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I thought the kids Medicare might carry over for a few months while I got settled in at the new job and decided on new health insurance, but because we moved states it will only cover emergency room visits. I could apply to move it to GA but with my new job and income, I no longer need too. Yippeee!!!

I am keeping it for emergencies while I get everything settled, but now I have to figure out what to do. Here are my options as I see them:

  • Sign up under my corporate sponsored healthcare at about $700 per month with a $40 co pay and $6000 deductible for in-network. It would not take affect until May 1.
  • Evaluate plans under Obamacare’s website if that is still a thing.
  • Sign up for Samaritans Ministries or something similar. From a quick query, this would run me about $320 a month for all 4 of us.

I know health insurance talks can be like beating a dead horse, but I certainly want to hear what the BAD community has to share about these options.

I have already opted to go with the corporately sponsored vision and dental options.  The costs are nominal, coverage decent and with three of us wearing glasses, we will definitely take advantage of it.  (Back in VA, we went to a dental school for our dental coverage, but living in the boondocks now, that is not a convenient option.)

By the way, second day at the new job complete.  It’s going great. I have my own office, my boss took me to lunch today and my co-workers are all really nice. I’m getting up at 5am and spending an hour at the gym before getting in a couple of hours at my contract jobs then I show up to work a little after 8am.  I’m hoping that by doing this I keep my nights and weekends as free as possible to spend time with the kids. Oh, and I’m down TWO pant sizes as I found out when I went to buy new jeans tonight.  Woot, woot!


  • Reply Ben H. |

    My thoughts on insurance in general is that you should not overbuy for costs that you can reasonably afford to pay out of pocket. You should buy sufficient coverage to handle most catastrophic events. You should set your deductible/out of pocket expenses to be as high as your emergency fund can handle.

    With those general rules I would be very careful about coverage from Samaritans Ministries or something similar. It does sounds tempting as it is significantly cheaper than traditional coverage, but it caps out at $250,000, which in my opionon is a large risk. It’s a low probability event, but if you had a major healthcare cost (large accident or major surgery) $250,000 will likely not cover the full cost and you could be left with a huge medical bill.

  • Reply Maureen |

    IMHO I think, at least until the healthcare situation on capital hill is straightened out, if you can swing the company plan, I would vote for that. You can reevaluate next enrollment period if better options present themselves. This way you know you are covered and exactly what it entails each month. If will come directly out of your paycheck, so we normally don’t even think about that money we don’t see. This is a bonus for budgeting!

  • Reply KS |

    With unknown but expected changes to *ACA*, I would wait it out.

    If emergency visits are covered, is it worth paying almost $12,000 ($5,600 in premiums + $6,000 deductible)?

    Prior to ACA, I was in a short term position and decided to forego insurance. I did have a bill during that time that was about $2,700 but that was nothing compared to what I would have paid – $500/mo premium and $5,000 deductible. So it was worth the gamble. With the emergency care for the kids, it’s even less of a gamble. (Assuming no one has chronic illnesses that needs constant monitoring).

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      The $6000 deductible on the company plan makes me think it’s a high deductible plan, and if so you’d be eligible to have a Health Savings Account. An HSA is a good long-term deal IF you can afford the deductible and be able to make contributions to the HSA. Unlike FSAs, the HSA balance rolls over and you do not have to spend the HSA money. As a result you can build up the balance tax free and use it for large medical bills, e.g., a root canal or an operation.

      There’s a limit on what you can contribute tax free. I think for a family it’s $6000, but I’m not entirely certain. Some companies will take the contribution pre-tax from your paycheck. Other companies will put some money in the HSA for you – that is what my company does. They don’t put in a lot, but it’s still free money.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      Arg. The post above was meant to be a separate post, not a reply to KS.

      Any, THIS post is the reply to KS 😉

      I think whether the full insurance is worth it vs. the ER only insurance might depend on if everyone has already had their annual check up, if there are any regular prescriptions, etc. Maybe the ER only insurance does cover preventive care, however.

  • Reply Angie |

    I’ve heard good things about the ministry sharing type things. But I think the major drawback is that the costs can be unpredictable. I believe they bill you based on the aggregate of other customers bills for that month or quarter. I think that receiving random bills of unpredictable amounts would be very stressful in your current situation.

    Check both ACA plans and your work plans and compare which is the best deal. Be sure to consider the deductible!

  • Reply Juhli |

    I’m confused. I always thought you couldn’t pick ACA if you had a corporate plan available? I’m sure any of your options will be good for your family though.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      No, you can. You just opt out of your employer plan. However, it isn’t necessarily the best deal, but that probably varies by area and employer. In Metro Boston my employer plan is much more affordable than a plan from the ACA martketplace. However, I work for a large corporation so the large employee pool helps keep costs down.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    From my (limited) understanding, you can purchase a plan through the exchanges, but you probably won’t be eligible for a subsidy if you have a workplace-sponsored plan available to you.

    Is the paperwork for transferring the Medicare horribly onerous? It’s a month and a half until May 1, and it would be pretty rotten if some accident required more than just an ER visit.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      Oh, I didn’t know about the subsidy not applying if you could use an employer plan. I do know there’s an income cutoff for receiving the subsidy.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,
    Well done. Glad you found a company that fits you so we’ll.
    And also congratulations on dedicating time to go to the gym. It’s always good to invest in your health.
    Keep up the good work

So, what do you think ?