Add one to the masses of the uninsured

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?

5 Responses

  1. You can check out Combined Insurance. My old college roommate is a salesperson for them. Ended up getting insurance for hospitalization benefits and also $50k benefit paid to me in case of major illness (knock on wood). I can tell you cost if you’d like by email.

  2. If you don’t want sales people to call you back, get a Google voice number to use to call them and give if you’re asked for a number. That way they can’t really get through to you, unless you want them to.

    I’m about to have to do this for dental insurance. It sucks.

  3. Move to California! I recently moved from NYC (where I was uninsured) and am thrilled that I can finally afford decent coverage (through Kaiser).

  4. I read mixed reviews with Aflac. However, I did buy their hospital insurance for 2 years and it ended up making financial sense. It’s still sort of risky and tricky though. I’m not sure how I ended up getting more back than I paid in via deductibles but it worked out and the claim process was easy. I did have an Aflac contact via my company who was willing to help if I ran into issues.

  5. Some great advice here! I can’t help with the insurance issue 😦 I can say that walking is the best exercise though. I got a bit doughy round the middle a few months ago and lost over a stone in a month just from walking two hours a day (to and from work) but eating exactly what I wanted! x

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