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I don't have health insurance (I'm self employed) and it drives me nuts - help

I always thought I was the anamoly until today when I read that 46 million americans don't have health insurance. I think this is like 1/5 of our entire population in America. One out of 5. It makes me angry because here I am, taking charge of my own health, I should be rewarded with not having to worry about a catastrophe. There should be a company that offers insurance for people like me, who take an active role in prevention. It would cost me about $500 dollars a month, and that doesn't even cover routine visits, that's only if something terrible happened, like a crazy accident. It's infuriating. Thanks for letting me vent.

Thu. Jul 6, 2:51pm

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i hear you!! i am staying in a postion i absolutely hate in order to keep my health benefits. it's a shame!! but, i write to my congressman almost every month to explain the hardships my friends go through-the ones without insurance-and hopefully, by educating the representatives, we will eventually change things for the better!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006, 2:55 PM

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careful with that number - the government counts medicaid as "uninsured" in those counts, even though their co-pay for visits is $2. i don't know what the true number of uninsured really is. and do you know why insurance is so expensive? ERs are required to treat anyone who walks in, no matter what their ability is to pay. (this is not a complaint - i think it is good but not well known. a lot of people don't realize this and think that hospitals are just out to make money). but insurance is so expensive because when 1/5 people in the ER can't pay, the ER has to bill extra for the people who can pay. it almost sounds better to not have insurance and make someone else pay, unfortunately.

best of luck to both of you with your insurance. what a huge, obnoxious hassle.

Thursday, July 06, 2006, 6:22 PM

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Hey, I'm self-employed too but I have decent coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield for everything but prescriptions. I got it through a broker (can't seem to get BCBS individually), who enrolled me as a member of some kind of business owners' union - kinda like a back door. You can also join societies and stuff that offer coverage to their members (I just couldn't find one that had a good deal, but I didn't know where to look!). My coverage is $360/month and I'm in NYC. Also check out for an even better deal, like $220 a month. I keep meaning to get my paperwork together and switch to that one...

Thursday, July 06, 2006, 10:10 PM

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HSA - Health Savings Accounts earning 4% interest

On December 16, 2003, President Bush signed into law Health Savings Accounts. They are different than FSA through employers.

HSAs are made directly for small business owners who have good health.

For example, mine is now through Golden Rule. My payment in my mid-40s is $100 per month. Plus every quarter I put in my deductible -- or $2,750 into my HSA. This money is mine. I know have over $11,000 in the account. I can use it for medical issues and deductibles. I have a MasterCard, that is linked directly to this account so when I am at the MDs I can swipe the card and pay, I can swipe the card at pharmacies or Wal-Mart and the appropriate deductions are made.

This $2,750 is deductible from your tax liability like money put into your 401K so, if you make $50,000 and your 401K contribution is $9,000 and your HSA deduction is $2,750 your actual tax liability is $38,250.

Now, the money can only be used for medical stuff, but if you do not use it, it just adds up and it earns 4% interest right now as a savings account.

You have to have a high deductible, and whatever your deductible is -- is what you can put into your HSA so if your deductible is $1,000 then you can only put in $1,000 per year.

But, I am quite healthy and rather than pay the insurance company $300 or more a month for something I don't use and get no benefits from, I switched to an HSA -- the money is MINE, it earns interest, and when I am healthy it just keeps adding up.

Obviously, I've had mine for years -- and YES it does work. Before the card thing, I would get a check once a quarter if my bills were less than $100, but as soon as my bills added up to $100 even if it was the first week of the quarter, I received a check. So while I paid then for my medicine for a bad ear infection -- I got the money back in two weeks.

THey are accepted at almost all MDs offices and in fact to my shock have been accepted at all the little country medical clinics as I am now living in the country working on my dissertation in all 4 surrounding towns without even a cough or a guffaw. So ... I KNOW it works.

I especially like the fact that I keep 2/3s of my money since I am healthy rather than losing all of it.

Check out HSAs or Golden Rule HSAs -- even as an individual, it is cheaper than many association plans.

Friday, July 07, 2006, 9:35 AM

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HSAs -- are ONLY available to self-employed

HSAa -- are ONLY available to those who are self-employed. NOT all who are self-employed are healthy.

HSAs are NOT available to people in Fortune 1000s who have insurance. They still have to pay $300 per month out of their paycheck.

Saturday, July 08, 2006, 11:32 AM

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Besides other options mentioned, a number of HMOs will take individual enrollments if you pass a physical and have a good enough medical history and risk profile. Often this qualifying physical is free - but you are not entitled to receive the results if it is free. They will just tell you whether or not they will accept your enrollment.

Saturday, July 08, 2006, 8:27 PM

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I'm self-employed and went through a huge shock, with having health insurance that covered EVERYTHING (and even had a private hospital near where I was living at the time with an outpatient center) to having nothing. I live in CA and was able to find a Blue Sheild plan for approx $88 a month. It's not cheap if you have to go to the hospital, but there's no deductible, and my co-pays are $35 and generic drugs are $10. There's also a yearly maximum around $7,000, which a good friend of mine (a NICU nurse) pointed out that if something serious happens to me, $7,000 is a small price to pay. I don't know how available this is in other states and to what ages, etc. (my particular plan doesn't cover maternity, which is not something I need right now), but take a look.

OP, I hope you find something.

Looking for health insurance really opened my eyes to the health insurance crisis our country is in...

Saturday, July 08, 2006, 11:16 PM

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affordable healtcare benefits

I work for AmeriPlan USA a 15 year old discount health benefits company out of Dallas, TX. We offer medical and dental packages to the uninsured. All preexisting conditions are accepted as well. We have very reasonable rates as well. Our Dental packages, which includes dental, vision, prescription and chiropractic care is $11.95 a month for an individual and $19.95 a month for a household up to 20 people. Our medical package includes medical, dental, vision, priscrition, chiropractic, ancillary services and mental health services. This runs $49.95 a month for an individual and $59.95 a month for a household up to 20 people. There is also a 30-day money back guarantee. If anyone would like some more information or has a question feel free to contact me. or click the link below to visit my website.


Thursday, June 14, 2007, 5:53 AM

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Michael Moore's newest movie called "Sicko" i s coming out at the end of the month (6/07) and it is about this whole insurance and health care crisis in the US. I may actually go see this movie in the theatres instead of waiting for it to come out on DVD.

Used to work in the healthcare industry..and yeah insurance is a great idea...but PRIVATE insurance has to make a profit for the stock holders so there is a problem in original design here. We all end up paying.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 9:05 AM

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I am 24 and have had an eye disease since I was 21. I quit my job as a social worker at a shelter to take on a contract (self-employeed). I am completely healthy, active, non-smoker, etc. I applied for individual insurance and was COMPLETELY denied. I was expecting like an eye exclusion in coverage or something. But no, I was considered uninsurable. They said they didn't know what this eye disease was related to, so it wasn't covered. Very scary for me. I paid for COBRA as long as I could, and ended up moving in with my fiance to get his domestic partner benefits. Very sad when people can't get insured.

Thursday, June 14, 2007, 11:51 AM

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