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Old 12-08-2014, 03:39 PM   #21
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
I've paid a lot for all kinds of insurance ( renters/home/auto) over the years and never used them. That's what insurance is, helps cover a disaster that I hope never happens.
That is not what I am talking about. From what I can tell an HMO would not be of any use even if we got sick outside of the HMO area. Paying for insurance and thankfully not needing it is, as you say, just what insurance is for. Paying for it, needing it, but not being able to use it is sort of throwing money away. Do you see what I mean now?

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Old 12-08-2014, 03:55 PM   #22
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 12
Thank you to everyone who has replied. Unfortunately, it seems that for our situation no one has been able to come up with anything new that I hadn't already thought of and discovered. I knew posting here was a long shot, but I thought someone might come up with something that we hadn't thought of. We are just in a situation that the ACA doesn't consider. I will check more about the Blue Card thing though.

By the way, some of the questions that were asked were pretty clearly answered in my OP and second post so I won't bother to retype them.

My wife and I have discussed it and today must do something. The option of cancelling our insurance and paying the penalty isn't really an option. So the 2 real options are:

1. Do nothing and keep the 2014 PPO plan even though the premium will go up 98%.

2. Switch to an HMO plan that will cost us about the same as the 2014 PPO plan.

Option 1 means that for much of 2015 we will be paying for something that we can't use even if we get sick because we will be out of the country where we have a better option.

Option 2 means that for much of 2015 we will be paying for something that we can't use even if we get sick because we will be out of the country where we have a better option or we will be out of state where we can't use it and don't have a better option. But, this will cost us about half of what option 1 costs.

Either way means that in 2015 (like 2014, 2013, 2012, etc.) we will be throwing money in the trash for the extended periods where the health insurance is useless to us. So, we can throw lots more money away with option 1, but while in the U.S. somewhere we get some very high deductible coverage or throw less money away and only get some very high deductible coverage while in our home state. We are in our home state less and less these days. Oh well. As I said earlier, all the choices are horrible.

We will probably just accept the 98% increase for 2015. We expect that in December 2015 to get hit with another huge increase so we will have to decide again at that point. We don't really have any more time to think about this stuff and since there are no new options there isn't anything more to really think about, I guess.

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Old 12-08-2014, 04:56 PM   #23
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Is it possible to reduce your income in order to qualify for a subsidy?
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:53 PM   #24
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Health cost sharing groups are an alternative, but definitely not for everyone.

Health cost sharing groups typically fit under the ACA rules by operating as a ministry and using the religious exemption. That would require a specific religious affiliation or members.

The big ones I know of are Samaritan Ministries, Christian Healthcare Ministries (Ohio), and Medi-Share (Florida). They generally require vows of abstinence (or the equivalent) from alcohol, tobacco, extra-marital sex, and 'debauchery'. There may be a need for members to chip in to directly assist others in need, in addition to monthly 'share' contributions, as a "Brother's Keeper" program.

There is a cap on benefits that one can receive per case. Samaritan Ministries cap is $250,000, for example, while another group caps at $125,000. Think carefully about those limits versus the cost of cancer treatment or major surgery.

Note that since these are NOT insurance companies, they are not regulated or reviewed as such, and are not subject to the same dispute resolution processes as insurance companies. Investigate carefully before using one of these services. There are scams out there, so please be careful.

Christian health-care sharing group offers alternative to ACA |

Longer, more detailed analysis with citations:

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