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Thread started 02 May 2018 (Wednesday) 18:33
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Starting photography business - health insurance for self employed

 
Mare333
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May 02, 2018 18:33 |  #1

Hello everyone, Marianne here. I have found this forum very helpful and it has helped me already with a number of questions. For that I am very thankful, but today I have one more question. I am officially starting my photography business - registering the name, etc. This means I am now self employed. So one thing I need is health insurance. I have looked for affordable health insurance for self employed individuals and was shocked by how expensive it is. Most of the plans have premiums starting $400 per month and up. What's worse and makes the health insurance totally useless is that it has huge deductible - around $7,000 per year. So what's the point of having insurance if it will never kick in because you need to spend $7,000 per year out of pocket first. I looked at a lot of websites but got the same result. I am very frustrated. I don't think an average self employed individual pays half a thousand dollars per month with a $7,000 deductible. So I must be looking in the wrong places, there must be other solutions. I know it depends on which state you are in (I am in New York), but maybe you can help me out and point me in the right direction, websites where I can find something reasonable. Thank you so much for your help.




  
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gjl711
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May 02, 2018 18:53 |  #2

$400 a month with a $7000 deductible sounds extremely reasonable, cheap even. Health insurance is expensive. The best place to start is here (external link). A lot depends if you are self employed with no employees or employees. Got to pick the right path and shop around.


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Bassat
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May 02, 2018 19:03 |  #3

What makes you think you NEED health insurance?

I've been to the ER twice this year for heart issues. Total ER bill, combined, was about $5,000. If I were you the plan you propose, I'd be out $4,800 for premiums, PLUS the entire ER bill. Without insurance, I just pay the ER bill. Seems to me I'd have saved $4,800 to NOT have your plan.


Tom

  
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Mare333
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May 02, 2018 19:12 |  #4

gjl711 wrote in post #18618405 (external link)
$400 a month with a $7000 deductible sounds extremely reasonable, cheap even. Health insurance is expensive. The best place to start is here (external link). A lot depends if you are self employed with no employees or employees. Got to pick the right path and shop around.

Thank you very much for replying. If this is cheap I don't know what expensive is:( I certainly can't afford that and hoping to find something cheaper. Thanks for the link too, I've been on that website and the prices there are along the lines of what I quoted.




  
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Mare333
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May 02, 2018 19:14 |  #5

Bassat wrote in post #18618413 (external link)
What makes you think you NEED health insurance?

I've been to the ER twice this year for heart issues. Total ER bill, combined, was about $5,000. If I were you the plan you propose, I'd be out $4,800 for premiums, PLUS the entire ER bill. Without insurance, I just pay the ER bill. Seems to me I'd have saved $4,800 to NOT have your plan.

Thanks for replying. I am hoping to get insurance so I don't have to pay $5,000 for emergency room. But if the plan has a deductible of $7,000 that does not make sense:(




  
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PhotosGuy
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May 02, 2018 22:18 |  #6

In Michigan, I had Blue Cross & they raised the rate from $130/mo to $250/mo, which is still better than the rate you have.

One thing that you should be aware of is that Ins. companies don't pay "retail". I've seen them pay a negotiated rate of 90% off the original hospital rate that I would have been charged for a procedure. So there is a hidden value to having insurance if your future company has the same practice.

And sometimes joining a Professional Organization will provide access to a discounted premium.


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Hogloff
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May 03, 2018 08:27 |  #7

Bassat wrote in post #18618413 (external link)
What makes you think you NEED health insurance?

I've been to the ER twice this year for heart issues. Total ER bill, combined, was about $5,000. If I were you the plan you propose, I'd be out $4,800 for premiums, PLUS the entire ER bill. Without insurance, I just pay the ER bill. Seems to me I'd have saved $4,800 to NOT have your plan.

You can say the same thing about any insurance, car, house, photo equipment etc... Basically you pay for the security that if something drastic happens ( house burns down, hit an icy patch and total your car...or have a major health issue ) you don't have to mortgage your house to pay for your mishap.

If one feels comfortable throwing dice and hoping no major health issues arise, then you can save some money by not insuring yourself...but let's not forget many people get hit with some major health problems during their life which could sink everything you worked for.

Here in Canada we pay a little at a time through taxes for much of our health insurance. I'm happy with that as I know I won't be left holding the bag when something unexpected happens.




  
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FarmerTed1971
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May 03, 2018 09:05 |  #8

This is a VERY important issue and one that every aspiring freelancer needs to consider. This is probably the main reason why folks in the States keep their day jobs.

You could open a separate bank account for health care reasons. I’ve also heard that some hospitals will negotiate pricing if you are paying with cash.

Not having insurance is really not an option because the ACA makes you have it or you get penalized (individual mandate)... unless that was voted out recently, so hard to follow as it seems to change.

Perhaps someday we will wake up and realize that universal healthcare is how modern civilized nations take care of their people. Until then we will continue to be sick and sometimes go bankrupt due to unfortunate circumstance.


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May 03, 2018 11:34 |  #9

Keep in mind that the premiums are the overall price paid to the insurance company. If your income falls below certain levels, you get a subsidy to help pay that premium. I suggest you go over your options with one of the NY State healthcare advisors that can help you navigate the marketplace and your options.


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Wilt
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May 03, 2018 12:54 |  #10

Bassat wrote in post #18618413 (external link)
What makes you think you NEED health insurance?

I've been to the ER twice this year for heart issues. Total ER bill, combined, was about $5,000. If I were you the plan you propose, I'd be out $4,800 for premiums, PLUS the entire ER bill. Without insurance, I just pay the ER bill. Seems to me I'd have saved $4,800 to NOT have your plan.

There are also lots of stories in which the policy holder's out of pocket expense was a small fraction of the total expense of medical care received. My barber refers to his son's twin boys (now 4 years old) as 'million dollar babies' who EACH recorded seven-digit hospital costs shortly after birth.

OTOH we also know that billing for insured coverage is often greater number of dollars for the same service provided to someone without medical insurance.

I do know that age and gender are major considerations about going without coverage...my own medical costs were virtually zero during my 20's and 30's, and I never had a need to visit a doctor until my mid-40's. Going with no coverage would have not had serious financial consequence for me in that period. But I also know that a friend's son had very major expenses in his late 20's and was hospitalized for a very serious major infection in his bones, and I hate to think of the costs of that when not covered by insurance!


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Bassat
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May 03, 2018 14:42 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #18618812 (external link)
There are also lots of stories in which the policy holder's out of pocket expense was a small fraction of the total expense of medical care received. My barber refers to his son's twin boys (now 4 years old) as 'million dollar babies' who EACH recorded seven-digit hospital costs shortly after birth.

OTOH we also know that billing for insured coverage is often greater number of dollars for the same service provided to someone without medical insurance.

I do know that age and gender are major considerations about going without coverage...my own medical costs were virtually zero during my 20's and 30's, and I never had a need to visit a doctor until my mid-40's. Going with no coverage would have not had serious financial consequence for me in that period. But I also know that a friend's son had very major expenses in his late 20's and was hospitalized for a very serious major infection in his bones, and I hate to think of the costs of that when not covered by insurance!

I've had heart surgery. I have failed a pulmonary function test, have a heart arrhythmia, high cholesterol, htn, and elevated FBS, and macular degeneration. Buying health insurance is not an option for me. Two companies have refused to sell to me, at any price. Forget life insurance.


Tom

  
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May 03, 2018 16:09 |  #12

Bassat wrote in post #18618877 (external link)
I've had heart surgery. I have failed a pulmonary function test, have a heart arrhythmia, high cholesterol, htn, and elevated FBS, and macular degeneration. Buying health insurance is not an option for me. Two companies have refused to sell to me, at any price. Forget life insurance.

Your plight illustrates why the concept of single-payer health insurance works for folks living in other countries, while the for-profit 'competitive' environment of the US market leaves so many folks without affordable health care when a 'nationalized' health system is still under for-profit insurance company control. While you 'have to' have medical insurance (under the Obamacare provisions recently thrown out by the other party), you could not GET it an affordable prices!

Our son-in-law was assessed by doctors to have benign (non-malignant) nasal polyps, but the same insurance company then wanted very high premiums because he HAD nasal polyps, ignore the fact they are benign! Absurd. At least under Obamacare, he COULD get it affordably, as 'pre-existing condition' was not a disqualifier. Now even that is tossed aside again.

US population wants 'free healthcare' yet is not willing to fund it thru taxes like in other countries, and our political balance currently is anti-tax but it is also 'anti-entitlements' to things like healthcare. Meanwhile lowered taxes are accompanied by increases military budgets. Go figure, who is watching the hen house here?


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Bassat
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May 03, 2018 16:43 |  #13

Bassat wrote in post #18618877 (external link)
I've had heart surgery. I have failed a pulmonary function test, have a heart arrhythmia, high cholesterol, htn, and elevated FBS, and macular degeneration. Buying health insurance is not an option for me. Two companies have refused to sell to me, at any price. Forget life insurance.

I may as well add the information that makes this entire thing truly absurd.

I spent 9 years in the US Army. VA told me I was not entitled to healthcare benefits, because I make too much money. Full disclosure: between a Federal retirement, investment income, and a full-time (second career) job, I make about $90,000. I guess I tried too hard.

The US Army brought me up right. I still exercise (weight-lift/aerobics) several times a week. I also walk my dog regularly. I quit smoking 32+ years ago. I get regular checkups and bloodwork because of my cardiac history. I try, holy crap do I try, but I stay about 30 lbs above ideal weight (6'0" & 235#). Big, not morbidly obese. I can still stay on my feet and run the hospital halls for a 12-hour shift; keeping up with the 20-something co-workers.

I have health problems. I am not unhealthy.

Yet EVERY GDMF day, I see 40 year-old, 350#+ people who can't wipe themselves, who can't get out of bed by themselves, even to use the toilet. They haven't worked in years (ever?), and I get to pay for their healthcare. Forty plus years into working for a living and I CAN'T buy insurance for myself, but I HAVE TO pay for theirs. That really smokes my goat.

Rant complete. I have to finish my after-work chores and squeeze my work out in, so I can stay healthy enough to pay someone else's bills.


Tom

  
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Hogloff
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May 03, 2018 18:08 |  #14

Bassat wrote in post #18618949 (external link)
I may as well add the information that makes this entire thing truly absurd.

I spent 9 years in the US Army. VA told me I was not entitled to healthcare benefits, because I make too much money. Full disclosure: between a Federal retirement, investment income, and a full-time (second career) job, I make about $90,000. I guess I tried too hard.

The US Army brought me up right. I still exercise (weight-lift/aerobics) several times a week. I also walk my dog regularly. I quit smoking 32+ years ago. I get regular checkups and bloodwork because of my cardiac history. I try, holy crap do I try, but I stay about 30 lbs above ideal weight (6'0" & 235#). Big, not morbidly obese. I can still stay on my feet and run the hospital halls for a 12-hour shift; keeping up with the 20-something co-workers.

I have health problems. I am not unhealthy.

Yet EVERY GDMF day, I see 40 year-old, 350#+ people who can't wipe themselves, who can't get out of bed by themselves, even to use the toilet. They haven't worked in years (ever?), and I get to pay for their healthcare. Forty plus years into working for a living and I CAN'T buy insurance for myself, but I HAVE TO pay for theirs. That really smokes my goat.

Rant complete. I have to finish my after-work chores and squeeze my work out in, so I can stay healthy enough to pay someone else's bills.

Me I look at it differently. I’m happier than hell to pay someone else’s medical bills. Rather me getting taxed and able to fully function everyday rather than laying in some hospital in pain or unable to function.

I’d be the happiest person alive to never use all those tax dollars i’ve been putting into our health system. Glad someone less fortunate than me could use them.




  
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Bassat
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May 03, 2018 18:43 |  #15

Hogloff wrote in post #18618986 (external link)
Me I look at it differently. I’m happier than hell to pay someone else’s medical bills. Rather me getting taxed and able to fully function everyday rather than laying in some hospital in pain or unable to function.

I’d be the happiest person alive to never use all those tax dollars i’ve been putting into our health system. Glad someone less fortunate than me could use them.

Point taken. You are correct; I'm happy that I don't need much from the healthcare system. The part that bugs me so much is that someone can be repeatedly hospitalized, for the same thing, make NO effort to correct the situation, and I just keep getting the bill. If they have no desire to help themselves, why am I FORCED to keep helping them?

If one happens to be wealthy, health care is relatively (even in the US) inexpensive.
If one is less wealthy, health care becomes progressively more expensive, relatively.
If one is destitute, health care is provided at little or no cost. This is as it should be.

What bothers me is repeatedly providing the same care to individuals who have proven, repeatedly, that they have no desire to help themselves. If that individual doesn't give a hoot about helping themselves get better, why should I? Why do I have to pay for it?

I am getting dangerously close to taking this conversation down a political path. Forgive me if I don't continue.


Tom

  
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Starting photography business - health insurance for self employed
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