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Where to find cheap (affordable) health insurance?

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Where to find cheap (affordable) health insurance?

Old 07-21-06, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Are you worried something's going to happen to you within 3 months?
Is it worth the risk of financial ruin?
Old 07-21-06, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by X
Are you worried something's going to happen to you within 3 months?
Well, yeah. Accidents happen, as can sudden health problems. I have a cousin who in June suddenly came down with a rare case of cancer. He's been hospitalized since then, and I can't imagine what the health care costs have been for him so far.

I'm really looking for a low-premium, high-deductible plan to cover any unexpected medical expenses. I don't need precription drug coverage or preventive care covered at this point. However, finding health insurance in NYC is a pain. Ehealthinsurace only offers on plan, a PPO. I've found other HMOs and PPOs, but nothing like what I want.

I actually looked at Allstate's website today, I get my renter's insurance through them. While they don't have regular health insurance, the have what they call "Supplemental Health Insurance," where they offer separate policies for Accidents, Disability, and Cancer:
http://www.allstate.com/Products/AllstateProducts.aspx

These would cover about 90% of what I'm concerned with, especially accidents and cancer. However, it wouldn't cover any other health problems that may come up.
Old 07-22-06, 09:30 AM
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I have my own business, so I was in the same boat.. Went with ehealthinsurance.com as well. What I haven't found is good dental insurance, anyone have any suggestions for that?
Old 07-23-06, 12:38 PM
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New York State has very inexpensive healthcare options for self-employed and low-income people. Do a NY websearch for health care programs and you'll find it. You can get a decent choice of hmo options with a low deductible for around $200/month. Well worth it!
Old 07-23-06, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by drmoze
You can get a decent choice of hmo options with a low deductible for around $200/month. Well worth it!
Is that $200 for single or two person coverage? I'm looking to cover both myself and my wife. So far, the cheapest HMO I've found is around $500 a month for that.
Old 07-24-06, 01:50 AM
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Scarab,

I recently graduated from Penn State and get Health Insurance through the Alumni program for $450/6 months. It's a $1000 deductable plan. See if anything like that exists for your girlfriend. Although, it doesn't cover routine medical things.
Old 07-24-06, 03:21 AM
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i have blue cross, but i dont konw what the hell is up with my "plan". i wanted the cheapest plan they have and the person on the phone recommended one for me. i have a $40 co pay per office visit plus 40% of all fees.

well i goto the office for an annual checkup, pay my $40 and everything is fine. a few weeks later i get a bill for $200. im like wtf...so i call blue cross and the lady gives me this bull shit:

"the plan only covers if something is wrong with you...its not just for checkups or physicals..."

so i ask "ok what if i said something was wrong with me?"

"then it would have covered you"

"ok so next time ill lie and say something is wrong with me first"

she laughed, realized how right i was and didnt know how to answer. i still dont get it. my so called "plan" wont cover me unless something is wrong yet i have a $40 office copay? but next time if i say i dont feel well, then it covers me? am i wrong or is this just strange?
Old 07-24-06, 04:34 PM
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joesa, thanks for the tip about Alumni plans. My wife just graduated, so I'll see what she can get with that.

Originally Posted by atari2600
my so called "plan" wont cover me unless something is wrong yet i have a $40 office copay? but next time if i say i dont feel well, then it covers me? am i wrong or is this just strange?
Sounds like your plan doesn't cover preventive care: annual checkups and the like. I know it seems strange at first, but if you consider that probably the majority of health-care costs for the average individual is preventive care, you can see why they were able to offer such a low premium for a plan that doesn't cover it.

You can, of course, lie about whether or not you're ill to get coverage for your next checkup. You should be aware, however, that technically you'd be performing an act of fraud.
Old 07-24-06, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay G.
joesa, thanks for the tip about Alumni plans. My wife just graduated, so I'll see what she can get with that.


Sounds like your plan doesn't cover preventive care: annual checkups and the like. I know it seems strange at first, but if you consider that probably the majority of health-care costs for the average individual is preventive care, you can see why they were able to offer such a low premium for a plan that doesn't cover it.

You can, of course, lie about whether or not you're ill to get coverage for your next checkup. You should be aware, however, that technically you'd be performing an act of fraud.
im sure thats what it is but what im confused about is if i simply say "i dont feel well" then all of a sudden they cover me? it could be fraud but what defines "feeling well"? if i have a headache? my stomache hurts? you can always find something that doesnt feel right.
Old 07-25-06, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
im sure thats what it is but what im confused about is if i simply say "i dont feel well" then all of a sudden they cover me?
Because if you don't feel well, then something's possibly medically wrong with you, and it's not preventive care. I know it doesn't make sense to you, but that's the way it works.

I really can't speak from experience, but if you go in with a headache, I'd assume the doctor isn't going to give you a full physical and run the same tests he would for an annual checkup. So, for a headache, you'd be paying $40 plus a portion of the fees for a doc to look at you, ask a few questions, and prescribe you some aspirin.
Old 07-25-06, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay G.
Because if you don't feel well, then something's possibly medically wrong with you, and it's not preventive care. I know it doesn't make sense to you, but that's the way it works.

I really can't speak from experience, but if you go in with a headache, I'd assume the doctor isn't going to give you a full physical and run the same tests he would for an annual checkup. So, for a headache, you'd be paying $40 plus a portion of the fees for a doc to look at you, ask a few questions, and prescribe you some aspirin.

In the world of insurance and medical billing, there's a distinction made between routine/preventative care (you're not having any symptoms -- the "checkup", pap tests for women, colonoscopy, etc.) vs problem-based visits (you've got symptoms). My understanding is that an office visit can be billed as all routine care, all problem-based, or a combination of both. So, if you go in for a check-up but also ask about non-routine problems at the same visit, the visit may be considered partly routine and partly problem-based; in this case, your insurance might pay for only the problem-related part, and you'd still foot the bill for the part of the visit that was routine.

Putting the fraud question aside, just saying you have some random symptoms won't necessarily fool the insurance. The visit itself and all tests (blood tests, x-rays, scans, etc.) have to have some kind of associated diagnosis, some reason behind the visit or the tests; e.g. a cholesterol check might have a "diagnosis" of "screening for cholesterol problems". The insurance is going to have questions if they see "headache" as the reason for getting a cholesterol test. (And that's assuming you can get the doc to bill things that way -- effectively to lie on your behalf -- since the doc can get into trouble if s/he's caught knowingly billing things inaccurately, even if it's out of sympathy for the patient's situation.)

At the risk of stating the obvious, you get what you pay for. Yes, some insurances are definitely better than others. However, if you're paying significantly less for one plan compared to what's average for your area, then there's generally missing compared to other plans; maybe there's a high deductible, maybe there's zero prescription coverage, maybe they don't cover certain tests...or maybe they don't cover routine care.

Sorry about the length. Hope this clarifies things.

Last edited by mhaneoka; 07-26-06 at 12:02 AM.

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