Dave Donaldson | 9 Jan 22:40 2005

Re: insurance

Health insurance was the one thing that made me take so much time in
deciding whether or not to go independent (and with 3 kids you can
understand why). There's several options that usually fall into 2
categories: COBRA or buy your own.

With COBRA, you can keep your existing coverages for up to 18 months after
you leave your current employer. That's the good thing. The bad thing is
the cost. If you elect COBRA, your monthly cost is the sum of what you pay
now for healthcare plus the amount that your employer pays on your behalf.
Depending on your employer and coverages, this can be quite hefty, usually
ranging from $600 - $1000 per month just to maintain your existing
coverages. If you elect to take COBRA, it goes into effect retroactive
back  to the day after your last day at your employer, which means you
won't have a second of dropped coverage.

If you shop for your own, you definitely have to look around, and it can
be confusing with so many plans and options. The best thing I did was work
closely with my insurance agent to figure it all out. He was super helpful
in looking at plans, rates, coverage options, waiting periods, etc, etc.
Let's just say I've gotten to know my agent on a much more personal level
the last couple months with all the time I've spent at his office :-)

One of the things that suprised me was how much cheaper I was able to buy
family health coverage on my own versus the cost of COBRA. I had always
heard that buying non-group coverage was rather expensive, but once we
started looking into it, it was just the opposite. For reference, in the
end, we are now paying $300 less per month for health care coverage for
the entire family vs. what we were paying for COBRA, and with better
overall coverage (lower co-pays, lower prescription costs, and 90%
coverage instead of the 80% coverage we used to have).

Hopefully that helps dispell some of the fears you might have. Of course,
YMMV, so be sure to do tons-o-research. Afterall, it took me several
months of thinking and research before I made the decision to go
independent, and it was primarily because of the health care coverage.


--- Steve Eichert <steve.eichert <at> gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm looking for some information regarding getting insurance for my
> one man LLC.  I'm still employed full time but am thinking about going
> independent.  One of the major things that is keeping me from going
> indepenedent is the uncertainty regarding insurance.  How do others on
> the list handle insurance?  I've heard that going through a local
> chamber of commerce and getting on their group insurance can be a good
> option.  Is it better, and even possible, to get all insurance through
> one carrier (health, dental, vision) or do you typically have to go
> through multiple carriers for the different types.
> The one other concern I have is that my wife gets super duper sick
> when she get's pregnant, often times having to go the hospital.  We're
> probably going to have another couple kids, do I need to be concerened
> with my carrier upping my premium through the roof or even dropping me
> if she has to make multiple trips to the hospital and starts racking
> up some bills?
> Thanks for any info,
> Steve

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