Choosing to give up Health Insurance?? Can you share if you have?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-07-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are a one income family; dh makes between $37,000-$47,000 per year. He is paid hourly and has horrible benefits. He gets paid every other week, and out of each check just over $700 is taken out for very poor health insurance. (No dental, optical, chiro, mental..) A regular dr co-pay is $50 and a specialist is $75. High deductible, too.

 

I have a handful of chronic illnesses, but most of them I treat with alternative methods-or would like to if we had the money. Our kids are pretty healthy.

 

So I'm thinking if we had ALL that money in our pocket, we could afford to-

 

-have us receive weekly chiro visits.

- get a weekly massage for me.

-travel a ways to see a good Naturopath

-buy good quality Essential Oils

-hire someone to come in and clean for two hrs a week. ( I am disabled)

- buy grass-fed beef, real milk and local,organic food.

-get a ymca membership.

-see a biological dentist

 

And still have money to pay out of pocket for a dr visit if we need to. I see two specialists twice a year, my regular internist three/year.

 

Does this sound crazy?? Has anyone else given up health insurance to actually be able to afford REAL preventative health care??

 

Thanks in advance!!

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#2 of 16 Old 10-07-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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We don't have health insurance but we are a part of a health sharing ministry.  We quit insurance about 4 years ago when it was $1000/mo for our family with a $4k deductible.  We are self employed and our income is quite a bit less than yours.  Our health sharing is $370/mo and we also have aflac accident and dental on top of that.  Which is about $150/mo I think?  We go to the chiro and spend our $ on quality food, herbs, and supplements.  Our supplements are crazy though- we probably spend as much as we do on food :)  

 

We are all very healthy and have no chronic junk- so this works very well for us.  If one of us were unhealthy though we probably wouldn't have gone this route since no pre existing conditions are sharable in our ministry.  Our ministry is what we view as a safety net because it doesn't apply to your average visit or medicine.


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#3 of 16 Old 10-07-2013, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We don't have health insurance but we are a part of a health sharing ministry.  We quit insurance about 4 years ago when it was $1000/mo for our family with a $4k deductible.  We are self employed and our income is quite a bit less than yours.  Our health sharing is $370/mo and we also have aflac accident and dental on top of that.  Which is about $150/mo I think?  We go to the chiro and spend our $ on quality food, herbs, and supplements.  Our supplements are crazy though- we probably spend as much as we do on food :)  

 

We are all very healthy and have no chronic junk- so this works very well for us.  If one of us were unhealthy though we probably wouldn't have gone this route since no pre existing conditions are sharable in our ministry.  Our ministry is what we view as a safety net because it doesn't apply to your average visit or medicine.

 

Thanks, IowaMom!

Yes, I have looked into two health sharing ministries and understand they won't cover pre-existing conditions, but really,my chronic health issues would be better if I was using alternative methods of healing anyway.

I definitely like the idea of a sharing ministry vs dumping money into the very deep pockets of insurance companies.

I suppose I want that safety net, but not if its going to break the bank.

Ideally, we would dump our current insurance, have enough to spend on healthier & preventative care/lifestyle, with extra to get out of debt.

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#4 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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Personally, I'd be uneasy to be without at least basic emergency coverage. About four years ago I was considering giving up my health insurance and I got a gall stone stuck in my bile duct and had to have an emergency gall bladder removal (my gallbladder had twisted up on itself while I was violently vomiting, not fun!). I still had to pay my share of the bills but without insurance it would have been over $30k. I'm not trying to use scare tactics, but I think it's smarter to prepare for the worst and hope for the best - one emergency can really set you back financially.


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#5 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 10:36 AM
 
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Wouldn't the lowest of the low (Bronze) on the health plan exchange work for you?

 

I did give up private health insurance three years ago. (My children remained covered under the state chp program though); I gave it up because the price was ridiculous and increased 200 / mth every year, the options were few (no high deductible / lower premiums plans) and I rarely went to the doctor but if I did I would rather pay them directly then pay the monthly insurance  cost. I have been ok although I  injured my shoulder a year ago and what I originally thought was a pulled muscle and would heal on its own, a year later Im still in pain - perhaps I would go if I had insurance - ha so much for paying cash for such things.  I opted out because I wanted the money to go into savings instead. I also opted out, knowing if something serious happened, I could return to my homeland country and get back in the system (although that would take several months)

 

I am interested to see what the exchange has to offer and I will probably purchase if the price is right.

 

Health insurance should give you peace of mind (not financial stress, although an unexpected health issue and no coverage would also give you financial stress), I hope you can find something that works for you.


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#6 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by HeckedyPeg View Post
 

Personally, I'd be uneasy to be without at least basic emergency coverage. About four years ago I was considering giving up my health insurance and I got a gall stone stuck in my bile duct and had to have an emergency gall bladder removal (my gallbladder had twisted up on itself while I was violently vomiting, not fun!). I still had to pay my share of the bills but without insurance it would have been over $30k. I'm not trying to use scare tactics, but I think it's smarter to prepare for the worst and hope for the best - one emergency can really set you back financially.

 

I understand! It would be a significant gamble. Having a very basic or catastrophic coverage is something I need to look into. (Sorry you had to go through that! :( )

 

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Wouldn't the lowest of the low (Bronze) on the health plan exchange work for you?

 

I did give up private health insurance three years ago. (My children remained covered under the state chp program though); I gave it up because the price was ridiculous and increased 200 / mth every year, the options were few (no high deductible / lower premiums plans) and I rarely went to the doctor but if I did I would rather pay them directly then pay the monthly insurance  cost. I have been ok although I  injured my shoulder a year ago and what I originally thought was a pulled muscle and would heal on its own, a year later Im still in pain - perhaps I would go if I had insurance - ha so much for paying cash for such things.  I opted out because I wanted the money to go into savings instead. I also opted out, knowing if something serious happened, I could return to my homeland country and get back in the system (although that would take several months)

 

I am interested to see what the exchange has to offer and I will probably purchase if the price is right.

 

Health insurance should give you peace of mind (not financial stress, although an unexpected health issue and no coverage would also give you financial stress), I hope you can find something that works for you.

The bronze is what I need to look into if I'm going to look at all.

 

I would really prefer paying a dr than an insurance company, too.

 

Lots to consider...

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#7 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 02:55 PM
 
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Remember when you go through the exchange you might qualify for a subsidy. A family of 4 can make up to 90K and still get a reduction. Depending on the state you are in you might pay nothing. 

 

Also as of 2014, it is federal law you have health insurance. It is $90 or 1% of the gross income in fines. The IRS is set up to collect it. 


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#8 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 03:41 PM
 
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One thing to think about rock-bottom insurance: some companies with high deductibles sometimes bill you the contracted rate instead of the out-of-pocket rate.  It varies with companies.  That means, even if you pay 100% of the hospital costs, an MRI, say, can cost you $300 (the contracted rate the insurers would pay) instead of $3000.  I would first look into private insurance instead of no insurance.  Plus, if your account has an HSA in conjunction with it, those medical expenses can be tax deductible.

 

That said, $700 is a huge amount of money!  I entirely understand why you are thinking about this!


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#9 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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Going without insurance is a very big gamble, adding in you already have health problems could be catastrophic. I don't like paying taxes, auto insurance  ect. but it's just one of those things that comes along with being an adult.

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#10 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 06:29 PM
 
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Seriously, you need to go through the exchange since the rates are capped per your state. You are going to get a better deal even free. If you lived in Wasington your insurance would be free based on your income.

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#11 of 16 Old 10-08-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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I would personally be uncomfortable giving up health insurance unless I had a *large* emergency fund that could handle a health catastrophe. I've seen many cases among my family and friends where a large unexpected healthcare need has resulted in terrible financial situations.
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#12 of 16 Old 10-09-2013, 07:56 AM
 
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I would at least retain some kind of catastrophic policy and always have. I feel for you, because we pay through the nose for our health insurance right now and are looking around at options, at least for me (I am the factor making it so expensive right now simply by being the spouse on the policy). However, regardless of how well you manage your chronic conditions, anyone can fall off a bike, get hit by a car, trip and break an arm, etc. - those things that can happen completely apart from good preventive care and require more than alternative care, i.e., hospital, cast, surgery.


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#13 of 16 Old 10-09-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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Remember when you go through the exchange you might qualify for a subsidy. A family of 4 can make up to 90K and still get a reduction. Depending on the state you are in you might pay nothing.

 

Also as of 2014, it is federal law you have health insurance. It is $90 or 1% of the gross income in fines. The IRS is set up to collect it.

 

Your husband's employer needs to give you the Department of Labor form that will tell you whether or not your husband's coverage meets the Minimum Standards.  If it does not, you will be eligible for a tax credit that lowers your premium through the Marketplace.

 

If your husband's coverage (just his as a single, not the family coverage) is more than 9.5% of your household income OR if the coverage doesn't meet what they are calling 'minimum value" then you are eligible for a tax credit/premium reduction.

 

I do payroll for a company with 25+ employees so I have been working through all the paperwork over the past couple of months.

 

From what our agent told me, the industry expects to see a trend where, in the OP's case, the husband will stay on the company plan as a single person (assuming it meets the minimum standards) and the wife and kids will go to the exchange to get their insurance.  If the company plan doesn't meet the minimum standards, the whole family goes over to the Marketplace and gets "cheaper" insurance via the premium reduction/tax credit. 

 

The definition of minimum value standard, as taken directly from the DOL handout is "an employer-sponsored health plan meets the "minimum value standards" if the plan's share of the total allowed benefit costs covered by the plan is no less than 60 percent of such costs."

 

Without know all the details, a $700 bi-weekly deduction and income level described by the OP sounds like they will qualify for greatly reduced rates via the Marketplace even if it is basic insurance with a high deductible.


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#14 of 16 Old 10-10-2013, 06:28 AM
 
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From what our agent told me, the industry expects to see a trend where, in the OP's case, the husband will stay on the company plan as a single person (assuming it meets the minimum standards) and the wife and kids will go to the exchange to get their insurance.  If the company plan doesn't meet the minimum standards, the whole family goes over to the Marketplace and gets "cheaper" insurance via the premium reduction/tax credit. 

It does look like this is happening. My husband is a teacher, and his district raised the premiums considerably if the spouse stays on the plan (if kids stay, it doesn't change much). I guess the idea is that spouse can go to their employer plan or the exchange?


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#15 of 16 Old 10-10-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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It does look like this is happening. My husband is a teacher, and his district raised the premiums considerably if the spouse stays on the plan (if kids stay, it doesn't change much). I guess the idea is that spouse can go to their employer plan or the exchange?

 

Yes, that is the idea, so to speak.

 

A local private school in my area changed their policy and now any employee whose spouse CAN get insurance at their (the spouses) job must do so instead of being covered under Private School's employee's family plan.   I don't know how the school will treat stay at home spouses, I wonder if they can "force" them off the family plan and over to the Marketplace?

 

Our agent said he actually foresees the Marketplace rates being so competitive that companies like the one I work for (25 people and our health insurance is excellent) will stop offering health insurance because it will be less expensive to give the employees money towards their health insurance and let them go to the Marketplace.


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#16 of 16 Old 10-14-2013, 09:12 PM
 
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Our agent said he actually foresees the Marketplace rates being so competitive that companies like the one I work for (25 people and our health insurance is excellent) will stop offering health insurance because it will be less expensive to give the employees money towards their health insurance and let them go to the Marketplace.

 

Apparently this is what Trader Joe's and some other companies that have traditionally offered insurance benefits to part time workers are doing--- cancelling the insurance of part time workers but, in the Trader Joe's example, the average employee will save over $1K yearly on the "same" insurance PLUS Trader Joe's is giving them $500/year to buy the insurance so they're coming out way ahead.


 

 

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