My part time job has offered us limited health coverage through Pan American Life Insurance company. It’s called ValuMed Plus. For about 65 bucks a month, it offers $300 maximum per year doctors payments at $50 a pop, $300 accident coverage. $200 per day hospital (500 days lifetime max), $1000 surgical per year, $400 per day intensive care, (30 days), $75 emergency room for sickness ($300 max), $30 per visit lab/exray (max $300 per year) and a 10 buck copay on generic prescriptions and the rest of the prescription is supposed to be covered. Supposedly, there are no exclusions for preexisting conditions. On the surface, if one’s health is relatively decent, it seems okay. BUT, I don’t trust my employer any further than I can carry a Boeing 707. Has anyone heard of these companies or plans? Does it seem worth it? Any input would be appreciated. I must decide before Aug. 25.
If it matters, I am 55, take two prescriptions when I can afford them, recently had my first attack of gout, need surgery on a wrist ganglion, have hidradenitis (currently in remission), and haven’t been to see the obgyn in about 5 years. This 65 dollar premium would eat up about 7-10 percent of my net pay from this part time job.
Will your doctor accept $50 for a visit? Will the hospital accept $200 a day in full? If not, how much per day would you have to pay?
Insurance companies have major bargaining power; a friend of mine just got billed about $3000/day where his insurance company could pay half that. Do they use this bargaining power on your behalf, and with what result?
Can they decide that a given condition is not covered (ie, your wrist ganglion)?
Do you have assets that could be in play if your part of the costs turns out to be $50,000 or $100,000? If so, you might want to buy better coverage, possibly with a big deductible to reduce the premium. If not, you can consider getting this insurance to smooth the normal bumps, and using bankruptcy as a back-up plan* in case of a heavy problem. Or skip this insurance and use the $780 per year to pay your expenses. Or tough it out for a fulltime job with benefits.
*guess what, bankruptcy is now more common than getting cancer, or getting divorced, or graduating from college. That’s per an editorial by Bob Herbert from the New York Times.