The independently rich and health care.

My sister isn’t $50 million rich, but she is a millionaire and retired (and no longer eligible for healthcare through the group plan she had when she owned a business). She pays about $1,200 per month for a policy with a $5,000 deductible. It was a lot cheaper before her husband had a mild stroke a few years ago (he’s fully recovered but there’s a chance it could happen again).

As mentioned upthread, it is not necessarily true that the average expected return of buying an insurance policy is negative, because insurance companies can buy things a hell of a lot cheaper than the average chump can.

Ever looked at your EOB form? if you are in-network notice how much less the insurance company pays for services than you would if you were to pay out of (even very deep) pockets.


I seem to recall that Christopher Reeve’s insurance coverage ran out fairly early on, and his good friend Robin Williams paid for his bills. That may be why Williams has done some hack work for the paycheck over the years… He may be picking up the kids’ college too…

Catastrophic illness can be, well, catastrophic. :wink: My baby nephew was born with an incredibly rare genetic disorder that is a 1 in 80,000 event, and almost always a “a catastrophic presentation in neonates” which means damn near everybody dies. He was in NICU for nearly 4 months prior to his liver transplant at 6 months. The transplant itself went as well as it could have, very smooth with no complications. At almost 11 months now, he is “wireless” as his feeding tube and central line are both out.

The grand total so far- almost $6 million. And counting.

And yes, many insurance policies have a lifetime cap- watch for it, and make sure it’s not only a million or two.

F*ck, it. Canada, here I come. :frowning:

I wish they would have offered me something as cheap as $2K/mo. I was told no amount of money could insure me despite the fact that I have spent less than $2K on doctor visits in the last decade.

Returning to the the US in November… and joining the 50 million uninsured.

Don’t be too scared. I assume you’ll get a job and that’ll (usually) get you insured. If you leave that job, you get Cobra benefits for 18 months (you pay your former company the full cost of the insurance each month).

In Minnesota, there’s a law that requires insurance companies to offer you insurance after Cobra runs out (called conversion plans). It doesn’t have to match what you had before, but you can’t be refused. **Fetchund **has been on conversion plans a few times. You can either go through an underwritten plan to get the good plans (they’ll turn you down for pretty much any treatment you’ve ever had) or you can get a plan based on your age – higher cost and higher deductible.

I don’t know if other states have similar laws.

That’s an important point. DON’T EVER LET YOUR INSURANCE LAPSE! The insurance company cannot refuse you if you are currently insured. I think the conversion law is a federal regulation that was implemented during the Clinton years. It is a great law because it goes a long way in preventing insurance companies from arbitrarily refusing coverage. It is especially important for people that are starting up their own businesses.

I am self-employed and not looking for a job (or else I’d have to take an 80% pay cut). My state (Nevada) has no such options and I have been turned down by every insurer licensed in the state. Only one job I have ever had offered insurance, but that was 20 years ago. I am insured in every country except the USA.

Voting for Obama and keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully if I need treatment it can be blamed on someone and I can sue. It’s the American way unfortunately.

Unfortunately this does not work if you are coming from overseas. I was insured in the US, then went overseas and got insurance immediately for my new country (Rep. of Georgia). My US insurance company (via my wife’s former company and COBRA) said I could no longer be insured as I was not living in Nevada even though I maintained an address there.

So even though I have never gone without insurance (except during visits home), now that I am returning to the US, they will not recognize that I have been insured constantly… and I have a nice pile of rejection letters.

Of course if that’s your only reason and course of action, then keep crossing your fingers. Aside from the challenges of passing legislation, there will be years and years and years of court challenges! There are organizations that have interests that are opposite of Obama’s, and they will sue.

There you go, another loophole in the law that the insurance companies can run a freight train through. The insurance companies look for ways to NOT cover people instead of looking to provide coverage. They are not nice guys who are looking to do the right thing but they sure have some powerful lobbyists. Anybody that doesn’t think the healthcare system in the U.S. isn’t broken has never had a brush with it.

As bad as the situation is with uninsured people, think how bad it would be if the conversion regulation wasn’t in place.

Sorry. That possibility occured to me after I posted. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, too.

HealthNet, one of CA’s largest health insurers, just settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit over them insuring over a thousand people, allowing them to pay preimuims, and then when they made their first claim, canceled their coverage retroactive to the beginning date of the policy. Nice.