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health insurance & HSA & independent contractors

edited February 2009 in Random
hey all,
anyone out there an independent contractor and getting individual health insurance? i am not having a good time navigating this one. it seems as if aaron and i would be good healthy people on an hsa but i've never tried one. right now the bcbs individual plans we have are expensive, high deductible and i end up paying for all the care i receive anyway.

dull topic but any thoughts on the matter?

Comments

  • edited February 2009
    IMO it can't hurt to stick at least the amount of your deductible into one & keep it replenished if you pay out of it for care (I think up to $1K/year of replenishment is tax free).

    Obviously the best place to keep a medical emergency fund like that if you can afford it. That's why it exists.

    I'm presuming you want to augment your insurance plan(s), not drop them in favor of an HSA... that would not be a wise move.
  • no - we were looking into going straight hsa. we both don't need medical attention regularly now and we're lookin out for future baby births and how to pay for it. our broker does not advise much- it's a pain. talked to my dad's broker in Mass. and he could only help so much but thought hsa would be good for us 2 individuals.

    why you say NG HSA only, J?
  • edited February 2009
    Because you're exposing yourself to extraordinary amounts of risk.

    If you ever got into an accident, needed surgery or some unexpected procedure (pregnancy complications?) you could easily rack up six-figure expenses.

    Shit happens & it really doesn't take much. A friend of mine slipped on some ice walking down the sidewalk a few years ago. She broke her arm & needed surgery to fix it. I believe the bill ended up coming to over $30K. She didn't have insurance at the time, so that was all out of pocket.

    If you wanted to set up the HSA, then re-evaluate your insurance policy & move to a cheaper, higher-deductable plan, that might make sense – since you're young & relatively healthy you could hedge your annual costs a bit. But at a bare minimum you need to make sure you've got insurance that will cover you in the event of a catastrophe.

    Unexpected medical expenses are responsible for about half of personal bankruptcies filed in the US (or at least they were before this housing mess kicked in).
  • edited February 2009
    P.S. This is a useful site for determining your eligibility for individual plans from different providers, & comparing quotes/benefits:

    http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/
  • I don't have anything useful to add here, except to mention that I've deliberately kept up a proveable residential address (ie bank statements, not a real place) in England these last years, solely in anticipation of getting hurt or falling sick and being able to piss off over there for treatment. Kind of cynical, isn't it, but I'm terrified of medical costs here, even with employer insurance.
  • BCBS has a HSA plan that does cover emergencies, hospital stay, surgery etc. Very affordable too.
  • ya - i'm going to talk to tari's broker. justin what you say confuses me. the plan i'm looking at is HSA up to the high deductible amt which is $2300 or $3600, then between $3600 and $6K it's 80 me / 20 them, and there's a max out of pocket of $6k. i think that covers hospital and major things happening. and it lines out as the same coverage i have now with a ppo high deductible except that my premiums right now are pissin in the wind - where as the HSA will bank my premiums.

    i almost understand this now. sheesh i hate insurance. obama hurry up.
  • edited February 2009
    That's pretty much what I was saying, innit?

    Long story short: Since you guys don't typically have regular/high medical expenses you'll probably end up ahead with that type of plan vs. your current one.

    Just make sure that whatever you do includes some level of catastrophic insurance so your life doesn't get totally ruined if something unexpected comes up.
  • what's an IMO?
  • edited February 2009
    "Insane Middle-Eastern Ostrich"
  • edited February 2009
    Sorry, IMO is nerdspeak for "In My Opinion"
  • http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1883149,00.html

    Well worth reading.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/opinion/09baker.html?_r=1&ref=opinion
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