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Self-employed webmasters - health insurance?

What do you do?

     
6:27 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Those of you who are self-employed webmasters -- what do you do for health insurance?

I realize many of you may be on a spouse's health plan at his/her job ... but I guess I'm more curious about anyone who has thoughts / ideas / recommendations on obtaining health insurance in other ways (i.e. -- not from your spouse's employer).

Might be best to sticky me with any URLs rather than post publicly.

Mods -- I couldn't decide if this was Foo or a "business issue". Please move if I chose wrong. :)

7:54 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I had a discussion about this on another forum. It's the single most terrifying thing for me as I prepare to go freelance. Nobody could tell me anything feasible. It's... It's just plain expensive.

Consult with your local chamber of commerce, was the best advice I got. Sometimes by being a member you can become eligible for a group membership.

8:19 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hmm I haven't had ANY kind of insurance since I left my home country 10 years ago, so I don't see whats so scary. Also, what's keeping you from going over to BUPA and signing up 8or what ever insurance strikes your fancy).

SN

8:47 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, I'm going to guess that you're in the US. I've had basic healt insurance coverage for about 3 years now. What I did was to go directly to the insurance company and ask them what they had to offer. Rather than work through a group or a company that handles primarily auto/life/home insurance.

I use a major health insurance provider in my area (Detroit metro area) and I have what I feel is a pretty good rate.

Probably in the next few months I'll be reviewing some other options now that I've become affiliated with different groups and such. But, I always hate changing providers what will all their waivers of pre-existing conditions and such. Not that I'm in particularly bad health, but I do have some hereditary things to watch out for.

That's my story, FWIW

10:22 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There are a lot of insurance providers that offer coverage for self-employed people. You can search online, or you might try asking at your doctor's office to see who they recommend. I pay about $150/mo which includes vision, prescriptions, physicals, etc. then $20/mo for dental. You can find cheaper but you end up paying more out-of-pocket expensese then. IMO not having insurance is too scary. If anything happens to you, well, medical expenses are huge.
10:46 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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For some reason many ex-military types forget about the VA. So, just a reminder to any out there to investigate it and see what you're eligible for, you might be pleasantly surprised.
11:04 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Right you are jimbeetle - $0 for a prescription for service connected, $5 for non.

Also well worth checking out is filing as self employed (for US taxes). A good deal of health care related expenses are deductible.

11:12 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I pay about $150/mo which includes vision, prescriptions, physicals, etc. then $20/mo for dental

That is a great deal. When you say prescriptions, you mean they pay a percentage only, correct?

Do you mind sticking me the name of your coverage.

Right now I pay $400/month for me and my wife, and it is not the greatest coverage in the world. It is basically good for big things, but it sucks for small things.

11:27 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You can elect to pay for COBRA in the U.S. for up to 18 months after leaving a job, I believe - as long as you have no lapse in coverage. That's what I'm currently doing.

This isn't a permanent solution but will keep you insured in the short term.

11:34 pm on Dec 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Also, what's keeping you from going over to BUPA and signing up...

You're not located in the US, are you? ;)

12:20 am on Dec 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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NO I'm not ;) and as I said I have no coverage of any kind whatsoever... In fact in this country it's quite usual to pay for most of your own stuff, while the rest (big things) is free.

SN

9:36 am on Dec 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Some interesting recent related news on this subject at:

[news.nase.org...]

9:43 pm on Dec 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

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what will all their waivers of pre-existing conditions and such

Slightly off topic, but just to let you know in the US, an insurance company has to cover pre-exsisting conditions as long as you have had them covered by ANY insurnace company for the prior six months. It's the law.

On topic, if you are in a Kaiser Insurance area, their rates are pretty reasonable for individuals.

Be careful signing up for insurance, though. Check the company out thouroghly. From what I have read, individual insurance scams are on the rise. They take your money, tell you that you are covered and then when you need coverage, they turn tail and run.

1:54 am on Dec 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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hanna-

no knock on your post, but why would anyone even try to get insurance from a company that is sketchy? even though i just started working from home, and really need to get health insurance again, there's no way i'm going to skimp out on the coverage. $150/month for full coverage on Anthem (arguably the best NorthEast US company)? sign me up! (as soon as i get a little more steady income) i can't put a price on my health.

-Matt

3:30 am on Dec 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Not a problem for me I'm Canadian ;~)))))
6:55 pm on Dec 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just wanted to say THANKS for the replies here. I've done some web searching for insurance information and, as Hanna hinted, it's not easy to separate the wheat from the chaffe. Thanks again.
3:51 am on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Look for a Farm Bureau in your state. Here in Tennessee they have the best rates for individuals/families. We pay less than $200/mo for health. Kicker is that it doesn't cover prescriptions - so hope for generics.
2:15 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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If you are an AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Artists) member, I believe you can get discounted health insurance in certain states.
6:46 pm on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Slightly off topic, but just to let you know in the US, an insurance company has to cover pre-exsisting conditions as long as you have had them covered by ANY insurnace company for the prior six months. It's the law.

That's for group coverage. If you're not in a group, you CAN get turned down - or have an exclusion put on for the pre-existing condition. That happened to my wife when I worked for a place that did not offer health insurance.

Many states have their own programs. SC has the South Carolina Health Insurance Pool. They are expensive and offer poor service -- but it's something in case of major health problems.

 

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