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  1. #1
    EDR
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    Health insurance.

    I have company assisted health insurance as I work for a large corporation. All I can say is thank goodness! Today my son went and had a screw put in his foot. It was the second fracture of his fifth metatarsal in the last 6 months. An hour and a half later and an expected bill of over $32,000. This was outpatient surgery mind you! What if we had a real catastrophe, like kidney failure?

    How on earth do those of you without company assisted health insurance do it?

  2. #2
    King of Middle Earth
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    Being self employed, I pay out a small chunk of my soul every month for full coverage health insurance for my daughter and I. My wife has coverage through her work for herself. The only nice thing about it aside from not having to worry about any health related costs is that it's a 100% business deduction at the end of the year.
    fee-fy-fo-fum...

  3. #3
    Xtreme Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    I have company assisted health insurance as I work for a large corporation. All I can say is thank goodness! Today my son went and had a screw put in his foot. It was the second fracture of his fifth metatarsal in the last 6 months. An hour and a half later and an expected bill of over $32,000. This was outpatient surgery mind you! What if we had a real catastrophe, like kidney failure?

    How on earth do those of you without company assisted health insurance do it?
    [EDIT] OK, I had to change my response since I was answering a question that wasn't asked.

    I buy my own insurance (individual PPO High-deductible product with HSA). I take the approach that insurance is only needed for catastrophic protection and not every little cost that comes along. So my plan is really simple and actually quite affordable (I'm only covering myself, not a family which is much more expensive). I pay 100% up to the deductible, then the insurer pays 100% after that. That's basically how it works. I put money into the tax-advantaged HSA to cover the deductible. If I don't use the HSA money in a given year, it just keeps accumulating until I eventually do.

    The other nice part of the HSA is that I can use that for eye, dental, prescription, and a whole long list of medically related items and services. It actually works out way better to NOT have dental and eye insurance and use the HSA to pay (which is saving at my marginal tax rate).

  4. #4
    I eat cats
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    Seriously, I too work for a big (for Orange County, CA) company that provides good benefits and it has saved my a$$ over the years. Going to see a doctor/specialist is so affordable that sometimes I feel like a hypochondriac. I had my tonsils yanked in 2011 and without my PPO I couldn't have gone to my buddy's dad for my surgery; which turned out to be life changing by going to him.

  5. #5
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    I have an HSA PPO through my work. Its been great so far. I pay $60/week for the PPO for myself and family. I also deposit $75/week into the Health Savings Account. It is all deducted from my check, pre-tax.
    We get to shop around for our health services. 99% of what we need is just done with doc-in-the-box places. In and out in no time at all, for very little coin. And it all just gets paid for with an HSA debit card. All very simple.
    The HSA money is mine to keep when I am 60. I get to invest it and grow it, just like a 401k. Its like a second retirement fund. I just have to be careful how I spend it.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  6. #6
    OSCMTB
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    I lost insurance a couple months ago and recently had a bad accident that broke my jaw. I'm now staring at $60k in medical bills. It's absurd really, as an insurance company would pay less than half that.

    Make sure you have insurance.

  7. #7
    ouch....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    I lost insurance a couple months ago and recently had a bad accident that broke my jaw. I'm now staring at $60k in medical bills. It's absurd really, as an insurance company would pay less than half that.

    Make sure you have insurance.
    Damn that stinks!
    Riding.....

  8. #8
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    Re: Health insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    I lost insurance a couple months ago and recently had a bad accident that broke my jaw. I'm now staring at $60k in medical bills. It's absurd really, as an insurance company would pay less than half that.

    Make sure you have insurance.
    Most of the time, hospitals will work with you to reduce that.

    --
    Stephen

  9. #9
    EDR
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    Re: Health insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    Most of the time, hospitals will work with you to reduce that.

    --
    Stephen
    Very true. My buddy who is self employed and carries his own insurance was able to reduce his medical bills from his neck surgery drastically, just by asking each of the individual doctors.

  10. #10
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    Re: Health insurance.

    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Very true. My buddy who is self employed and carries his own insurance was able to reduce his medical bills from his neck surgery drastically, just by asking each of the individual doctors.
    I work in major healthcare. The last company I was at owned a precollection subsidiary. They called people to try to get them to pay prior to sending it to collections. I would frequently hear them say "you owe $20k but can't pay it, what can you pay" something is better than nothing and usually you can get reductions yourself just by asking.

    --
    Stephen

  11. #11
    OSCMTB
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    Thanks for the info guys. I've been doing some reading, and it looks like I'm not totally sunk yet. I'm only 24 and this is not how I wanted to start the rest of my life.

  12. #12
    clown question, bro
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    I work at an insurance company. I've talked to people that are still faced with huge bills even after their policy considers the claims.

    What you need to realize is that the "billed amount" for each procedure is artificially inflated and has no bearing in cost. It's billed at "X" amount and, when someone is insured, it is reduced to the amount the facility/physician is contracted at. The amount in excess of the contracted amount is not the patient's liability.

    When one does not have insurance, you do not have the benefit of a contract being in place. Knowing that fact, though, I've seen be beneficial for people in trying to make the bill slightly more palatable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikebmx999 View Post
    Are we just ignoring balls? Lol

  13. #13
    Xtreme Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Thanks for the info guys. I've been doing some reading, and it looks like I'm not totally sunk yet. I'm only 24 and this is not how I wanted to start the rest of my life.
    Knowledge is key. Read up and learn what you can. Just be honest. Tell them what you can/can't pay and tell them you want to try to work with them. There's no shame in not being able to afford $60k at any age - especially at 24. They should be able to figure that out too.

    If you don't yet have a medical insurance policy, I would still strongly recommend you get one. If you're in between jobs right now and it's a temporary thing, there are usually companies that have policies that are temporary in nature. Most BC/BS (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) plans offer a temporary policy from 1 to 6 months and they can usually be renewed for another 6 months (giving you 12 months total coverage). They usually don't require medical underwriting (meaning, they don't ask you a medical history to try to determine what risk(s) you might impose) but they always exclude pre-existing conditions ... like your jaw condition.

    If you think you might be without employer sponsored coverage for a while or an indefinite period, you might want to look at an individual policy that is a high-deductible plan that basically gives you catastrophic coverage. It won't help much (or at all - depending on cost sharing of the policy) on small stuff, but it basically puts a stop loss for the bigger stuff.

    Example. My policy has a $5,500 deductible. There is no cost sharing. So, I'm responsible for the first $5,500 of medical costs per policy year. That's the total amount I'll have to pay in a year towards medical expenses. Once I've spent the $5,500, the insurance company pays 100% of what's left over. So in your case, I would have paid $5,500 and the insurance company would have paid the balance (probably a negotiated amount around $20,000 - $25,000). $5,500 is a lot to pay - but it's sure a lot better than the alternative.

    The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium costs will be. If you only want to be out $3,000 before insurance takes over (your annual deductible), that will cost you more per month in your premiums.

    The last thing you want to do now is get into another accident and break your back or something and get a really big 6-figure debt going.

    Good luck and I hope you recover quickly and fully from your accident.

  14. #14
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    Health insurance.

    I had a job that provided insurance and lost it after a buyout. It took a few years before I could afford a private plan. Less than 6mo after getting on it, i got a cancer diagnosis, which was a low-7 figure number before insurance contracted discounts.

    My plan has something like a $3500 deductible or something. Saved me a BOATLOAD of money. So much so that I actually managed to afford to pay off my bills for that year when they came. I am still on 6mo checkups and that exceeds my deductible, but in april of next year I am scheduled to go to once per year checkups and that will not likely exceed my deductible on this plan.

    Be careful about preexisting conditions language. At some point, insurance carriers will not be able to deny you for preexisting conditions. That matters a lot for me if I ever want to change insurance carriers, but not sure how it would affect you with your jaw issue.

  15. #15
    Rogue Exterminator
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post

    How on earth do those of you without company assisted health insurance do it?
    I have health insurance now but before this job, I was a self employed contractor.
    For me to go out and get health insurance then would have been almost $500 a month and that was just for me as I have no children and am not married.

    Plain and simple most people can not afford medical insurance unless they work for a company that pays for the majority of it.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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