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Health Insurance for self-employed builders?

2119 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  W-Tinc
I recently let my payment lapse for my health insurance. I'd had mail forwarding to my new address in Oregon -- from California. Mail forwarding expired and I forgot about it for a while. I called Blue Cross (who had been my carrier for like 15 years prior) and asked them what to do. They said since I'd missed my payment deadline, I'd need to re-apply. Not thrilled about that concept, but I said "OK, what do you need?" She says "first I'll need your zip code." So I give her my new zip in Oregon. She says "we're Blue Cross of California, we can't renew your insurance." GREAT! So now I'm among the 49 million uninsured Americans we keep hearing about. So, I've checked out a few plans, and they are WAAAY more expensive than the one I had. So I'm thinking maybe my local Builders Assn. might have a group plan, or the Oregon Remodeler's Assn. ??? What do all you other self-employed people do??
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I have a HSA with a $6000 deductible with Anthem, our premium is $290 per month for a family of 4. I am happy with what we have gotten so far, if we stay healthy we save money.
1st off lets not discuss the merits of health insurance reform. That would be something for some gay politcal forum. Please keep it on the subject. What do you do for health insurance.

After fifteen years I finally found a killer policy through another "trade" group I belong to. The cost for what is provided was unreal. (low deductable, low monthly cost, full coverage) It was so unreal I should have known better, within two years the monthly cost was well over double what I orignally paid. (started at 145.00 month and went to just under 300.00 a month)

So I found humana one, which offers low monthtly payments, huge deductables, and poor overall coverage. at 115.00 a month, Some is better than none.

I was going to join my wife's policy from work but that would have cost almost $500.00 a month.

Always read the fine print when looking at policies, it's very difficult to understand the bs that they write.
First health insurance rates and companies vary from state to state, since each state sets its own requirements for coverages, etc. In Oregon you will see that the state sets higher coverages than most other states and other mandatory requirements. This is why rates are higher in Oregon.

Some of the local associations still offer a group health plan, but a lot of them have stopped offering it. The rates just got too high and not enough participation. You will find that the rates are not that much cheaper or the coverage not that much better than a individual plan once you add in the association membership cost.

The 2 largest health plan providers in Oregon are Regence/Blue Cross and Lifewise, and their rates are pretty much the same. I have been with Regence all my life and my wife was with Lifwise when I met her. A few years after we were married we put her on my policy since this was a little cheaper than having 2 different individual plans. Both companies were good and we didn't have any problems with them.

The plan we have with Regence is not offered anymore and hasn't been offered for quite a few years, but we are grandfathered in. I have compared every year trying to see if something is cheaper and nothing has penciled out yet. We have a low $500 deductible and no co-pays. And as we get older it seems there are more test that need to be done, etc. so it hasn't made sense to go to a higher deductible. I have figured out at the end of each year what we have payed and compared to a higher deductilble and co-pay plan and it has always worked out to be cheaper to stay where we are.

And it is not cheap whichever way you go once you get up in age. I am 51 and my wife is 43, kids are grown and on their own plans. This year we are paying $1300 a month and we both smoke so that makes the rate higher also. But this would be Regence's best plan if it was still offered and covers everything, including dental, eyeglasses, etc.
I also have noticed very few associations offer group health anymore..used to be several area chambers of commerce etc did.

Depending on your age and health you may start a group policy with your business and get better coverage for a little less cash.

Alot of insurers offer plans for small business with as few as two employees
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