in a cost-benefit analysis) which raises my statistical possibility of being in an accident. The University enforces a health fee every semester which provides me with check-ups, vaccinations etc. The only thing I need the insurance for is for the extremely unlikely scenario that I end up hospitalized. I am also a smoker.

Following the advice on mrmoneymustache I went on ehealthinsurance and added all the relevant information for a single person. The plans I see most fitting in my situation are also the cheapest. Granted I have access to doctors through school I don't see any need of having any coinsurance (or money) for office visits -if you think otherwise please inform me. Thus, the cheapest plan (Saver 80 from UnitedHealthOne) seems the most fitting by providing me with the lowest coinsurance (20%) and a deductible of $10,000 (I am worried about that should I?) at $43.58 per month.

My question is if Saver 80 would be enough, or if there are other options I haven't considered?

JohnGalt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 34
  • Location: TX
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 08:21:54 AM »
a deductible of $10,000 (I am worried about that should I?)

How difficult would the deductible be for you to cover?  The idea behind this plan is that you are self-insuring up to that amount.  If you can't afford to do that, you may want to go with a lower deductible plan.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Boston-ish, MA
    • Nest Egg Chick
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 06:27:12 PM »
I agree with JohnGalt.  Also, does your school only cover preventative care?  What if you get sick and need an antibiotic?  What if you break a leg?  If you can cover these costs yourself, then catastrophic insurance is fine.  If not, then you should reconsider your options.

bak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Richmond, VA
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2012, 05:19:52 PM »
Well what are my more moderate options? I can't seem to be able to find something in the middle that will provide me with both a manageable deductible and a good copay at a middle of the road premium that doesn't have an NR-5 rating. What price range should I be looking if I don't have 10k to spend before my insurance kicks in?

JohnGalt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 34
  • Location: TX
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2012, 05:40:54 PM »
You can't afford a $10,000 deductible - or a $170/mo insurance payment even though you pay no rent (I'm assuming), have money for cigarettes, and plan on buying a car?

My guess is that you need to figure out what your real priorities are...  but it's hard to say without knowing the full situation.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
  • Location: Boston-ish, MA
    • Nest Egg Chick
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 08:35:55 PM »
I don't have enough details to know what would be a good price for your situation.  Where I am, $170 is a fantastically cheap rate, but I don't know what that covers, where you're located, etc.  I understand wanting a car and such, but like JohnGalt said, you'll just have to consider where your priorities are.  Medical needs can and do bankrupt people in this country all the time. 

Many people assume that if they are healthy then they only need health insurance to cover severe accidents, but how many "healthy" people suddenly have minor accidents or illnesses?  A relative of mine was very healthy, then tripped and broke her foot and insurance had to cover the ambulance (she couldn't walk down the stairs to a car), the xrays, and the follow-up visits.  A very healthy friend ate some cheese dip a couple weeks ago and got very ill - suddenly she needed insurance to cover doctor visits and testing for parasites.  Another previously-healthy friend started getting weird symptoms one day, then found out he has multiple sclerosis.  The medication alone is several thousand dollars a year, and that's in addition to doctor appointments, MRIs, etc.  Maybe it's better to pay less for insurance and be ready to pay for these kinds of things out of your own pocket, but ask yourself: what would happen if you broke your foot and couldn't afford to go to the hospital?  Would it still be worth it to have a car?  Or maybe there's something else you can cut back on instead.

This forum is really great for helping people figure out their budgets.  Try posting your income and expenses and people here someone may be able to help you find the money for those premiums.

artistache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 08:53:24 PM »
Ok, thinking about quitting my full time gig for more freelance work (different field, but one I've been moonlighting in for 6 years).  Only issue is that the cheapest insurance available to me in NYC (counting low-income subsidized) is $405/mo for my and my husband.  I'm willing to live cheap and sacrifice, but this is honestly just too much.  Here's the budget:

Rent: 1250
Utilities: 65
Phone: 120
Internet: 40
Transit: up to 208 (depending on month and location of work; we bike when it's safe)
Food/Household supplies: 250-300
Netflix: 8

There's not really any wiggle room on phone or internet, as I'll need them for my work.  We don't have any debt.  We can be super-careful about food.  Does anyone have any recommendations for where to look for other options?  I've done NYC.gov and ehealthinsurance. 

JohnGalt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Age: 34
  • Location: TX
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 08:38:13 AM »
Rent: 1250

This seems to be the real killer right here... NYC may be where you want to be, but it's definitely going to affect your FI path.  There's probably also a double hit for higher insurance rates in NYC too - using the OP's link, I can find a policy in my area for 2 late 20's, non-smokers for $135/mo. You could probably easily cut rent and insurance in half by moving.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10199
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 09:25:47 AM »
Can't believe no one's properly introduced the elephant in the room.

STOP SMOKING! TODAY.

If you need motivation, get yourself to the nearest elder care facility and wangle an introduction to someone who's paying the ultimate price for their smoking habit. No two ways about it: smoking is the antithesis of "Financial Freedom Through Badassity". Nothing else matters until you conquer this foe. Good luck!

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4753
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 09:40:17 AM »
Can't believe no one's properly introduced the elephant in the room.
Nope, it was already discussed in the OP's other thread.

CptMrPants

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 09:53:58 AM »
When looking at health insurance plans, don't forget to look into the HSA options- for some reason, I've seen that they are cheaper than their regular-type high deductible counterparts. 



$3k Deductible, 0% co-insurance, preventative care co-pays <$50/mo...but I am only 30.

artistache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 05:57:11 PM »
Yeah, I get the moving thing...but I'm an actor.  I have no intention of FI, just living as Financially Successful of a life as I can given that I've chosen a low-pay, high personal rewards career path.  I just can't get past how screwed over I feel about the cost of health insurance. 

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4753
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 06:31:51 PM »
Health care is expensive, so health insurance is expensive. Your HMO is only one of the organizations extracting huge profits from you.

mustachecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2012, 08:52:33 PM »
Holy shit, another NYCer. Hey, artistache! Your rent seems perfectly reasonable to me, but I'm warped by 11 years of New York rates. ;)

Unfortunately, I don't know where to point you for a better rate than $405 for two--that's better than I've seen anywhere else.

Are both you and your husband working?  Your budget seems incredibly tight.

bak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: Richmond, VA
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 01:32:35 AM »
Can't believe no one's properly introduced the elephant in the room.

STOP SMOKING! TODAY.

If you need motivation, get yourself to the nearest elder care facility and wangle an introduction to someone who's paying the ultimate price for their smoking habit. No two ways about it: smoking is the antithesis of "Financial Freedom Through Badassity". Nothing else matters until you conquer this foe. Good luck!

I'm sorry for not replying earlier.

This is something I can't do, nor do I wish to. I understand most people here will get protective (well some) or even do the cold math of how much my tobacco habit costs me etc etc. I also understand that I might die young, from a horrible disease, but this is a choice of mine -you can call it a mistake if you will- that in a cost-benefit situation provides me with more relaxation than anything else.

As for the health insurance you are correct $175 per month is actually not that much if you consider the average amount. Also, the deductible is $250 and if I get treatment at VCU (i.e. MCV) I get 90% coverage and 80% for "preferred-services". So, it covers me fully.

Right now my income is 0, or a negative income if you will because I can't work outside of the campus (yet) and I am also averaging 18-19 credits a semester. But my expenses are minuscule. Seeing car insurances for new drivers I might reconsider buying a car (however cheap and gas efficient) and car-pool for at least a semester more.

Really what's on my mind is that I always had health insurance and never really needed to use it. I know this might sound childish but it is pure statistics. And yet, I am probably gambling with money that's not mine. (because if I do get into an accident I will either have to get a loan or borrow from family)

tl;dr: I still don't have health insurance, the plan offered by my University is pretty decent. It still seems a lot. I have a negative income.

artistache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Health Insurance
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2012, 05:41:18 AM »
SO GLAD to meet another New Yorker here! I love the city.  It may not be my home forever, but I need to live here to build up my resume as an artist and teacher while I'm young.  It's the best place for career development for me.  Yes, my budget is incredibly tight.  Our savings rate has hovered near 50% for the past year between 403b, IRA, and savings 'staching, because it's been pretty clear that I'm going to have to quit one of my jobs, the one that pays for my insurance.  My husband only works part time, for a number of reasons, but that should, fingers crossed, change in the next six months.  But I am the queen of cheap food, few possessions, and finding good apartments on Craigslist.