Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Individual Health Insurance : CO, WA, OR
Old 02-09-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
Individual Health Insurance : CO, WA, OR

We are considering three states for a possible move in the next couple of years - CO, WA, OR. I would appreciate it if you could share your knowledge and experience of Individual Health Insurance in these 3 states.

We are in good health and currently have individual health insurance in NJ.

I have been to eHealthInsurance and got the quotes. I am currently reading the descriptions on healthinsuranceinfo.net. But would like to see if there is more information out there - web sites, articles, forums etc.

Thank you.
__________________

__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-09-2010, 10:03 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 463
Colorado is my home state and I've spent countless hours researching options. I highly recommend this web site and company:

Colorado Health Insurance Insider

They are Colorado only so far better info on the companies, their complaint ratios and service and other options than ehealthinsurance and they are quick to respond to email and calls. Very, very good service - a rarity.

Good luck with your search!

Kevin
__________________

__________________
kevink is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
We are in Oregon and are fairly recent converts to Kaiser Permanente. Have been very impressed with their service thus far, which included some fairly spendy checking on the ol' ticker. They serve Oregon and California and I think part of Washington. They don't serve AZ or Utah, which we are interested in. Don't know about Co.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 11:01 AM   #4
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
We are in Oregon and are fairly recent converts to Kaiser Permanente. Have been very impressed with their service thus far, which included some fairly spendy checking on the ol' ticker. They serve Oregon and California and I think part of Washington. They don't serve AZ or Utah, which we are interested in. Don't know about Co.
We had Kaiser when we lived in California. There were some shortcomings and limitations, but overall I liked it. One of the best things about it was the lack of dealing with the insurance bureaucracy and the lack of claim forms; if a Kaiser doctor indicated something was medically necessary it would be covered and you wouldn't have to deal with any insurance hassles. At least that's how it was up to a few years ago.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 12:24 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
I will defer to Kevink as we have never had Colorado-based health insurance. Nevertheless, when I went through that terrible experience of deciding which of the dozens of Medicare plans to take when I turned 65, I found the Colorado Division of Insurance to be the most valuable resource of all. This was particularly true when speaking on the telephone with them.
__________________
"It's tough to make predictions, especially when it involves the future." ~Attributed to many
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." ~(perhaps by) Yogi Berra
"Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge."~ Lau tzu
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
Thank you all for your comments.

In looking at insurance policies in CO, WA & OR in particular, I found that most had a $2M lifetime cap. In NJ, most policies have no lifetime cap. (In WA & OR, I couldn't find any with no lifetime cap)

Does this bother you? What is the consensus on the lifetime cap issue. Is $2M a safe amount Obviously there's always the chance that you'll go over, but what kind of disease would cause that?

I found that policies are much less expensive in all the 3 states than in NJ. NJ is a community rating state, so as long as you're HIPPA compliant, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge you more based on prior medical history. Since the individual insurance market is quite small here, the premiums are quite high. We pay $740/mo for a HMO with $40 co-pays, deductibles ($5000) and coinsurance.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 02:15 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
Does this bother you? What is the consensus on the lifetime cap issue. Is $2M a safe amount Obviously there's always the chance that you'll go over, but what kind of disease would cause that?
In America? Infected hangnail could do it.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 02:16 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 923
I believe WA is also a guaranteed-issue state, not sure about OR. CO will probably have the lowest premiums of the three you're looking at. $740/month for an HMO with $40 co-pay, $5k deductible, plus co-insurance is pretty expensive. Remember your out-of-pocket maximum with a plan like that could be well over $10k. I would take a look at the HSA plans available to you to limit your max out-of-pocket expense to $7k or less and reduce your premiums. Don't know what the market is like in any of those states or NJ, but the principles remain the same.
__________________
dgoldenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
Life_is_Good's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 227
Wife (53) and I (48) have Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Oregon. Our monthly premiums combined are under $500 monthly. I think the deductible is $5K with $30 copays.

Strange thing on the pricing....

It was cheaper to purchase individual policies for each rather than a single policy which insures both. I believe it has something to do with different rates based on age. Maybe under the single policy, they charge both at the higher aged policyholder? I don't know.
__________________
Life_is_Good is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Life_is_Good View Post
Wife (53) and I (48) have Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Oregon. Our monthly premiums combined are under $500 monthly. I think the deductible is $5K with $30 copays.

Strange thing on the pricing....

It was cheaper to purchase individual policies for each rather than a single policy which insures both. I believe it has something to do with different rates based on age. Maybe under the single policy, they charge both at the higher aged policyholder? I don't know.
Kaiser also charges rates based on the oldest policyholder, along with some other BCBS.
__________________
dgoldenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 463
We're in the same age range (53 and wife is 46). Have never thought to apply for separate policies, but I looked into ultra high deductible plans through the web site I mentioned earlier and also ehealthinsurance.com. Assurant Health was the lowest, with I think a 10K individual/20K family deductible; United was almost the same but with 15K deductible each (!). 2M limit for Assurant, I think 5M for United. Premiums were just over $200 a month total. You can buy accident insurance on top of that for around $50 a month that covers up to 10K per person with a $100 deductible to deal with commonplace cuts and scrapes.

Much, much cheaper than the other figures mentioned in this thread, but how long before they "pull a California" and up premiums 39% or more in one year is anyone's guess. How anyone can afford actual (routine and preventive) health care after paying for catastrophic insurance is beyond me. What a country.
__________________
kevink is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 06:06 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink View Post
Much, much cheaper than the other figures mentioned in this thread, but how long before they "pull a California" and up premiums 39% or more in one year is anyone's guess.
Washington is a prior approval state, unlike California. So, the insurer submits a rate change to the state and cannot begin to use the new rates until they are approved. That doesn't mean the carrier couldn't get a 39% rate increase, it just means it's harder, as opposed to what happened in California.

-- Rita
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 01:40 AM   #13
Confused about dryer sheets
hobbes44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Jose
Posts: 8
I believe Kaiser in Washington is only at the bottom of the state, in Kelso and Vancouver.
If you are looking at the Seattle area that is a long drive.
__________________
In a world full of people, only some want to fly, isn't that crazy? -- Seal
hobbes44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 09:31 AM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink View Post
We're in the same age range (53 and wife is 46). Have never thought to apply for separate policies, but I looked into ultra high deductible plans through the web site I mentioned earlier and also ehealthinsurance.com. Assurant Health was the lowest, with I think a 10K individual/20K family deductible; United was almost the same but with 15K deductible each (!). 2M limit for Assurant, I think 5M for United. Premiums were just over $200 a month total. You can buy accident insurance on top of that for around $50 a month that covers up to 10K per person with a $100 deductible to deal with commonplace cuts and scrapes.

Much, much cheaper than the other figures mentioned in this thread, but how long before they "pull a California" and up premiums 39% or more in one year is anyone's guess. How anyone can afford actual (routine and preventive) health care after paying for catastrophic insurance is beyond me. What a country.
What state are you in?
__________________
dgoldenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 09:33 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 463
Colorado
__________________
kevink is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 09:42 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevink View Post
Colorado
The Assurant and UHC plans you're looking are probably their "saver" type plans with watered-down benefits. Based on Denver zip code 80201, the Humana Monogram ($7500 deductible, $2 mil lifetime max, 100% paid up-front preventative care, full Rx coverage) for $266/month and the UHC "HSA 100" plan with $10k combined deductible for $278/month are probably the best options if you want to keep the premiums low.
__________________
dgoldenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 02:13 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,676
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgoldenz View Post
I believe WA is also a guaranteed-issue state, not sure about OR. ...
WA, OR & CO have state funded pools if private insurers reject your application.

In NJ too, it is cheaper for us to have separate policies. The premiums are exactly the same for each of our policies, but would be more than 2x if we went for a combined policy. Premiums are more convoluted than airline fares.
__________________
walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 02:26 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
When we lived in Portland I was covered by Kaiser through all stages of life. They gave great care and couldn't be better for a family with kids. They offer services in Portland Metro which includes Vancouver, WA.

Their counterpart in Seattle Metro is Group Health. They are top rated.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 05:55 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post

In looking at insurance policies in CO, WA & OR in particular, I found that most had a $2M lifetime cap. In NJ, most policies have no lifetime cap. (In WA & OR, I couldn't find any with no lifetime cap)

Does this bother you? What is the consensus on the lifetime cap issue. Is $2M a safe amount Obviously there's always the chance that you'll go over, but what kind of disease would cause that?
I am not an expert so check on your own but it is my understanding that the Health Care Reform Bill removed lifetime caps from all new policies - and that this is one of the things that has already gone into effect..
__________________
bikeknit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 07:44 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
Am a Kaiser member in Oregon and thought it was a seamless coverage through southern Washington, Oregon, and California. Not quite so. Am down in SoCal and decided I wanted to get a hernia fixed, turned out I had to get a California member #, then be checked down here and have Cal Kaiser ask Ore Kaiser how they felt about me having the surgery down here. Ore said ok and the surgery was done - really pretty easy, but not as totally bump free as expected. About ten times easier than our dental insurance though, so it's relative. High marks for KP still.
__________________

__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
individual health insurance choices RJ732 FIRE and Money 12 06-02-2008 09:37 AM
Individual Health Insurance in Florida - A Case Study tomz Health and Early Retirement 3 01-13-2007 07:11 AM
Questions for ERs with individual health insurance mark500 Health and Early Retirement 43 04-30-2006 06:56 PM
Applying for Individual Health Insurance WyndChym FIRE and Money 8 03-08-2006 07:06 PM
Individual Health Insurance Termination uncledrz FIRE and Money 14 04-22-2005 06:26 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:25 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.