Author Topic: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?  (Read 5887 times)

Nathan Hale

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Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« on: October 27, 2014, 12:51:24 PM »
So, after reading: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/11/01/our-new-237-per-month-health-insurance-plan/

I went to www.ehealthinsurance.com hoping to find my own $237 family plan or something like it.....I know MMM posted that he now pays a little more and his plan isn't going to be available to people who try nowadays, but the cheapest I could find was almost $900/month.  I know that its not the currently open enrollment period and perhaps the reason this failed was that I faked a life event in order to get a quote, but is anybody else having this problem?

beltim

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 12:56:49 PM »
Are you in the same state?  There are huge differences in health insurances costs depending on what state you live in.

Future Lazy

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 12:57:49 PM »
I just tried this out, I chose "got married" as my qualifier and looked for things that covered me and my husband.

Two "catastrophic" plans came up for me under $300 bucks.

http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/ehi/ifp/individual-family-health-insurance!goToScreen?referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ehealthinsurance.com%2Findividual-health-insurance&quote2014plans=false&fromHomePage=false&sourcePage=&edit=false&ajax=false&screenName=best-sellers

Not sure what would be up with your search, homie.

Nathan Hale

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 01:12:20 PM »
Well, I have a family of 4 and I live in NH, so perhaps the difference in state plus one more kid hanges things significantly enough to make the rate $850-ish.

epipenguin

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 01:16:08 PM »
Health insurance costs are VERY dependent on your age. If you're older, you're going to have to pay more. And they're dependent on where you live, as already mentioned.

Also, those really low cost catastrophic-only plans are no longer available, as health insurance now has to have minimum coverages. So you'll only be able to have one of those if you're grandfathered in. Plus, those were only available pre-ACA with a fairly detailed health interview, so you were out of luck if you had pre-existing conditions. I was lucky enough to previously have a cheap plan and when the new health plans became available for 2014 I was pretty annoyed, as my cost went up quite a lot and I wasn't eligible to be "grandfathered". But once I calmed down and actually looked at the plan, it was a significantly better plan than my old one. For example, my old plan didn't cover any prescription medications at all, and when I think about it, any catastrophic situation that I'm trying to cover could rack up a lot of prescription medication usage in a short space of time.

The costs for 2015 should be out in early November. Hopefully there'll be some reductions in premiums (Hey, I can dream, right?).

Nathan Hale

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 01:29:40 PM »
Good points, penguin.  Thanks for the help everybody!

fa

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 01:53:41 PM »
Health insurance costs are VERY dependent on your age. If you're older, you're going to have to pay more. And they're dependent on where you live, as already mentioned.


+1.  The cheapest plan I could find was $1,000 per month, but I am quite a bit older than MMM.  Still, this requires some serious planning, because it adds $12,000 to my annual expenses, with possible medical expenses as high as $12,000 before the plan kicks in.  So it may be $24,000 a year if you get sick.  If I develop a chronic disease, I may be looking at $24,000 over 10 years, i.e. $240,000.  And then of course, Medicare still leaves gaps in coverage.  This is the most overlooked part of the ERE strategy in my opinion.  As an aside, my grandfathered plan increased another 10% in premiums for next year.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 02:23:07 PM »
Health insurance costs are VERY dependent on your age.
...
The costs for 2015 should be out in early November. Hopefully there'll be some reductions in premiums (Hey, I can dream, right?).

Firstly, I wouldn't hold my breath for reductions in the cost of open market insurance.  The only one I've seen go public was BCBS of NC, which announced an average of 13% increase versus 2014 rates.  I'm still upset that they played politics and delayed open enrollment to just after the election.  The law was written that ACA open enrollment was supposed to match Medicare open enrollment, opening in mid October.  Whatever.

Anyway, as a test, I ran 4 quotes for my own area, telling it I am 25, 35, 45, and 55 years old:

Cheapest coverage, same location, individual:
Age 25: $104/month
Age 35: $172/month
Age 45: $203/month
Age 55: $314/month

So basically age 45 is twice as expensive as age 25, and age 55 is thrice as expensive as age 25.  I also ran it for age 64; the age before you qualify for Medicare:

Age 64: $422/month

So by age 64 you're at 4X the cost of age 25.  Of course, those are all catastrophic individual coverage plans, not really the kind that a young family with small savings would actually want to have.  I reiterate the same thing I said in a previous thread: our healthcare system was poor before and it's basically flat out broken now.  Since healthcare is not covered by the traditional laws of supply and demand do not apply.  Nobody decides to start taking cancer treatments just for fun, nor does somebody who is having a heart attack stop to say "Hey, let me shop around for a while and see what healthcare providers offer the best rates for me.  If they are all too expensive, I will just pass on it and recover from my heart attack some other time."

I hate the idea of the entire US healthcare system being run the way that we've learned that our VA hospitals are all run, but what we're doing right now is broken almost as badly as the VA hospitals anyway.

Dawn

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 06:11:06 PM »
Try www.health.gov and see what you can get based on your income. Also depends on if anyone in your family has insurance through work.
I think our health care system is going to break us!

hodedofome

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Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 08:28:50 PM »
I agree, healthcare and college tuition are simply out of control. I absolutely can't stand it anymore.

If you are Christian, my wife and 2 boys have Medishare and we pay ~$500 a month and the deductible is low.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 08:51:28 PM »
I think our health care system is going to break us!

This is why I hate political parties.  Democrats act like they are saving the working poor, but they just hurt everyone with the ACA.  Republicans meanwhile oppose any health reforms now because their talking points say that they need to claim all healthcare reform is a scam and anti-business.  Both are basically wrong because the fundamental economics of supply and demand simply do not apply to healthcare.  Supply is limited and can set prices at whatever they want and demand swings from zero (no problems) to infinity (health problem that will kill me) with a very small bit in between.  The sooner we can transition America to something like the Swiss model, the better, but both of our two major political parties hate the idea of doing anything different from what they have been doing and failing at all these years.

retired?

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 10:42:29 PM »
I think our health care system is going to break us!

This is why I hate political parties.  Democrats act like they are saving the working poor, but they just hurt everyone with the ACA.  Republicans meanwhile oppose any health reforms now because their talking points say that they need to claim all healthcare reform is a scam and anti-business.  Both are basically wrong because the fundamental economics of supply and demand simply do not apply to healthcare.  Supply is limited and can set prices at whatever they want and demand swings from zero (no problems) to infinity (health problem that will kill me) with a very small bit in between.  The sooner we can transition America to something like the Swiss model, the better, but both of our two major political parties hate the idea of doing anything different from what they have been doing and failing at all these years.

I agree RE the sentiments about politics.  But, shouldn't, as with other goods, the view be based on aggregate supply and demand, not individual?  An individual will or won't need care for cancer, but on aggregate, X% will.  Also, even is supply is scarce, that does not imply that the providers can charge whatever the want.  Granted, healthcare costs are opaque and very hard to comparison shop.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2014, 11:09:06 AM »
I agree RE the sentiments about politics.  But, shouldn't, as with other goods, the view be based on aggregate supply and demand, not individual?  An individual will or won't need care for cancer, but on aggregate, X% will.  Also, even is supply is scarce, that does not imply that the providers can charge whatever the want.  Granted, healthcare costs are opaque and very hard to comparison shop.

Yes and no.  So long as you still have people with no coverage at all, or ridiculously bad coverage ($12,600 deductible for a single mom making $35,000/year is insane) then the system will continue to be broken here.  I like the John Green short video on the topic:

Why healthcare is so expensive in America

bluecheeze

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2014, 04:00:53 AM »
I agree, healthcare and college tuition are simply out of control. I absolutely can't stand it anymore.

If you are Christian, my wife and 2 boys have Medishare and we pay ~$500 a month and the deductible is low.

That looks great. How long have you used it for?  Any issues with claims/finding doctors?

hodedofome

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 05:45:53 AM »
We've had it for about 4 years. Had a few kids on it and we didn't have to pay much. It's a little different in what they cover and what they don't. It will just depend on the situation and you'll have to get creative about some services that you may need. Like they only pay so much for wellness visits for the year. Well our 1 year old has shots that are covered by those visits up to like $750. But his shots can cost $2000 so we're stuck with the rest of it. We can't get state shots because technically we have insurance. Or something screwy like that. Most claims are taken care of reasonably. We've never been stuck with a large bill.

Any money that we have to pay out of pocket, has still been far less than being on a much more expensive 'normal' insurance plan. The money we save in premiums far exceeds our out of pocket, so we're happy.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Why can't I get insurance like MMM's?
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2014, 08:00:31 AM »
As I recall, MMM doesn't qualify for subsidies due to his blog income.  The subsidies are where the "affordable" part comes in.  Are you counting your income correctly? 

http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/2013/MAGI_summary13.pdf 

You may be able to use 401(k) (or equivalent) to reduce your MAGI and qualify for more subsidy.  If anyone knows different, please let me know.

I just browsed the available plans again to refresh myself and noted that cost or level (Gold, silver, bronze) did not seem to match up with the coverage levels, some of the Silver plans would almost certainly result in lower costs than some of the gold plans. I would disregard the assigned level and just try to pick the best one.