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Possible alternative to HSA?

August 30th, 2008 at 08:38 pm

As I have mentioned in the last month I am not happy with the insurance options that are available to me in NJ. I did set everything up to switch from an HMO to an HSA starting September 1, but my husband got some information in the mail today that may change everything (again).

My husband is currently a FT college student and we just received a pamphlet on the "student health insurance" that is offered through his school. We are able to buy additional coverage for all 3 of us, and it would cost WAY LESS than the HSA, actually saving us about 9 months worth of premiums, and have the same $5,000 deductible. Right there I am sold. There are other perks to going with the student health insurance as well, such as the fact that we would continue to be enrolled in the state FamilyCare program which we would have to drop if we had the HSA. So we would continue to have a "backup insurance" so to speak which makes me feel even better about the student health insurance option.

There are a few questions we have to ask about the student insurance before jumping into anything, but if they answer those adequately it looks like our financial picture will be a lot brighter than I expected in the next year. *whew*

Plus, I will no longer have to worry about my boss not paying the premiums on time, or complaining about how expensive the health insurance is even though the premiums come out of my paycheck!!! That alone will be a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and bring a big smile to my face. Smile

*Keeping my fingers perpetually crossed until I talk to the student insurance people on Tuesday*

Save $$$ on Prescriptions-easy!

August 23rd, 2008 at 06:18 pm

I have been so bummed about going to the expensive HSA with the $5k deductible. I still am, but I have found a little relief.

I checked my professional association and found that they offer a Rx Discount card for no additional fee as long as you are a member in good standing (in other words, paid your dues for the year). I also stumbled upon the fact that BJ's Wholesale Club also offers a Rx Discount card for its' members. Go here to read more if you are a member of BJ's club: http://www.pharmafutures.net/bjs/rxdiscountcard.html

Both websites offer a Rx look-up service which tells me how much I should expect to save on the prescriptions our family needs. I just typed in the name of the medication, the number of pills per month and it spit back a real cost with the card.

Now for the really good news. It looks like the BJ's discount card will save us $25/month on my daughter's medication. It's not a fortune, but every bit helps as you all know.

So, moral of the story, check with your professional organizations and other affiliations you may have to see if they offer any "extra perks" with membership. It could really pay off! Smile

Would you go without Health insurance?

August 15th, 2008 at 09:43 pm

I was talking to my sister the other night, and she could not believe how much I was going to be paying for the new HSA ($600/month premiums but the DDS pays $100/month, so $500/month out of my pocket)...especially after I explained that with an HSA I pay all expenses out of pocket up to the first $5,000.

My husband, daughter and I are very healthy so we are basically paying for nothing. Seriously. I doubt very much we will come close to spending anywhere near $5,000 in the next year. My DD goes to the doc twice a year for check-ups, and my DH and I go maybe once or twice max. My DD does take prescription medicine, so I called the pharmacy and that will cost approx $40/month without a conventional prescription plan. If all of those trends hold we will probably spend under $2,000 over the next 12 months.

So, my sister says, why don't you just drop insurance altogether and save the $500/month in a savings account in case you get sick! If something catastrophic happens (G-d forbid) you can always get charity care. As a person who loves to save money it was like hearing the siren song calling me to throw myself on the rocky coast. For about a minute and a half I really considered it. And, if it were just my husband and I we would probably do just that, but with a child it seems too irresponsible.

What do you all think? Would you or have you gone without health insurance?

Health Insurance, the bane of my existence!

August 10th, 2008 at 07:18 pm

I am not going to rehash all the trouble I have had the past 9 months with health insurance and my job. If you need a sleep aid feel free to browse my previous posts on the subject. However, I will say that all of this !@#$ with medical insurance is getting really old.

My boss calls me on July 30 (my day off) and tells me that as of July 1 my insurance premiums are going up $300 more each month (to $1,100/month) and asking what I want to do. Seems she has not paid said premiums for July yet even though it is July 30. Nice. Well gee willikers, boss I guess I gotta pay it for July and August at the very least since you are giving me so very much notice to research other options. *No sarcasm here*

I am seriously fit to be tied. Every single time I come up with a little extra money to put toward debt freedom I am thwarted. Absolutely no exaggeration. It is beyond ridiculous at this point.

Anyway, I have talked to an insurance broker and have gotten quotes. The only option that is less expensive is an HMO HSA for $600/month. It will cover only in-network doctors/hospitals with no out-of-network coverage. The family deductible is $5,000 with a max out-of-pocket of $10,000/year. Guess what my $5,000 Emergency Fund is going to be called come September 1st?! *sigh*

I am tired of barely treading water. Someone needs to sue the pants off all the insurance companies so we can get back all those "profits" we pay them only to have them deny coverage of every little thing. *GGRRRRR*

Okay, rant off. Anyone with insight into HSA's please feel free to opine. Thanks!

Extremely Upset about job

January 17th, 2008 at 06:57 pm

Today was payday so I am adding $4.44 to my EF bringing the new EF total to $1,330.33.

In other news, I spoke to the boss about the medical insurance and she assured me that it will be in effect as expected. I also called the insurance company to check and all seems to be in place now. While this is great news, I am very upset right now because of another thing that was said in the same conversation with the boss. When I was hired, it was stated that they would pay 50% of my insurance for the family. Now they are saying they are going to pay 50% of just my portion and I will have to pay 100% of the family portion. Frown I don't even know how much it will be yet as the boss said the bill was not clear so she has to call and talk to them again. I won't find out until I am paid in 2 weeks and there is some mystery amount withheld from my paycheck!

I am really feeling like I have been taken advantage of which sucks because I actually like my job, my coworkers, etc, and I did not speak up today like I probably should have (okay definitely should have). The problem is that I was told "X" when interviewed and offered the position and now it seems that almost every detail has been changed!!! Of course, this is my first job in the field, I am just starting to feel comfortable with my job and I don't want to have to go through looking for another position so soon! I am not even telling my husband because he would completely flip out and want me to quit this job and find another. *sigh* I guess I am feeling like at least this is the devil I know. Plus I really just need to work so we can have a healthy EF and get out of debt, especially with all this talk of recession/depression.

Any insights?

Will we have Health Insurance next month?

January 7th, 2008 at 10:05 am

That is the question I am trying not to stress about at the moment. Here is the story (in case anyone is actually reading this)...I graduated (May07), passed my board exams(Aug07) and my license to practice dental hygiene finally arrived (Oct07). I interviewed for about 5-6 dental offices before I found what I felt was the right place for me and started right after I received my license. I actually took a lower wage due to other benefits offered here. There were a few reasons I chose the office I currently work in but one of the biggest was that I was offered medical insurance for myself and my family with 50% paid by the doctor, and he would waive the 90 day waiting period.

So why am I worrying about medical insurance 3 months later you ask? Funny story (okay, not really) but turns out that the DDS did not have the authority to waive the 90 day wait. I found that out a few weeks into the job. Okay, I understand. It was an honest mistake and I feel her intentions were good. We'll just wait for January when the 90 day wait is complete.

Fast-forward to January 2. I call the insurance company to request another card for my DD (I like to have 2 for her so both I and my DH can have one on us at all times). The insurance company tells me that they cannot pull up my information because "the start date and the termination date of your policy are the same day". I try to delve into it a little more but they will not divulge any information to me - I will have to get the DDS to call them. Easier said than done as the DDS is busy trying to treat patients as well as run a business. Anyway, I spoke to the DDS and she is supposed to call the insurance company. Tells me she did not get around to it last week so will call and let me know this week.

Upon further thought, I realize that I am the only employee using the plan. Guess what? A small business health plan must have at least 2 employees!!! I have a real bad feeling about this. Hoping for the best of course, but my DH is planning for me having to look for another job. Frown