When I discovered that my $425/month Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plan added a deductible that essentially made it worthless to anyone without a condition or disease, I cancelled it. I checked around and found that insurance is 50% cheaper in Colorado across the board for similar coverage…what the hell does New York require that Colorado doesn’t that’s worth so much?? Geez. I had 63 days to decide whether or not I was going to buy back into a very broken system (health insurance – not healthcare), and when I found myself leaning very slightly towards “yes”, I discovered that since I’m not currently insured, I had to apply at least 10 days before I wanted coverage to start. Missed it by 1 day.
I hate to negotiate
Oh well. Not upset…in fact, it’s kind of freeing. My biggest headache will be negotiating fees with doctors and especially labs. I hate how the lab bills are like $140 but they accept $35 as full payment from insurance companies. I can’t pick the lab the doctor sends to and I don’t know how flexible they are with individuals. I’m guessing not very. I’ll be googling advice on that.
Alternatives to Insurance?
I’ll also be looking at non-insurance like Aflac to mitigate the biggies. They don’t publish their rates online and I hate dealing with aggressive sales people so I’m not looking forward to this process. Plus I avoid buying insurance from companies that spend a lot on advertising – in other words, if I was shopping for car insurance, I’d be leery of Progressive and Geico.
My Version of Financial Responsibility for my Health
In the meantime, I set up a “Health Fund” within my ING Direct savings account. I transfer $250/month to it automatically. If I get some terrible diagnosis or another, I can always move back to the UK (I am a citizen – it’s legal!) with my internet telecom stuff and do my $50K/yr phone job from there while I get better.
So…got any advice for an uninsured 41-year-old that doesn’t involve marrying someone with amazing coverage?