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DO YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE ?

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kayleybeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:15 PM
Original message
Poll question: DO YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE ?
Do you currently have health insurance coverage? My DH and I have been on a private plan (we're self-employed) for 7 years and our premium just shot up over $1000 per year. Don't know how we're going to continue to afford it. I know we're lucky to have anything but it's a crappy plan anyway and it seems like we pay more in premiums and co-payments than we get in benefits. Hardly seems worth it at this point. I'm sure there must be many out there in similar circumstances. Comments appreciated

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. My hubby and I have our own business
Edited on Fri Sep-19-03 05:23 PM by sybylla
We purchase our own major med coverage and Tuesday I recieved a bill for the next quarter that had gone up 20% from the last. And the next quarter it will go up some again because of hubby turning another year older (it's just another excuse to raise the rate). So for the next year we will be paying over $4600 for insurance that bears a $7500 family deductible. We are fortunate to be healthy. I don't know how we could afford it otherwise.

Our local school district is paying over $16,000 for full coverage health insurance for the teachers. I guess if that is what the alternative costs, I'll have to be happy with what I have.

on edit: grammar
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kayleybeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Sounds similar to the plan we have
Ours went up more than 25% because I turned 40. DH won't hit that landmark for a few more years but when he does the rate will go up again. It's infuriating.
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bobja Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. I have COBRA insurance coverage
My former employer is kindly paying for 3 months of it since I was laid off, so I have it until the end of October. It's not likely I'll be shelling out over $500 a month to keep it for me and my partner after that. We're taking advantage of it while we have it though! Thankfully we are in good health for middle-agers.
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #2
35. COBRA here. on my 14th month now 4 more to go.
pying $800 a month for the family too. I need a better solution although friends here in NYC say I can't do much better.
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jumptheshadow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. My boss doesn't insure his employees
So I'm on my partner's insurance. It happens to be a good plan. Thank God we have it. I'm at the age where you start getting tested left, right and center.
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murphymom Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. self-employed company policy
Mr. murphymom and I are self employed and ours just went up about $60+ a month for the two of us. We've got a preferred provider plan with prescription coverage that costs us $753 a month. Can't do without as I've got diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney problems (guess I hit the "trifecta"). Just lucky we can earn enough to afford it.
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kayleybeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Ouch!
That's more than we pay. But we're on a crappy HMO plan. My hubby has high blood pressure and I have had a couple of scares with (very minor) cancer. If we drop this plan we will both have a hard time getting coverage. What really pisses me off is that our state passed Tort reform 13 years ago, which was promised to drive health insurance costs down. It hasn't.
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hedda_foil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. How did you ever get such a great policy??
Please please please pm me and let me know. I'm self employed and lucky enough to get group coverage in an association's plan but it's $530 a month per person (including kids at $530 a pop so it's lucky mine are grown!) and I'm healthy. It's a crappy HMO to boot! Please, I'm begging you. Where did that plan come from?
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. Y'all are going to hate me for this,
but I have absolutely great coverage. It's a non-profit HMO, co-pay is 5 bucks for anything - office visits, meds, arthroscopic surgery on my daughter's knee, repairing crowns on my wife's teeth - 5 bucks, please. And, my employer pays the whole premium! Okay, here's the punch line - my employer and healthcare plan are one and the same - Kaiser-Permanente. This is one outfit about whom the generalization of "evil HMO" is definitely an over-generalization. Now, y'all are going to start flaming with "I (or a friend, or a relative) have Kaiser and..." . Well, part of the problem there is in order to keep from having all the other insurers walk away with the business, Kaiser has to offer a variety of plans, some of 'em "competitive" - pretty damn cheap, in other words. Not really their fault, then, more the fault of your employer or even the marketplace. And the for-profit HMO's do a fair amount of skimming - ie, enrolling young healthy people who are cheap because they won't get sick. Leaving carriers like Kaiser with all the old folks, pre-existing condition people (asthmatics, diabetics, etc) and having a higher use enrollment. Not a nice way to do things. But this really is a pretty decent, ethical company with strong routes in unions, blue collar sectors, and the like, and they work pretty hard to do their best by the members. There aren't too many others aren't there like them - maybe Group Health Co-op of Puget Sound (now a part of Kaiser) and a few others. So, I and my colleagues do very well for health care, while a lot of the population here in southern California especially, has to struggle to get to public health clinics, E-R's , medicare/aid docs (although Kaiser accepts both), and so on. My brother-in-law lost employment and hence insurance as his health failed from cancer, and getting care for him was a daily struggle, consuming time, energy, self-esteem, and so forth, even up to the day he died. This sort of health care system really cannot go on. Sheila Kuehl has introduced a bill in California assembly to radically change the California system; we'll see if it goes anywhere.
Peace......
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murphymom Donating Member (443 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I envy you!
We had Kaiser when we lived in California and it was great. Unfortunately they don't serve our part of Oregon. I hate that making sure that we could get health insurance with pre-existing conditions had to be an issue for us before we moved here. I remember the $10 co-pays we had on prescriptions through Kaiser - wahhhh!

I think the trick to success with Kaiser is to be forthright about what you want, take charge of your own health and know how their system works. I never had any difficulty getting seen or getting any of the tests I needed when I had a problem.
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kayleybeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. I don't hate you, I'm happy for you...
Really, that's great. I'm glad they are taking care of their employees. I also think it's great that Congress gets such great health insurance benefits. But it's outrageous that so many of us are nearly going broke trying to pay for the crudest of plans. Or worse, can't afford health insurance coverage at all. I don't expect a free ride, but I believe citizens have a right to affordable health care.
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Clete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. I had Kaiser Permanente until I moved out of the area and it
wasn't available. This is the drawback, you can't move and still have a medical plan. I also found the months' waits for appointments discouraging and not helpful. I found myself going to emergency at lot just to be able to see a doctor when I needed a prescription for anti-biotics and other things I should have been able to get an appointment for an office visit.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
32. now I know
what *I* am f***ing paying for. x(
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redwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. I know what you mean
we have ghi hmo - they jerk us around constantly over prescription coverage and have just denied a test my hubby's doctor wants him to have. By the time we get from main provider to person who can actually do something about the problem we've spent 80 to 100 bucks in co pays. And all for the modest sum of $700 a month for the 4 of us. But we don't dare NOT have insurance-Hubby had a heart catherization (sp) last fall- no heart problems as it turns out, but we were glad we had insurance, such as it is! I am terrified to see what kind of premium 2004 will bring, we honestly cannot afford our premiums now.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. for the first time, yes
After leaving the US, where i never could afford coverage, i now have coverage by the british national health service. All doctor visits are free by the state... and this concept of the "right" to health embedded in the british nation state is most awesome and beautiful. Though many might complain, the fact is that it is medical treatment for all... no questions asked... its a right. Though dentist and optical extensions on this are less watertight, i can't help but be very admiring of this national health service.

By taking care of all the sick folks in the whole country, it makes britain a very healthy place mentally.... they take care of their elderly and sick... what a concept! How much the progress of neocon'ism where it hurts the veterans, elderly and poor... a degeneration of profound proportions... sadly.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. Husband does, I don't.
I'm a student.

His company only covers his health insurance. for me to be added on would be between $250-$350 a month---hardly affordable considering he's the only one working.

Luckily I can get my birth control thru Planned Parenthood....but I shudder at what would happen if I got really ill, or injured, or whatever. I guess I could go to community hospital and just pay $10 a month for the rest of my life.

Strangely, I'm going to school for nursing, and people always comment about the shitty state of emergency rooms, and hwo they have to wait for 5 hours to be seen---blah blah blah......It's amazing how many people DON'T realize that the main source of the drain on our medical services in this country (Specifically ER/Trauma services) is because of uninsured/underinsured people who are FORCED to wait until they're on death's doorstep to go to the ER for something that could have been easily treated months previously had they had adequate access to a Dr's office......

But of course, when you have no insurance, and don't have enough $$ to pay up front a $100 office visit, $75+ for medicine, and god knows how much if you're referred to a specialist....then you're forced to 'wait out' your illness and hope it gets better. When it doesn't get better, your only recourse is to go to the ER and be seen for something as simple as an ear infection, or the flu, .....but these people can't afford preventative medicine. They can't get the antibiotics months earlier when it would have been an easily-treatable malady.

They must wait until they're either dying, or close to it, go to the ER for what could have been taken care of in a Dr's office, and "hold up" all those poor folks who feel their emergency is more 'legitimate' than the emergencies of poor people, or brown people, or single-mother people.....

----

when I was growing up, my mom was a single parent and couldn't afford health insurance for herself, much less for the both of us.

when I got sick, I was treated with OTC meds in the hopes that whatever it was I had would go away on its own, and if not, I had to wait until I was REALLY sick before we'd go to the ER. It's a shitty position for a parent to be in.

She, because of the shitty jobs she had, was NEVER able to take sick time---her employer refused to grant pay for 'sick time' unless the absence was accompanied by a dr's note---kind of hard to get a dr's note when you can't afford to go to the dr...and your problem's not "emergency" enough for an emergency room....

So she'd have to wait out her illness longer than she required me to. Plenty of times she was near getting pneumonia, and I think she had it once, but couldn't afford to take the time off so she just worked through her sickness....

that, in itself, is sickening.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I get coverage through the University as well
It's hardly a bargain though. There is a $150 quartely fee for the extended coverage, a $100 deductible after which 80% of meds get paid (which ends up saving me the whopping sum of around $70 per term). And then there's the student health clinic, which I shudder to think about using for anything other than blood work or a flu shot.

It's a whole lot better than going bare, though, particularly in the case of some catastrophic illness or injury. It's my ticket in the door, even though I bet that with all the co-insurance, deductibles and exclusions, I'd still end up having to declare bankruptcy for something serious.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. but I don't get coverage through my school
they have an 'injury' policy that I had to take to be in my phlebotomy class this quarter--but basically I have to pay 90% of everything, no Rx coverage, no routine coverage, no ambulance or surgery coverage---i'm not actually sure what it DOES cover...but it's $37 a quarter and I have to have it just to show that if I *DO* get injured, that someone will pay SOMETHING (although again, i'm not sure what they do pay)...

there's not even a clinic on our campus. They do have the women's department which will give you a tampon or maxi-pad for a dime, but i'm not sure that will be of any assistance should I gravely injure myself with a hypodermic needle :-/
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KCDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. wow, the best health insurance I ever had
was when I was a grad student!

Seriously! At least then, everything was taken care of, quickly and with no cost to myself (aside from what was taken out of my stipend).

The only thing I ever had to pay for was childbirth.
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kayleybeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #10
28. yes it is sickening!
We need some sort of national health care plan. Badly. I don't see it happening any time soon though. There's just no money left over after handing out all those tax cuts and financing the neverending war in Iraq.

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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. yes, mine up $1000 per annum also...
With my income in the high four digits, it looks like it will have to to go if I am to continue to eat. :-(
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
15. yes through my husbands firefighter job but my older children and 4 grand
children are NOT...they have no coverage...i am so angry
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Clete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
16. I'm retired (that means I don't get paid for being a
full time care giver for my DH) and since I'm not old enough for Medicare I have a crappy policy that costs me $171 a month and pays for nothing. It's only a safety net in case I get the Big Expensive Disease. I had to give up my HMO because they had raised me from $125 a month to $400 a month ($5,000 a year) in three years time. It was also at this time that most of the Doctors in my areas were refusing to accept HMO's anymore, so my $400 a month was a waste of money, a thing the HMO had not bothered to tell me until I sought medical help and found out I had none.
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It was not a pretzel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
18. No because
my emplyxer hasn't paid me for several months, hence I can't pay my insurance. I'v given the f**kers 'till Monday to pay up otherwise the will pay one way or another :mad: :mad:
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disgruntella Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
19. I just left my job.
I had been covered by my employer for the last three years. I just switched to my state's "portability" plan which I have to pay for, and it also has an incredibly high deductible -- but it's worth it because it covers prescriptions immediately, and that is my highest health care expense.
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xJlM Donating Member (955 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
21. I've got it through COBRA
Got laid off in January of this year, and I've kept my insurance up with about a quarter of my unemployment money. I've got a total of eighteen months I can keep it up, but I'm hoping I go back to work before then.
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Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. when I quit my job to go to school
I had the option of COBRA coverage but it was HIGHER than if I got on my husband's insurance (he works for the same company I did)....

when 2 people are living on <$30k a year, $400 a month is a bit steep for med. insurance.....

well, steep until you need it when you don't have it....

:crossing fingers: luckily I haven't needed it in the 9 months I"ve been out of work...I've been super careful to say the least
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
24. Have to but my own individual coverage
It's a killer.

The government should run health insurance. There is no earthly reason why health insurance should be tied to your employer.

It's a permanent need, and should not be tied to a temporary job.
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OrdinaryTa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
25. Service Connected Disability
I'm entitled to medical care at the VA hospital for my Vietnam-related disability, but they're closing that hospital. It's an economy move.

Would you mind taking your silly-ass problem down the hall?
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
26. Employer plan
My employer pays %75 of it. For my husband and I, I have $79.00 taken out of my check twice a month. I have to see the physicians that are part of the plan. Health insurance is part of the reason that I feel that I cannot quit this job even though I don't like it. I half considered applying for a job as a quality inspector at a slaughter house. For benefits listed, it said free health care. I'd need free health care though working at a slaughter house. I'd probably pass out every day for the first week.
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DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-19-03 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
29. No....
but I know somebody that has health insurance. I count myself lucky because of that. :)
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prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. When I had to see a specialist
they required a photo ID along with my insurance card. I'm sure we'll start seeing more than that.
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kayleybeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. and they're probably breaking their backs to pay for it
We could pay rent on an apartment or pay a car note for the amount we pay for health insurance. I know we are lucky to have it and be able (barely anyway) to afford it, but it is getting obscene.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
33. even when I was employed, no
and since I was layed off...

:-(
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jbm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
34. I'm self-employed..
and have insurance through the business,but I've never used it. I pay 300.00 a month to cover myself and my son with a 5,000.00 deductible and it doesn't cover anything like doctors visits or prescription drugs or physicals. After reading through the threads I'm thinking I'm getting off pretty cheap...but at the same time,I never go to the doctor because I can't afford it. There's got to be a better way...
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-20-03 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. I'm self emp. too as of July 2002- on my own
see my COBRA post up top. I think I'm headed for a plan like yours jusdt to save $$$. Catastrophic (critical care) plans are possible money savers.
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