When my husband first lost his steady job, I sprang into action and began looking for insurance. I knew the COBRA was going to be a killer, and furthermore that coverage had already been murdering us when the employer was picking up not only the premium, but funding the $4,800 into our HSA.
I was a little surprised by how hard it was to get insurance. Sure, I figured it was going to be a lot more expensive than the last time I had to provide my own coverage; I believe I paid something like $120 a month for an HMO back in the early 90s.
But I was stunned to find that we were simply flat-out denied coverage. No amount of money was going to get us an insurance plan. Based on her prescriptions (which are also used for asthma), Boo Bug was declined. Because once in 2007 he saw the doctor complaining of ‘shortness of breath’ (turned out to be seasonal allergies), my husband was declined. Danger Mouse, ADHD. Captain Adventure, PDD-NOS (which is laughable, because they refuse 99% of anything related to treatment of same as being ‘experimental’ or ‘not usual and customary treatment for this condition’).
And of course, my back/hips/knees were an automatic NO!, but thanks for calling hokay buh-bye!
The only person in this family who could easily get medical coverage is Eldest.
We were turned away from Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser and Sutter. We were told to try San Joaquin Delta because they were “forgiving” – we were too big a group of bashed up cackles for even them to stomach.
We looked into the state’s emergency coverage, designed for “uninsurable” folks like us. Yeah, uh-huh, the $3,000+ monthly premium was a tad much for us.
Finally, I put two very important pieces of information together.
One was that when it comes to group health insurance, you can’t be declined insurance based on preexisting conditions – in other words, if I had gone to work for roughly a third my usual pay and double my usual (already brutal) commute for Company X, we would have gotten automatic enrollment in their group health plan.
The other was that a group can be as small as two employees. Like, say…a partnership…
It took two months of work, the collection of all forms and paperwork related to the business, a great deal of faxing followed by paying top dollar for a thick package of same being overnighted to the broker…but as of January 1, our Enterprises offers its employees a comprehensive medical, dental and vision plan, HSA-compatible. The Enterprises picks up the full tab of the premium, and funds the HSA for its employees each year.
If my calculations are correct, I just saved us over $15,000 this year.
My husband will finally get the new glasses he’s been needing but putting off because, well, we’re perpetually over-budget as it is, and the two Denizens who need them will be able to get braces (I’m sure they’ll be beside themselves with joy), and I will quietly enjoy paying nada out of pocket for cleanings, x-rays and fluoride treatments instead of $800 twice a year.
It’s a great way to start the new year, getting at least a partial patch on the medical care hole.
Now I suppose I should get on with collecting the income that pays for the coverage, huh…?
Lockdown 2020 - a year on....
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