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Hi! Threatened w/loss of health ins benefits; wants more info on H/W only coverage
Old 08-18-2009, 04:10 AM   #1
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Hi! Threatened w/loss of health ins benefits; wants more info on H/W only coverage

My husband is not working and I am working for the benefits. Because of performance guidelines and number of billable hours required for benefit status, I am about to lose my medical benefits. Scared? Yes.

Living in Chicago IL, I earn approximately $22,000/year and my husband earns approximately $5200/year doing side jobs. I don't feel comfortable without some type of coverage, but how do I sort through it all? Where do I start?

I have already stopped taking medications - not for life threatening situations - because the costs are too high. I don't go for annual mammograms or cholesterol screenings, gave up on the paps and all the "routine" examinations normally required by a primary physician. My husband does not go to the doctor for any reason except strep throat twice a year. He hasn't gone for a physical since the army (not really, but you get the idea).

I am scheduled for cataract surgery this month because I may lose my benefits on Sept 1. Where do I start? We would gladly pay out of pocket for routine things with a high deductible.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:00 AM   #2
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Hi, and I'm sorry to hear of your impending loss of coverage. I would suggest taking a look at this web site to learn what high deductible policies may be available to you, and then calling an independent health insurance agent in your area who might be better able to walk you through the process. Here in Texas, and maybe in other states too, the price is the same whether you buy it online or from a local agent. You're likely to find yourself without coverage for any pre-existing conditions, but depending on your age, you may be able to purchase a very high deductible plan for not too much.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:05 AM   #3
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Wifa, I suggest you might find some helpful information on health insurance in our FAQ section: (FAQ archive) Buying Private Health Insurance
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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One problem with paying as you go is that the rate you pay for services can be much higher. Many doctors have a "list" price for services that can be much higher than the rate they normally charge to people with insurance.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:41 AM   #5
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What about cobra?
Isn't there also some kind of newer benefit (government help) available to anyone losing coverage during these hard times? Not sure if there are dates or rules in place that would stop you from qualifying though.
Just a few thoughts,
Steve
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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Hi , Sorry for your loss of health benefits . I would not skip mammograms . Lots of times there are health fairs that sponsor inexpensive ones .Good Luck !
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:27 PM   #7
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Thanks

Cobra may be an option but it would be over $800/month. Looking for something we can keep no matter what. I understand the rate schedule for services, but there are clinics in the area that I have used in the past (previous employer for employee injuries) with which I have a relationship. They have great rates or we could use the doc/nurse practitioner in a "box". In Chicago, there are plenty of ethnic providers that are accustomed to public aid or no-coverage patients and their rates are pretty reasonable. This can be a blessing or a curse... It's the tests and diagnostics that scare me when it comes to price.
A benefit of Cobra is that once used up, we could apply for the State of Illinois coverage, but I hoped we wouldn't be here that long. Looking to move to Michigan, checking into that, maybe Indiana is better. This is a ways off yet, but plan your work and work your plan...right?
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevewc View Post
What about cobra?
Isn't there also some kind of newer benefit (government help) available to anyone losing coverage during these hard times? Not sure if there are dates or rules in place that would stop you from qualifying though.
My understanding is that if you lose health insurance through your work because of job loss (through the end of 2009), you can receive nine months of subsidized COBRA with Uncle Sam picking up 65% of the tab. The question is, I don't know that this situation would qualify for that since, in the strict sense, it's not a not-for-cause involuntary termination.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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Wifa, Ziggy has a point.

If your employers like you, could you do some negotiating? -They say they laid you off, you get a break on the COBRA coverage -

OR - keep COBRA long enough to get needed stuff done, then go elsewhere.

Really, really don't skip needed checkups, even if you use clinics.

ta,
mew
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:52 PM   #10
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A benefit of Cobra is that once used up, we could apply for the State of Illinois coverage,
I don't know anything about your State coverage but you need to weight that into your thinking. Is it a good enough policy to be worth the cost of cobra in the long run?
Steve
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