Another thread about health insurance - finding an individual plan

My group health insurance coverage has expired. I don’t have a full-time job. I was going to college but that was sidetracked for a while because of a family medical crisis. I’ve got two days or so to sign up for classes so I don’t know if I can call myself a college student.

So it looks like I need to buy an individual plan. I know about the real basics because I already chose my prior PPO plan. Some family had big trouble with an HMO with a major illness so I don’t know if I want to consider those. Is there anything I need to know besides getting quotes from any companies I’ve heard good things about, and looking for other companies in the phone book?

I work in insurance information systems. If you want a PPO like you had, be prepared for some major expense. It is hard to say how much but it will likely be over $500 a month and maybe much more.

I would look into getting health insurance through your school if you enroll. They usually have some of the best deals around for younger people.

You can buy catastrophic health insurance which doesn’t protect you much for regular stuff but it can keep you from going bankrupt if you require major health care.

Insurance companies don’t sell that stuff to give you a discount on your medical bills. They do it to make money and you are better paying for the routine stuff by yourself if you don’t anticipate anything really bad happening. The true costs typically gets shielded from consumers because employers typically foot 2/3s or more of the bill.

I just started a new job and thus have a new group plan through my employer, but my wife (30s, non smoker, only allergies to worry about, and no maternity coverage) was going to purchase an individual plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield for less than $100 per month.

I didn’t mean that they don’t have plans like that. However, they typically are not the same as employer sponsored plans. The cheaper plans almost always have deductibles ($500 - several thousand) that one must hit before you get anything and the frills are small compared to most plans offered through work.

Part of what I do is the analysis for people to keep the coverage they already have through COBRA if they lose their job. People tend to be shocked that they will have to pay say $14,000 a year to keep their existing family coverage.

Self-paid health-insurance really is just insurance and the average person should expect to lose money on the deal. How do you know if you are going to be the average person though?

I have to inquire…is that just catastrophic medical insurance? I’m 33 now and a smoker, so I know if I got a personal plan it’d cost me an arm and leg (which is why I have zero health insurance…benefits to strippers and bar workers? Hah, it is to laugh), but even when I inquired about a BC/BS personal plan 10 years ago, they were quoting me 350-400 a month. I’d be very interested to look into it if things have changed.

(“Hubby” - my fiance- and I are getting married not-too-long-from-now, so I just can’t justify spending the exorbitant costs till then. knocks on wood I haven’t even been to the doctor in years, except for “female checkups” and birth control at Planned Parenthood…and even there I’ve been able to get scrips for non-female related issues…and he works for AIG, so I’ll have awesome insurance once we’re married)

[b[Cerri** and Shagnasty, we were looking for ways around the $1000+ per month COBRA was going to cost us. I forget what the deductible was but I’m pretty sure it was only a few hundred dollars. And there was prescription coverage as well, $15 for generics, stuff like that. I’m sure it would have gone up after a year or whatever but it was a good plan. For reasons I won’t go into, keeping me and the kids on the COBRA plan and buying the ind. plan for my wife saved us almost $400 per month. and I was happy! Now I have excellent coverage for the whole family for less than $200 per month through my new employer. And people say health insurance is messed up in the USA!

I can’t tell you how nervous I was between 1/1/2006 and 1/9/2006. I started my job on 1/9 and I didn’t pay the COBRA premium. I’m a gamblin’ man!

It’s a community college so I don’t know about that but I’ll check.

The bastards didn’t warn me anytime in the last year. I recently got 2006 enrollment info that said if I didn’t do anything I’d be enrolled for 2006. It didn’t say it was only for one day of 2006.

By the way, would it be a good idea to sign up for catastrophic coverage from anybody just for a month, or until I shop around?

Anybody know any good companies in northern Virginia?

Do you mean that your COBRA coverage has expired? Some (all?) states have insurance plans you can qualify to buy coverage under if that’s the case. In my state, it’s called HIP-IOWA, but I am sure the names vary. I have a PPO plan that I pay $400 a month for as a single person. It’s approximately the same coverage and cost as what I had from my old employer (very good).

My COBRA coverage through my late father’s employer has just expired. It went on for several years after his death with me paying the bill.

In my state, that is enough to qualify you for coverage under HIP-IOWA, which is a PPO plan sold to high-risk individuals and people who qualify under federal guidelines because they are losing COBRA coverage. I don’t know where you live, but I know Iowa is not the only state that has this kind of option available.

Hi, I live in Virginia.

I work on a horse farm so obviously I pay my own health insurance and also require it for my own peace of mind. I have Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, my plan is called “Individual Keycare Preferred”

For in-Network doctor’s visits I pay $20 copay generalist, $30 specialist (something like 90% of doctors in Virginia are in-netwrk). If I had children it would cover well-child visits under the age of 6, 100%. I have a $750 deductible for hospital stuff, and 20% coinsurance.

I have prescription coverage (generics are $10, and there’s a mail order prescription program that’s even cheaper)
I have basic dental ($1,000 calendar year max, $0 copay).
I also purchased the Accident rider which waives the deductible for emergency visits that result from an accident (as opposed to say, my appendix bursting).

I pay arounf $160/month for this coverage, I am 30 years old and in good general health.

Honestly I think it is quite a good deal, my bases are covered.

I’m buying some short-term coverage online now. Until midnight you can find me in my basement next to the emergency supplies. Trespassers will be shot on sight.

I’m seeing about long-term coverage. Some have told me I mighe get a decent PPO for only around $120/month.

This is one of those days I feel my posts are a bit invisible… sigh

Customer Service at Anthem BS/BC is 1-800-553-3164.

They have several individual plans available, I just remember Keycare was the best by a mile.

My husband Weirddave sells health insurance. He doesn’t sell in Virginia (we’re in Maryland), so it wouldn’t be any type of personal gain; he’d just be more than happy to help you find what you need. He’ll be home later this evening, if you’d like to send him an email at weirddave0 at