Health insurance in the United States
Thread poster: Marina Steinbach

Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Member
English to German
Apr 28, 2013

Do you know a health insurance or a group insurance at a reasonable price in the United States?

 

cecilea7
United States
Local time: 15:39
Member (2010)
Portuguese to French
+ ...
Good question... Apr 28, 2013

I'd like to know too, haven't found any reasonably priced.

 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:39
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
What is "reasonable"? Apr 28, 2013

Well, there aren't any, really, for individuals. If you are a young (-ish/-er), relatively healthy, individual (thus ruling out the best option of a having an employed spouse with a generous employer-subsidized medical plan), Blue Cross Blue Shield operates in most states and has a variety of "individual" (a bit of a misnomer, since family coverage is also available - it just means non-subsidized). My BCBS family plan costs about $300 per month for a $7k deductible with 100% coverage after that (i.e., no co-pays after the deductible). Paying for more a plan that would mimic employer-sponsored coverage (low deductible, offices visits and drugs covered etc.) was pointless because the annual premiums would have been higher than the annual deductible on the high-deductible plan.
I like BCBS because the PPO network is huge, and even with the high deductible you still benefit from negotiated prices.

Otherwise you can inquire with the larger HMO networks - Kaiser Permanente, Humana, Aetna, etc.

Health care is ridiculously expensive in the US, but it is what is. Personally, I consider myself lucky to have even managed to obtain coverage for my family without being a 25-year-old triathlete, considering that until full implementation of Obamacare, insurance companies can wiill reject you for even the slightest indication that your health is not optimal.

If any plan seems too "reasonable", you should carefully check the exclusions, limitations on provider choice, etc.

[Edited at 2013-04-29 03:49 GMT]


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to German
+ ...
I sign that one. Apr 28, 2013

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

Well, there aren't any, really, for individuals. If you are a young (-ish/-er), relatively healthy, individual (thus ruling out the best option of a having an employed spouse with a generous employer-subsidized medical plan), Blue Cross Blue Shield operates in most states and has a variety of "individual" (a bit of a misnomer, since family coverage is also available - it just means non-subsidized). My BCBS family plan costs about $300 per month for a $7k deductible with 100% coverage after that (i.e., no co-pays after the deductible). Paying for more a plan that would mimic employer-sponsored coverage (low deductible, offices visits and drugs covered etc.) was pointless because the annual premiums would have been higher than the annual deductible on the low-deductible plan.
I like BCBS because the PPO network is huge, and even with the high deductible you still benefit from negotiated prices.

Otherwise you can inquire with the larger HMO networks - Kaiser Permanent, Humana, Aetna, etc.

Health care is ridiculously expensive in the US, but it is what is. Personally, I consider myself lucky to have even managed to obtain coverage for my family without being a 25-year-old triathlete, considering that until full implementation of Obamacare, insurance companies can wiill reject you for even the slightest indication that your health is not optimal.

If any plan seems too "reasonable", you should carefully check the exclusions, limitations on physicians, etc.



Each and every bit that Rudolf wrote is true.

I once signed up with health insurance for the self-employed. Forget about their services, it's a rip-off. I gave them the boot. Then I signed up in an family plan with my husband's employer. Much better. Then my husband's employer changed their insurance provider, and it wasn't possible any longer. I voted for Obamacare and I hope that it will materialize eventually despite any moronic opposition. I am not getting any younger and healthier. So far, I like the free clinics - fine and sophisticated clinics where you simply can pay in cash, like at your dentist or your ophthamologist.


 

Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Freelancers' Union and Chamber of Commerce Apr 29, 2013

There was a postitive article recently in the New York Times about the Freelancers' Union as a provider of health insurance. I have no personal experience with it, but it might be worth a look.
http://www.freelancersunion.org/
Another possibility is your local Chamber of Commerce. Ours offers health insurance (still not cheap) to local small businesses.

[Edited at 2013-04-29 00:53 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:39
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Don't forget... Apr 29, 2013

As a self-employed person, your health insurance premiums are usually tax-deductible. Also, if you have an eligible high-deductible plan, you can allocate pre-tax money to a Health Savings Account (HSA) to use for routine medical expenses.

 

Jean Chao  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:39
English to Chinese
+ ...
Try Costco if you can Apr 29, 2013

Our family of four (with two kids) just enrolled with Aetna through Costco. They sent a doctor to conduct a detailed telephone interview with adults in our family, asking questions about our health history up to ten years sometimes. If you do get their insurance, though, the cost is reasonable.

 
heads up May 8, 2013

Jean@LA wrote:

Our family of four (with two kids) just enrolled with Aetna through Costco. They sent a doctor to conduct a detailed telephone interview with adults in our family, asking questions about our health history up to ten years sometimes. If you do get their insurance, though, the cost is reasonable.


Thanks for the heads up Jean. I am also looking for a reasonable priced health insurance and someone advised me to check out the yep-market for what I need. I do hope they offer more than what my current insurance company offers in terms of benefits.


 

Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Member
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all! Jun 28, 2013

I really appreciate all the useful information you have provided.

At the weekend, I was looking around on some websites dealing with insurance and filled out my details. Now I’ve got 74 plans to go through.

You always read that you should skip benefits you don’t need, such as eyeglasses or maternity, and consider an inexpensive, high-deductible plan if you’re rarely sick. But I really don’t understand how someone would choose a deductible of USD 10,000 for an individual or USD 20,000 for a family (office visits not covered).

What about dental insurance? What does the new health-care law, the Affordable Care Act, mean for Florida small businesses? There are so many questions...

Again, thanks for the help and input.

Marina


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:39
German to English
+ ...
Agree completely with Rudolf Jun 29, 2013

We had private PPO insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield, which was good, if expensive. After my husband was hired on as a teacher, we signed up for a BCBS family policy with his employer, which was less expensive with better coverage. Now that plan is getting bumped up by $400 PER MONTH as of the fall in an effort to kick all the spouses off. Sorry, but paying in the neighborhood of 20% of our take-home pay for health insurance premiums is just crazy. Husband and kids can stay and we will pay $200 less, but now I am in the market again. I am leaning toward doing what Rudolf said - have my company buy me the health insurance, take the deduction (or possibly credit under the new rules - I have to research this), and aim for a deductible that is do-able, but high enough to qualify for an HSA. It's pretty tough to compare plans as the benefits vary so much, but I'm narrowing it down by sticking with BCBS with which we have had a good experience over the years.

Good luck in your search!

[Edited at 2013-06-29 02:32 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-06-29 02:32 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:39
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
US translators: How are you coming to grips with Obamacare/ACA? Oct 2, 2013

Just thought I'd resurrect this topic, now that the Health Care Exchanges are functioning (or kind of functioning, as most seem to have crashed under the onslaught of traffic). For me personally, Blue Cross Blue Shield has informed me that they will terminating my reasonably priced individual policy that covered exactly what I needed to it to cover, and I will be compelled to
switch to a "comparable" BCBS plan or (more likely, and mandatory if I want the tax credit) try my luck on the exchanges. The cheapest of the new options will cost at least twice what I pay now, and contain numerous "essential" benefits that I have basically zero chance of ever needing (maternity? drug rehab?), so I'm not especially thrilled about having to waste time finding a more expensive new plan when I was more than happy with my current one. Information on what the physician/hospital network that will accept my new plan will actually look like is sketchy at best, but it's safe to assume that it will be considerably narrower than before.

How is Obamacare affecting you?


 

Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:39
Member
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
I am waiting for Obamacare to materialize! Oct 3, 2013

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

How is Obamacare affecting you?


Well, I followed Nicole’s advice and am waiting for Obamacare to materialize!

On the news they mentioned the following link: https://www.healthcare.gov/

I will have a look at it this weekend.
Hope the server is no longer overloaded…


 


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Health insurance in the United States

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