OT - Health Insurance

Does anyone know of a website that reviews health insurance plans? Our monthly payments are getting out of control on our fixed income! It looks like it’s going to cost us nearly $800 a month in 2007. :shock: We have a PPO, but are looking into other options including HMOs again. :pout:

Our choices are the PPO plan we have now through CalPers, or Kaiser or Blue Shield.

{rant}Ugh. I hate this! I hate that the insurance companies are making millions off the little people like us who can barely afford insurance anymore! :grrr: {/rant}

Try http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/

Thanks, but I tried that one and they compare plans, but not review. I did find another site through the CalPers site that his helping, but I thought I’d ask.

I’ve found the best advice is from someone who does the billing in the doctor’s office. I would just call and say, “Here are three plans I’m considering, which one is best?” They seem to have STRONG opinions about which insurance companies are the easiest to work with.

I know how ya feel, insurance for all of us would be at least $400 a month, so needless to say I don’t have any at all, and the kids have Medicaid.

Thanks guys… I think we need to talk to a CalPers person, too.

We went with a Health Savings Account and high deductible insurance. Basically, our health insurance has a $5000 deductible and after that everything is covered 100%. The HSA (health savings account) holds money for routine exams, etc. that come up until you hit your yearly deductible. The money you put in the HSA is tax free as long as you use it for health related things and is all your’s to do whatever you want with after you retire, kind of like an IRA but for health. We weren’t big into seeing the doctor and I only went for yearly paps/mammos, etc. and the rates we were paying for something we hardly ever used were horrible. We don’t have kids, can’t have kids yet we were paying for child health care (just about every plan makes you), drug dependency (not used), mental health (maybe should have been used :teehee: ). This plan helps us out if one of us gets real sick and saves alot of money. It’s not a good alternative for people who frequent the doctor alot or have kids that go alot.

Jan: I was with Kaiser for nearly 4 years and I can tell you that I’m glad I’m not anymore.

At the nursing I worked at we used to have Kaiser as a punchline, the “at least you’re not with Kaiser” bit to make you feel better about the bad things. I don’t know how they’re like in other states, but for me it was baaaaaad. In the 4 years I had them, I saw my actual asigned doctor only 3 times. Every single other doctor visit I had was handled with an alternate physician or a nurse practicioner.

Since they only will insure people if you live in one of their “chosen” states, they dropped me when I moved to SD, so now I’m out of health coverage.

Does anyone know about health plans in SD?

I have had Kaiser since 1998. I hate it. through my employer, it’s the only one I can afford, since I insure the whole family. I hate the wait times to see a specialist (2 months for most specialists). I hate how every 6 months or so everyone in my family gets letters saying “your Dr. left and your new Dr. is so-and-so.”, THEN, like HanAku said, we don’t ever get to see our assigned Dr.s when we have to go in.

the ONE good thing (besides the weekly premium being low) is I have had the same OB-GYN since 2002 and see her yearly.

I didn’t mention it before, but I’ve always been leery of Kaiser. I don’t like the fact that you have to go to special hospitals and go out of your way to get tests, etc. I’ve had an HMO before (Aetna) so I know what they are like, but if we have to go back to one I will most likely choose Blue Shield. I don’t know if I can stand not having my cardiologist, gynecologist, gastroenterologist, etc. I know I’m getting fabulous care even if it does cost me more. I’ll really have to think this one through. :pout: Thanks again for your input!

Jan, do you, or your husband belong to any large clubs, trade groups or national organizations? Many times these groups has access to reduced cost health insurance plans, aka group rates. If you have any pre-existing conditions this would be your best chance at buying insurance with premiums you can better afford. In our case, my DH and I could never afford to buy private health insurance, if we could manage to find a company that would even offer us any coverage.

I also have a HSA (health savings account) and a high deductible PPO. My school went to a similar system where everyone in the school is on High Deductible PPO and then the school pays the deductible. Even if every member of the staff uses every bit of the deductible, it still costs the school less than a traditional plan. Everyone was sold down the river when they herded us into managed health care saying that it would save the system and make healthcare more affordable. Well I say, “managed care, what have you done for us lately?”

Just a little aside… Massachusetts residents are now mandated by law to have insurance! The state is supposedly going to subsidize the cost for those who make under a certain amount. Of course who knows what the amount is because they passed the law before setting the terms.

I can’t imagine how many people will be struggling because of this.