Author Topic: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?  (Read 4170 times)

kamas

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Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« on: May 24, 2013, 03:10:51 AM »
Mustachians,
Looking for health insurance. Just for two people, husband and wife.
Should we get a family plan? Or should we just get one separate plan for ourselves, individually, instead of a family plan? It seems like it would be cheaper that way? Just by browsing ehealthinsurance, thats what we found:

FINDINGS:
single Male: $44/month
single female, no maternity: $56/month
single female, with maternity: $181/month
Couple, NO maternity: $213/month
Couple, WITH maternity:$269/month

The above findings show the lowest rates found with ehealthinsurance. According to that, its much more mustachian for a couple to get health insurance individually, as opposed to "as a family".
If a man gets his own insurance, and a woman gets her own insurance WITH maternity, the total:44+181= $225/month

If a man and woman get insurance together as a family, the cost is: Couple, WITH maternity:$269/month

Compare the two: 225 vs 269.

This raises another question: Is maternity even necessary? If a woman is not pregnant, and has insurance with no maternity, then gets pregnant and decides to sign up for maternity, will she possibly be rejected/denied/penalized/fined/charged extra high fees? So if she plans pregnancy any time in the next 2 years, she would be better of just getting the maternity insurance to save herself from any hassle? What are your thoughts on maternity options in health insurance?

Mr. Moneymustache was able to find a deal for $237/month: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/11/01/our-new-237-per-month-health-insurance-plan/

Any ideas, thoughts on this? Am I doing getting something wrong? I thought insurance as a family would have been cheaper, but I guess not. I'm no expert on this.

Coinsurance: Is it better to have 0% co-insurance or 20% co-insurance? Which one is more mustachian?

One other thing, just wondering, why do  I need to go thru ehealthinsurance? what are the benefits of that? do they charge monthly for their service of helping you find an insurance policy? can't I just find my own policy and save that charge? Or how does it work? I mean, if I find a great deal at Kaiser from browsing ehealthinsurance, can't I just go to Kaiser myself and sign up for insurance there? Won't that be better and more mustachian?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!

Sweet Betsy

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Re: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 06:14:24 AM »
Depending on which state you live in you may be required to have an insurance broker, which ehealthinsurance is, or you may be able to work directly with the health insurance companies. Unfortunately health insurance regulations vary widely from state to state so you can't get a general answer to your questions from anyone in the US.  When we had our own health insurance we lived in Utah.  In Utah, you need to work with a broker to obtain health insurance.  The brokers are all paid by the insurance companies and honestly it's about the same from all the insurance companies so there isn't any "selling" on the broker's part for any particular insurance company.  We opted to go with a local insurance broker rather than e-health insurance.  It was nice to be able to call the same guy or stop into his office if we had any questions.  I highly recommend having a local broker who knows the ins and outs of your particular state. 

As far as maternity, in my experience you often needed to be insured for at least 10 months with the maternity insurance before maternity would be covered (so one month plus nine months of pregnancy).  Unless the ACA has changed this, maternity is seen as a pre-existing condition and you can't just opt for maternity coverage after you are pregnant.   




foobar

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Re: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 07:27:55 AM »
Note obamacare might change a bunch of this stuff but if you are pregnant you can not get reasonable insurance. I lost my insurance while my wife was pregnant (had cobra and the company folded which caused cobra to go away. Fun stuff). I ended up having to pay 4k/month to get health insurance to cover the 3 month gap before the kid was born and we could switch into a 400 family plan. And you need health insurance if you are pregnant. The average pregnancy is not that expensive (something like 8k depending on state) but it is easy to rack up a 100k bill if the kid spends any time in the NICU.

Picking insurance is a personal choice. High deductible plans are great as long as you keep enough money laying around and you don't mind writing checks every time you see the doctor.  You pretty much always save money.



Mustachians,
Looking for health insurance. Just for two people, husband and wife.
Should we get a family plan? Or should we just get one separate plan for ourselves, individually, instead of a family plan? It seems like it would be cheaper that way? Just by browsing ehealthinsurance, thats what we found:

FINDINGS:
single Male: $44/month
single female, no maternity: $56/month
single female, with maternity: $181/month
Couple, NO maternity: $213/month
Couple, WITH maternity:$269/month

The above findings show the lowest rates found with ehealthinsurance. According to that, its much more mustachian for a couple to get health insurance individually, as opposed to "as a family".
If a man gets his own insurance, and a woman gets her own insurance WITH maternity, the total:44+181= $225/month

If a man and woman get insurance together as a family, the cost is: Couple, WITH maternity:$269/month

Compare the two: 225 vs 269.

This raises another question: Is maternity even necessary? If a woman is not pregnant, and has insurance with no maternity, then gets pregnant and decides to sign up for maternity, will she possibly be rejected/denied/penalized/fined/charged extra high fees? So if she plans pregnancy any time in the next 2 years, she would be better of just getting the maternity insurance to save herself from any hassle? What are your thoughts on maternity options in health insurance?

Mr. Moneymustache was able to find a deal for $237/month: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/11/01/our-new-237-per-month-health-insurance-plan/

Any ideas, thoughts on this? Am I doing getting something wrong? I thought insurance as a family would have been cheaper, but I guess not. I'm no expert on this.

Coinsurance: Is it better to have 0% co-insurance or 20% co-insurance? Which one is more mustachian?

One other thing, just wondering, why do  I need to go thru ehealthinsurance? what are the benefits of that? do they charge monthly for their service of helping you find an insurance policy? can't I just find my own policy and save that charge? Or how does it work? I mean, if I find a great deal at Kaiser from browsing ehealthinsurance, can't I just go to Kaiser myself and sign up for insurance there? Won't that be better and more mustachian?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!

StaceStache

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Re: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 08:37:19 AM »
I just had to research this whole maternity coverage deal myself, being newly married and having to buy our own insurance for the first time (neither of us have employment that offers it).

I don't know that ALL plans are like this, but here is what I found out: The only time you CAN enroll in maternity is when you are first signing up for that specific plan. You can't just randomly decide to add maternity coverage, or wait til you get knocked up to add it. If you wait, the prices go way up. Plus they won't pay any maternity-type coverage until 10 months into the plan.

All of this scared me to death (and perhaps the fact that I still don't understand it 100%).

All I know is that we went ahead and got maternity coverage, even though we aren't "planning" on having kids for a couple of years. The thought of getting pregnant (without planning) and having no maternity coverage scared me to death. So we went with it.

We pay about $300/month for health, vision, and dental, $5K deductible (10K family I think).

Definitely do your research and make sure you understand the specific policy you're going with.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 08:51:03 AM »
In the insurer's view, giving you maternity coverage once you are pregnant is like insuring a house that's already on fire.

netskyblue

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Re: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 09:27:46 AM »
I would advise any woman of childbearing age/capability who is sexually active (and would continue with a pregnancy, should one occur), to get maternity coverage.  Even if children aren't in the plan, accidents happen.  BOTH my parents were accidents!  Unless you want to be on the hook for a $20,000 bill when there are complications and she requires hospitalization, possible months of bed rest, or surgical intervention.

kamas

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Re: Health insurance as a couple, individually or together?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 08:52:41 PM »
Wonderful advice from all of you! Keep it coming please!

Whats the deal with HRA, pros and cons? Whats the simple definition of HRA, in mustachian terms? Is it some sort of antimustachian scam?

What about PPO, POS, HMO, etc (all the other possible options of this sort)? Whats your take on these? Any pros and cons? Any type to AVOID at all costs?
All I know, is that PPO sounds really good, since it supposedly allows you to make your own decisions about choosing doctors/clinics.