Thursday, October 16, 2008

Health Insurance for Self-Employed

I noticed this post on the GWB main feed regarding one person's complaints with health insurance in Arizona. I'm facing similar issues and I'm going to name the culprits.
For several years (2000-2007) I was co-owner of a small, regional consulting firm which at our peak had 10 full-time and 1 part-time employees on the payroll. We peaked out paying over 10K per month for health through Anthem BCBS in NH for a PPO plan and dental through Northeast Delta Dental, also in NH. A family health plan cost around $850/month for each employee. I used to call that the "hidden" extra employee - that's how much it cost in benefits annually. Over the last few years we operated, that cost rose to over $1000/month. Towards the end before we dissolved the company I was paying $1300/month from my own pocket for our family plan. This was a "middle of the road" plan - not the best and not the worst.
When the company was rolled into a larger software company we all went on Anthem BCBS/CA and began paying the employee-portion which was just under $500/month. I stuck it out the year that I said I would and when I left this summer the cost of COBRA for health, dental, and the VSP vision plan was up to $1700/month. That's just over 20K for a family plan insurance per year.
Figuring that it must be really high in California, I went shopping for health insurance in NH and for a comparable health plan (health only) it was nearly the same as the full package. For the time being, I'm just paying the COBRA and hating it.
In addition to the doubling of costs is the reduction in benefits. We can't go to any type of doctor visit or treatment where it's "just covered" - the billing costs are always high and we end up paying the difference out of pocket. Thank God we're all in good health with no issues - I can see a family going bankrupt if something bad happens.
The real kicker is that HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS MORE EACH MONTH THAN THE MORTGAGE ON A 4 BEDROOM HOME WITH 3+ ACRES OF LAND!!!

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