POLL: Do You Have Health Insurance?

Health care reform has been one of the biggest hot-button topic for quite some time and it looks to only get hotter as both sides make their arguments on the White House’s plan for national health care. Leaving the pros and cons of the plan to the side for the moment, we just want to know how our readers are fixed for health insurance.

Are you one of the lucky ones whose employer foots the entire bill for your insurance? Or maybe you’ve recently lost your job and you’re paying for coverage through a COBRA plan. Perhaps you’re on the Medicaid or Medicare rolls. And maybe you just don’t have insurance at all.

Go ahead and let us know in the poll below, and then vent away in the comments.


Edit Your Comment

  1. clownsRcreepy says:

    My employer pays for a policy, but I’m actually buying another policy out-of-pocket right now because of all the gaps in my employer’s policy.

    I have type 1 diabetes and it’s damn expensive.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      right? i was just looking at reordering my insulin [one of 6 prescriptions for my diabetes] and the coverage page says:
      90 day supply plan pays $736.06 you pay $30.00

      i happen to have excellent coverage right now but i’ve been on some insurance plans in the past [before my diabetes onset] that would have covered about 40% of my meds, leaving me with large bills.
      and the insulin is the CHEAPEST prescription i take

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Diabetics get screwed. My mom has type 2 and is on insulin and it’s monstrous. :-( I’m sorry.

        The other day I was at CVS getting her meds for her…she needed *everything*…came to hundreds of dollars for syringes and insulin and 4-5 different pills…I was going cross-eyed.

        • the_wiggle says:

          ain’t that the truth. ahccs & va don’t even begin to cover everything either for those folks between jobs or who happen to be vets.

    • spamtasticus says:

      For the record, all “employer backed” insurance payments are factored in when the employer decides how much money to offer an employee as a salary. In other words, no matter who is signing the check to the insurance company, you or your employer; or where the line item appears, your paycheck or the employer’s bottom line, you are the one that ultimately pays for the insurance. Period.

  2. Robofish says:

    I voted “Yes, and it’s at least partially paid by my employer/union ” I should mention however that our plans get crappier each year, as our deductible keeps going up. But I should probably just be grateful that we have it.

    • RyGuy1152 says:

      The same thing is happening at my employer. Our new plan for this year not only has higher monthly premiums, but has lower coverage and we now have to pay 10% co-insurance. So in effect I’m paying more for less coverage.

      Where’s health reform when you need it?

      • Robofish says:

        Seriously. We started with a good plan, but then the plan got worse and now the reps from our health company aren’t even coming here. They hired a 3rd party company that designs health plans to show up and give their speeches about them. Our PPO used to be great, but we’ve all sort of been forced into an HSA type plan since the PPO is just way to pricey for any of us at this point. Though the HSA does have some upside in that the company puts money in it for us and we are able to use it just about anywhere.

      • Jevia says:

        Yup, same situation here. At least its quite a bit cheaper than my last job, and the coverage is only slightly less. Mostly higher co-pays, so if I don’t end up in the hospital or need surgery, then I’ll save money.

        I do have to pay full price to cover my husband and kids. My husband’s employer provides insurance, but he’d have to pay for it himself fully out of pocket and my company’s policy is less expensive for roughly the same coverage.

    • redskull says:

      Same boat here. The only plan I can afford right now has a $2000 deductible. I haven’t spent $2000 at the doctor in the past ten years. Maybe longer. So barring a catastrophic disease or accident, it’s like not having insurance at all.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        We have a high-deductible plan, by choice, but I really think that if we just saved the premiums (and the employer gave us their part of the premiums), we could pay for just about anything but something super-catastrophic. I did the math for last year when I had a C-section (and was the most expensive person on my husband’s small employer’s plan, as far as I could tell), and we (us + employer) still paid considerably more in premiums than the insurer paid out in benefits for me and the baby together. And that’s on the high-deductible, low-premium plan! I guess I thought major abdominal surgery + 4 days in the hospital + baby’s 4 days in the hospital + all the new baby stuff would count as “really expensive” and for once I’d actually be making money off the insurance company.

        I’m not sure whether I should be appalled at the insurer overcharging, or appalled at what that must mean their “average” payout is! (I suppose I should look at their profit margins to figure that out.)

      • Anonymously says:

        When you have insurance, you only pay a fraction of the “retail price”. If you didn’t have insurance, your bills would be a lot higher.

        A purely made up example: The doctor says Procedure X costs $100. The “allotted charge” is $35. My copay is $30, so the insurance only pays $5 instead of $70.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          “Retail Price” is high in part due to the ridiculously low-ball “contracted rates”, some of which are below cost.

          • Anonymously says:

            Good point. I just wish there was a single price for a procedure, regardless of whether you had insurance or not.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Heh, let’s compare deductibles!

        This year my deductible is $3000. I get $400 in HSA funds. Kinda reminds me of the “throw the money up in the air, what God wants, He keeps” joke.

    • paul says:

      I think that’s how they all work. Every year we are either switching plans/companies (and switching doctors/dentists), paying more for the same thing or paying the same and getting less.

      Just like cable companies, phone companies, etc…. they try to lure you in and then jack up the rates and hope switching is too much of a hassle for you and that you’ll just give up and eat the cost increase instead.

    • Mecharine says:

      Same problem here. We just changed this past year, and now some of the things I need only get covered 80% and now I have to pay full price for lab-work not done in the office or by a sanctioned company.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i found out the other week that if it’s labcorp, for some tests if you pay up front out of pocket they only charge you 50% if your plan doesn’t cover it.

    • mythago says:

      Seriously. One of the main reasons I quit my last job is that health insurance kept going up – premiums doubled in four years. When I pointed out to management that I was effectively taking a pay cut every year, their response was essentially ‘gee, that must suck for you.’

  3. elleeldritch says:

    I don’t have any insurance. When I go to a different college in the fall, I might look into getting what they advertise.

    • iggy21 says:

      I could be wrong, but if you were enrolled as a full-time student during the spring,you have their insurance through the summer. (at least most of them do it that way, i thought).

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        It’s not free, though. You have to pay for it.

        • iggy21 says:

          You might be right, i cant remember. I do think, however, that full-time students were automatically enrolled.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            I think most colleges require health insurance, whether it is via your parents or guardians or through the college itself. Either way, it pays to look up the information because it’s an absolute necessity.

      • elleeldritch says:

        Right now I’m at a community college and it is not offered. I’m transferring to a 4yr university and yes, there is insurance available but like pecan said, I have to pay extra for it. It is not included in my tuition (sigh).

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Get health insurance. It’s absolutely necessary, even when you’re young. When I was in college, it occurred to me that I was surrounded by thousands of people whose hygiene may or may not be the best. Illnesses like mono spread like wildfire on college campuses; you want to be prepared.

    • Anonymously says:

      The insurance offered by your university is probably crap. One I’m familiar with has a $250 limit on prescription drugs, which is basically worthless. Read the fine print.

      • AnthonyC says:

        It might be crap, but some are quite good. Yes, read the fine print, and realize that quality varies wildly from school to school.

        My soon-to-be school’s basic plan has a $500 deductible, then 80% coverage, with maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $3000 per year. The “enhanced” plan costs 3 times as, but with 100% coverage after you meet the deductible.

        The school my sister works at offers absolutely horrendous coverage (to students, not staff); it covers almost nothing and costs a ridiculous amount.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      once you HAVE insurance, do whatever you can to keep it because if something really bad happens [accident, chronic health condition] then “proof of continuous coverage” is your best friend.
      i suspect that even after healthcare reform, and while it’s getting all the bugs worked out, that will continue to be true.
      i say this as someone who talks to the chronically ill for a living so i hear this so many times a day from the uninsurable: “if only i hadn’t let my COBRA lapse” or “i should have gotten my private plan started before my student plan ran out, now i have a coverage gap that means they won’t pay for my medication”

      • creativecstasy says:

        Can you elaborate on this? I thought the only problem with a gap is, well, I have no coverage.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          sometimes if you can prove ‘continuous coverage’ [no lapse in coverage larger than 63 days] you can get a new insurer to cover a pre existing condition.
          but without it, you can [currently under today’s laws] be uninsurable with a pre existing condition or you may get partial coverage – coverage for anything new but no coverage for conditions you had before your policy started. or a waiting period [90 days to a year] before coverage for a pre existing condition kicks in.
          say you have a bad back with a disc problem. if you have no coverage and go into a new plan you may not be able to get back pain meds, chiropractic, osteopathic, MRI on the disc or even a lumber support cushion covered for your back. sometimes even if something new happens to that back, like a second slipped disc or a fall which aggravates the back pain – it too will be excluded based on your back problem being a pre existing condition.
          but if you had insurance when the disc went, and you changed plans to a new one with no lapse in coverage, the new insurer may permit coverage for your back problems based on the fact that someone else covered it before.
          i don’t work in insurance, i work for people who are trying to get their medication [made by my employer] covered by their insurer. so i see a lot of it at work over different states, different plans and different types of plans from private to military to medicaid/medicare.
          rule #1 for us is if a person is about to lose coverage, see if they can get COBRA [continuation of coverage] or get into a state’s high risk pool [if there is one] until they can get back into a normal insurance plan or qualify for medicaid or medicare. if they lose coverage completely, they may never get it again until they turn 65 and get medicare automatically.
          but this is for people who are already all chronically ill so i run into pre existing condition clauses several times a day

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            gah! “lumbar support cushion” not lumbEr

          • creativecstasy says:

            So, I’m basically screwed for the rest of my life, because I’ve been without insurance since April? Will Obama’s plan do anything about this?

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              i don’t know yet what that plan will do. i think it has to be ‘set in stone’ and start to be put in practice before we know for certain what all the loopholes will look like. there’s not a private insurance company that i know of that won’t do everything they can to cut costs.
              ideally, they wouldn’t be able to block pre existing conditions but i don’t think we have a guarantee yet.
              if you are in good health and uninsured, try to get coverage before you get sick. if you are not in good health and uninsured…. WHEN in april is the big question… has it been more than 63 days?

  4. joshua70448 says:

    My employer pays for my entire insurance premium, and half of my wife’s (and any future dependents). Also, they match 1-for-1 all of the contributions I make to my HSA.

    • AuntieMaim says:

      Nice! I should check if my husband’s employer matches HSA — money for nothing!

      • joshua70448 says:

        Yeah, the matching is a big reason why we’re maxing out our 2010 contributions. It’s $256 a month from my paychecks, but I’m doubling that money without getting hit for income tax (that, and it’s nice not having to worry about paying for medical bills out of my normal bank accounts).

    • nbs2 says:

      Where do you work? Outside of the military and some of the IT companies in CA that have extended the go-go 90s a decade into the next century, I can’t think of anybody that generous. We get pretty good benefits from the missus’s employer, especially in comparison to the pretty nasty offerings from , where I work.

      • joshua70448 says:

        I work at a small software consulting firm in College Station, TX. They also match my IRA contributions 1-for-1 up to 3% of my income :-D

      • xipander says:

        Mine does as well. I work for a IT company in Atlanta though, :)

  5. wackydan says:

    It would be interesting to see age and income level with the results.

    ie; We would probably see a younger demographic that are the ones without, etc…

    It would be interesting to see how it broke down.

    • Drew5764 says:

      I’d not be surprised to see that there’s a bevy of younger people who have awesome insurance, at relatively cheap rates. I’d reckon they’re less likely to incur costs, and the costs that they do incur are likely to be cheaper.

    • badachie says:

      I’m 25 and have fantastic, cheap health insurance. But going without is not really an option for as I have a chronic health condition. I’ve never considered myself to be one of those “invincibles.”

  6. cash_da_pibble says:

    I haven’t had insurance since I left College and my Parental Umbrella.
    That’s… 6 years.
    I do use Planned Parenthood for certain necessities.

    • redskull says:

      If it’s not too personal, what would you do if you got REALLY sick? Like some long term, expensive to treat illness?

      I’m not judging, I’m just honestly curious how non-insured people handle or plan to handle such things.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        You know, it doesn’t take a chronic or long illness – what if you break your arm or leg? What if you can’t get to a hospital and have to call an ambulance? Someone has to pay for that.

        • partofme says:

          Isn’t that what fake names and the tax-paying public are for? /criminal thoughts

        • Etoiles says:

          And that would be how come I had massive credit card debt for several years: because I was trying to pay $300 a month in student loans and $400 a month in bills (rent, utilities) on $5.50 an hour in income. (And that was AFTER I deferred all of the loans that could be deferred.) So when I ended up covering my dominant hand in boiling olive oil and having to go to the ER, that $2500 went to Mr. Mastercard.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            I feel you on the prescription thing. I had over $600 a month in medication that my insurance refused to cover, all the while being unable to work and having two hospitals hounding me for money the tune of $100,000. I didn’t even qualify for state disability b/c my two issues (and my child’s stay in the NICU) were severe, but not long enough for disability.

        • evnmorlo says:

          Eh, you just set the bone yourself.

      • chancyrendezvous says:

        As someone in cash’s shoes, I make regular deposits into my savings account and hope for the best. It’s really all I can do.

      • cash_da_pibble says:

        I’m really careful?

        I fully expect that if something dire were to happen to me, I would have to incur massive bills and eternal debt. It’s the world I live in.
        I have some savings, but not enough to say, treat Cancer.
        Hell, as far as I know, I COULD HAVE CANCER.

      • LunaMakesThings says:

        I’m in the same boat, no insurance, go to community health clinics and buy generic meds. I am lucky I’m healthy, and if that changes . . . well, as far as I know, and correct me if I’m wrong, public hospitals treat you and then bill you afterward right? My “plan” in this case is, “Hey Mr. or Ms. Hospital Billing Department Person, I have no health insurance, and after all my fixed expenses every month I have this much left over that I can pay you, so can we work something out?” I mean, the reality is what it is, and if my credit gets permanently screwed, it gets screwed. I’ll manage. I’ve never been wealthy, or heck even financially secure, and I don’t really see that being in my future, but it’s ok. Everyone has their own challenges to struggle with in life, and I feel blessed that mine are only financial.

  7. AuntieMaim says:

    … and my current insurance doesn’t cover prescriptions, which cost me about $2500 last year, even with the drug companies’ low-income discount programs and my awesome doctor slipping me several months’ worth of free samples at a time for the most expensive one.

    We’re switching me over to my husband’s company plan in August — prescription coverage and dental, woo hoo! Premium is a little higher, but the prescription savings will more than make up for it. We should save about $1500 a year.

  8. Alter_ego says:

    They’re sort of missing an option. I’m the dependent of someone with employer insurance. But my job doesn’t provide it, so once I’ll be old enough to not be a dependent (I’m 20), unless I manage to get a better job, I won’t have insurance.

    • heart.shaped.rock says:

      The new health care reform plan says dependents must be covered to age 26. Some plans are jumping on board with that right now, but the rules say that they don’t have to allow it until the beginning of the first plan year following Sept. 2010. (For us, that’s 4/1/11). Check with your ‘rents insurance company and see if they’re starting now or later. If they’re going to wait, you can jump back on the plan at the beginning of their plan year.

    • PunditGuy says:

      Under the new health care reform legislation, you’ve got six years to get a job with benefits. You can be covered under your parents’ plan until you’re 26 or eligible to be in your own plan, whichever comes first.

    • abberz3589 says:

      I’m in the same boat, but thank goodness they just passed that law saying we can stay on our parents’ until we’re 26. My mom’s insurance isn’t that great, but at least it pays for stuff and doesn’t yell at us when we’re sick. I don’t understand how anyone thinks that a person right out of college can pay for that. I would have been SOL if I had had to look for insurance on my own, I’ve had kidney problems since I was a kid that’ve put me in the hospital four times.
      Plus, I’ve heard they’ll deny young people for not being in perfect shape.

  9. cookie says:

    There is no such thing as an employer who “foots the entire bill for your insurance”. Also, there is no such thing as an employer who partially pays your insurance!

    Whatever amount your employer “pays” for insurance is actually money that is taken out of your pocket in the first place. For example, let’s say I get a $1000 net monthly paycheck, and I pay $50 per month for insurance, and my employer “pays” $50 for my insurance too. Where does the employer get that $50 to pay for my insurance? From my paycheck! Instead of playing games with my earned money, let’s identify it for what it really is. I should get a $1050 paycheck, but my employer reduces it by $50 beforehand and takes it to pay for the insurance.

    It’s all a sleight-of-hand, an accounting trick to make you feel better about paying for insurance. Wake up, people.

    • heart.shaped.rock says:

      Then take that $50 per month into the insurance market and see what kind of coverage you can get as an individual. BTW, I know you probably just used $50 per month to throw out a round number, but if you could see the employer’s monthly premium billing and compare that to the actual payroll deductions, you’d see that the employer pays alot more than you do. Plus, you wouldn’t have the level of coverage at such a low price without your employer providing that benefit. Plus, the bigger the group, the lower the premiums.

      • cookie says:

        Yes, you might get a group discount via your employer, but that doesn’t change the bottom line & the main subject of the matter … that is, whatever your employer pays is actually what YOU (and I) pay.

      • Rachacha says:

        Exactly, I used to work for a relatively small company (100 employees) and when my second child was born, I moved from “Employee + Dependent” to “Employee + Family” and was weighing the costs and coverage to determine if I should add my wife to my insurance as she had coverage with her employer.

        My HR manager shared the costs to the employer with me. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but it went something like this:

        Employee Only: Total Cost $6000/year, Employee pays $25/pay ($650/year)
        Employee + Spouse: Total Cost $9,000/year, Employee pays $35/pay ($910/year)
        Employee + Child: Total Cost $9,000/year Employee pays $35/pay ($910/year)
        Employee + Family Total Cost $12,000/year, Employee pays $50/pay ($1300/year)

        When many people wanted to have some form of dental coverage, the employer actually found it cheaper to establish a reimbursement program where they would reimburse any dental costs up to $5000/year rather than establishing a formal insurance program at the same cost. The employees were rather young, so the $5000 covered normal annual cleaning and the occasional filling extra dental work.

    • FatLynn says:

      Also, if you are single, you are likely paying a disproportionate amount of the premiums, as compared to people with large families. I have worked for three Fortune 500 companies, and all charged Emp + family at 3X the rate for just Emp.

    • darklighter says:

      It’s hardly that simple. Your employer can get group rates. You can’t. Behold the power of collective bargaining!

      • cookie says:

        Actually, I have. I declined my employer’s insurance after I found out that I could purchase my own individual plan with similar coverages, for less!

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Except it’s the employer doing the bargaining, not those who ultimately wind up covered. When the top-cops get super premium luxury insurance for which they can pay out of pocket, what incentive do they have between “So long dental plan!” and “Lisa needs braces!”

    • heart.shaped.rock says:

      Oh, and if your employer has a Section 125 plan, the amount you pay for your health insurance is exempt from payroll taxes.

    • milk says:

      My health insurance is taken from my checks on paper in the monthly statements, but my employer adds a non-taxable amount equal to that cost (~$400) to my base salary each month.

      • cookie says:

        So, what you’re saying is that your employer takes $400 from your paycheck for insurance, but “gives it back to you.” Have you ever considered that what they’re actually doing is taking $800 from you, keeping $400 for insurance, and giving $400 back?

    • Jevia says:

      Also, if your employer paid you that $1,050, you’d be paying income taxes on that additional $50 and more than likely would not be able to deduct it from your taxes (unless all of your medical bills reached 7.5% of your AGI).

    • cookie says:

      Oh – and “government funded insurance” needs to be corrected – it is actually “taxpayer funded insurance”.

    • Not Given says:

      DH’s employer pays the premium for both of us, the amount isn’t mentioned on any of his check stubs or other paperwork, the deductible is $250 per person, doctor copay $10, ER copay $50, if you use Labcorp lab work doesn’t come out of your deductible or cost you anything. This is all assuming in network. No vision, except medical, it covered my retina surgery for ex. just no glasses or the exam for that, the dilated exam I have at least every year is just the $10 copay. No dental. Nonemergency hospital admissions, CT scans and MRI’s need to be pre-authorized, you or someone has to call them within a certain amount of time if it was an emergency admission. I’ve had chiropractic adjustments covered, there is a limit but I can’t remember what it is, I didn’t hit it, though. Outpatient procedures don’t need to be pre-authorized.
      90 day mail order brand name prescription copay is 20% if there is no generic available I think you pay the difference if there is but they automatically switch you to the generic unless the doctor checks ‘dispense as written.’ I’ve had 90 day generics cost me $5.10 where a brick & mortar pharmacy charged $3.30 for 30 days of the same drug. I did accidently find out they reprice the prescriptions just like they do the doctor visits, hospital bills, etc, when the pharmacy lost my insurance info. Even when it says the insurance didn’t pay anything on a prescription it costs less than if you bought it without the insurance. I filled some generic prescriptions, then I found out about the insurance later when I filled some others including a brand name and they told me it was over $200 just for that one, the copay turned out to be $30 which is, I believe, minimum for a brand name non mail order with no generic equivalent but with the repricing the company only paid $102.01 so it was 132.01 total after being repriced instead of $200. After I straightened that out I went home and looked up all the prices on the provider’s website for the previous visit and when I got them refilled the next time I got them all free + I got back 65¢.
      We also pay into a flexible spending account and get the copays and deductibles back automagically, we have to file for the things like glasses, dental, mileage, OTC’s, etc ourselves.

  10. El_Fez says:

    I am on the “Don’t get sick” health plan.

    • elleeldritch says:

      Hey, me too! It’s going okay so far.

    • SixOfOne says:

      I hear that one’s a crapshoot, especially when no one else is on the same plan.

    • WontEndWell says:

      I’m more on the “bear through it and hope it goes away plan.” Though those two weeks where my back hurt bad enough to make breathing difficult did suck though.

      Premiums are cheap at least.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      You should upgrade to the “AGORAPHOBIA” health plan.

  11. heart.shaped.rock says:

    I have awesome group health coverage through my employer. Low deductible, 90/10 coverage, and also dental and vision coverage. And I wish everyone else did, too. And I’m willing to take a tax increase so you, and you, and you, and you, and yes, even you, won’t lose your home because you got sick.

    • scoccaro says:

      Agreed, with my plan the deductible is so low to begin with, i would be ok with a hike or a premium hike just so that people could get better or any insurance. Where i live we also have a VIM clinic, but theyre so stuck in the day-to-day that they cant advertise so a lot of people dont know they exist.

    • AuntieMaim says:

      I totally agree. I’m proud that some of my tax money goes to pay for medical care for low-income people, seniors and veterans/military. I’m glad that more will be going there!

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I also get awesome, awesome benefits from my employer. Frankly, I’m spoiled and if/when I work for another company I know I can’t expect to get the same level of benefits.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        OK, re-reading this it sounds like I’m bragging. What I meant to express was gratitude. I know I’m very lucky to have a job with benefits this good.

    • heart.shaped.rock says:

      If people would look at their actual out-of-pocket medical expenses they’d see that a tax increase isn’t going to change their financial situation. Last year, I had two surgeries totally 60k. My plan at that time was an 80/20 plan with a $1500 out of pockt max. Thus, I paid $1500 total, along with prescriptions, etc. A tax to make healtcare available to everyone would be way less than $1500 a year per individual.

  12. Jdavis says:

    I’ve got insurance, and yet I still support health care reform. After all a healthy America is a better country to live in and can make our workers more competitive in the global market place.

    • Short_Circuit_City says:

      Same here, but the watered down version that was finally passed really pisses me off.

  13. Trilby says:

    I got fired in Feb– I mean LAID OFF! So I was offered COBRA at $1060/mo for me and one kid. But I caught the end of the gov’t program (ABBA?) that pays 2/3, so I pay $385/mo. I can’t afford it but I pay anyway. You can bet I use it to the fullest now that I have so much *free time.*

    • DH405 says:

      Sorry to hear about the job. Best of luck finding something new.

      When I got canned a few years back, I got unemployment checks for awhile. It sucked, but I used that time to build up a small freelancing business. I’ve been doing that for a few years now, so it worked out well enough.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      “I can’t afford it but I pay anyway.” — THis means, you CAN afford it. There are people with LITERALLY no income, who CAN’T afford COBRA or any other health insurance.

  14. Katrine says:

    My immediate family encompasses the first three categories. I have (fair to middling crappy) health insurance paid fully by my employer; my self-employed husband is on a (crappy but moderately inexpensive) private policy, and my kids are on my state’s version of KidsCare. We pay a premium for the kids, but coverage is miles ahead of anything we could buy at any price.

  15. pinecone99 says:

    Never let your health insurance lapse! I’ve gone from an employer-sponsored plan to COBRA to a conversion plan, which is actually fairly affordable. My current employer doesn’t offer health insurance. Once you are without coverage, it’s so much easier to be denied coverage and if you can get it, the rate is usually much higher.

    • AuntieMaim says:

      Not to mention pre-existing condition restrictions may come back into play after a lapse, depending on state regulations (if I recall correctly).

    • ellemdee says:

      I’d also recommend asking for proof that your previous employer is actually buying insurance for you with those COBRA premiums you’re paying them. I found out my last job pocketed my $1600 in COBRA premiums for 4 months instead of buying insurance for me. I would have never known, but I got sick and had a $75 doctor’s bill since the office said I didn’t have any insurance when they tried to bill it. Once I caught them, they scrambled to backdate the coverage (not sure how thay pulled that off), but I would have gladly traded them the $1600 for paying the $75 bill myself.

  16. Dallas_shopper says:

    I am incredibly fortunate to have a job where 100% of the health insurance premium is paid by my employer and vision + dental come to less than $10 a month. Our copays and medicines aren’t too bad. They don’t cover fancy schmancy stuff like gastric bypasses or laser eye surgery but that’s OK.

    The health insurance is the main reason I’ve stayed at this job…that, and the fact that it’s really hard to find another job right now. But even if it were easy to find another job, I’d really have to think hard about giving up this perk.

    Everyone should have this. Seriously. And I’d pay higher taxes to see that happen.

    • Mecharine says:

      Yeah, I am basically sticking around at my job because of health insurance. Because of that, I haven’t been able to continue my academic development.

    • TehLlama says:

      Extreme government regulation and lack of effective tort reform are the only reasons affordable policies don’t already exist.
      I’m even of the conflicted opinion that the government should have a responsibility to make health insurance affordable for every citizen, but a single payer policy will not fix that, instead a rebate system (that is administered along with annual tax returns) that allows tax filers to immediately pay an annual premium to a variety of interstate insurance companies would immediately solve many issues, and additionally legislation to block the abuse of doctors and medical apparatuses by lawyers, and reduce liabilities and money taken from patients to be wasted defending frivolous lawsuits would make coverage even more affordable.

      Our ability to apply personal choice is THE ONLY reason we have the best healthcare system in the world, and undoing that will necessarily put a stop to the pace of current research, and single payer cradle to grave health insurance always means a needless drain on national economies and worse medical care for all involved.

      • AnthonyC says:

        By what metric do we have the world’s best healthcare? I hear this claim a lot, and I honestly don’t know where it comes from.

        We don’t have the lowest costs, nor the longest lives. Our risk of death in infancy, childhood, and childbirth are nowhere near the lowest. We do not have the most years of healthy life, and live generally unhealthy lifestyles. Medical bills are the root of half of all bankruptcies in the US.

        What we don’t get is the *most* care. More tests per person, more drugs, that sort of thing. I know of no evidence that this actually improves health.

  17. tbax929 says:

    Like someone posted above, I have insurance but fully support Healthcare Reform. I think every citizen should have access to affordable insurance.

    BTW, one of the best perks of working in my field (insurance) is that I’ve always had amazing coverage and low premiums. I get a discount for buying personal insurance through my agency, although I don’t use it (USAA for the win).

    My employer lets us choose between an HSA and a PPO. I know some people are anti-HSA, but if you’re like me (single with no dependents and hardly ever get sick), it’s a great idea. I like that we get a choice, however. I use my dental insurance more than my health insurance, and our dental plan is also excellent.

  18. smo0 says:

    Looks like most of us are insured.

    Kidding… we need reform on pre-existing’s policy.

    • iggy21 says:

      I know this is a touchy subject, but Im not sure how much reform I would want to see for pre-existing (not saying ‘do nothing’). FYI- i have a pre-existing condition and it forced me to get expensive insurance for a year before I could enroll in a typical plan.

      The reason this is done is because blindly allowing any and all pre-existing conditions into any plan could and will bankrupt the insurance companies, and while some may think that’s fair, it will also cause everyone else to loose insurance (and thus, cause all-collectively-to pay more for any substitute insurance policy that can actually cover all of those pre-existing conditions upfront)

      • iggy21 says:

        sorry for the misspellings…

      • Anonymously says:

        I’m surprised you managed to get any coverage. Your pre-existing condition must have been minor. My 18 yo cousin born with curvature of the spine cannot get coverage.

  19. ChiefDanGeorge says:

    I had a choice of 3 different plans, I chose the high deductible plan at ~$10 a month. The deductible is somewhere around $2000, however you get a health savings plan which does not reset each year. The costs of the other plans would have run somewhere around $1500 a year and given me the $20 or whatever it is co-pay. So I pay into my health savings account the same amount I would for the low deductible co-pay. My thought was if I have anything catastrophic, I have a health savings account to cover the costs up to the deductible.

  20. suez says:

    I do, but it didn’t pay for two seperate, unrelated, major medical claims that forced me to run up two credit cards for a total of nearly $20k. And this year alone I’ve already drawn over $1k from my FlexSpend to cover out-of-pocket, and anticipate using every dollor of the $3k I could afford to allot to it.

    I’m wondering why I’m paying premiums.

  21. richard_toronto says:

    Where’s the “ha ha, I live in a nation with socialized medicine and don’t have to stress about getting sick” option?

    (in before higher taxes, etc… the numbers prove that the extra taxes paid are almost equivalent to what the average American pays in premiums and co-payments.)

    • BridgetPentheus says:

      I just moved to a ha ha country and am thrilled, we may have higher “taxes” than we did in the US but once we looked at premiums and out of pocket expenses, the living in the US tax was much higher. I don’t mind taxes if I get something for what I pay for.

  22. iDevin says:

    I’m insured through my union. Our plan used to be one of the best with no co-pays or anything. But now there are co-pays, they aren’t covering prescriptions unless you use their annoying prescriptions-by-mail service, and our pension (which is attached at the hip to our health plan) has taken a hit in the financial collapse. Since we generally work freelance we have to bank hours in order to keep our coverage and now it’s much harder to qualify and stay qualified since they’ve changed how the bank of hours works. The plan is through Blue Cross of California who I don’t trust at all. I’d be very interested in switching my coverage to a public option were one to become available.

  23. smo0 says:

    Also, Clear Internet, here in Las Vegas, has Pet Insurance.

    • ellemdee says:

      That’s awesome. Unfortunately, pet insurers, like some human health insurers, don’t cover prexisting conditions. :(

      That’s still a great benefit, I’m all for companies are pet-friendly. My company sort of kinda offers it, in that they’ll let you get the premiums deducted from your paycheck and they’ll pass them along to the insurer, but they aren’t actually chipping in for it.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yeah, a friend of mine found out about two cats’ health problems when they went in for exams to see if the qualified for pet insurance. they didn’t … BUT the exams caught a kidney condition early enough to be treatable for one of the cats than if it had shown up as an advanced illness. so it did end up being cheaper in the long run. still not insurable

  24. NarcolepticGirl says:

    I am unable to see a poll so I can’t vote.

    I do not have health insurance but I work full-time for the G. They hired me as a “casual/part-time” employee (not a contract employee and not a temp) even though I’ve been working 40/wk for the last 8 months or so. Basically that means, even if you work 40/wk, you only get limited vacation time but no other benefits including holiday pay, health insurance, 401k, etc.

    Also, some of the people hired in the same ‘program’ or ‘status’ move around to different departments/buildings depending on who needs help. They might only have 20 hours a week for one assignment.
    I just happen to have been helping out the same division since I started – and the division cannot afford to hire me as a perm. full-time employee for their department until the next budget. I can apply for other jobs within, though.

    I am thankful I am working full-time, because being out of work for 8 months without unemployment benefits was rough for me. I am also glad I was able to get hired at a place like this, as I’m told “you gotta know someone” (which I don’t).

    So. it’s been over a year without health insurance. It’s better than I thought but I would like to get back on my medications.

  25. Harry Manback says:

    My health insurance is actually spectacular. No cost to me, no annual deductible, just a $10 copay and $5 for the only prescription I get each month (generic Flonase). I’ve gotten CT scans and Xrays (I tend to get hurt a lot…) and it’s never cost me more than $10. I’ve never had to visit the ER, but I think it’s a $50 or $100 copay unless you get admitted, in which case they give that money back to you.

  26. ElleAnn says:

    My husband moved to my employer plan this past winter soon after we got married because his company offered insurance, but required employees to pay 100% of the cost. We’re not really sure what we’ll do once my job (a short-term contract position with little hope of getting renewed) is over this winter. We’ll probably go high deductible/ high lifetime coverage if we can find it.

  27. colinjay says:

    I pay about $200/month for a $3,500 deductible plan with no Rx coverage until I hit the deductible. It is 99.9% worthless.

  28. Donathius says:

    I’m one of the lucky jerks with good health insurance and no ridiculous gaps. I work for a state-funded university and we’ve amazing health insurance that I only pay $40/month for. Of course I don’t get paid a whole lot and can’t afford my co-pays but…

  29. chulo_allen says:

    Nice that 73% get employer insurance…

    Get ready to kiss it goodbye with the new health care bill

  30. JulesNoctambule says:

    I was born with a heart condition. I was insured under my mother’s policy, but the company refused to pay to get it fixed. Now I can’t get insurance because of my ‘pre-existing condition’. I’ve tried, and even the insurance company representatives I spoke to advised that if I were able to get coverage (which was unlikely), any claim I submitted would most likely be denied because of my heart problem. My husband’s work offers coverage, but adding me would cost 12K a year. No point in trying.

    • sugarplum says:

      This is why health care reform is so important – you cannot deny people with pre-existing conditions from getting affordable coverage and care. I just hope it gets through the heads of the masses how important this is. One never knows if they, their children, their grandchildren, etc. will have a pre-existing condition – life is like that, you know? It’s so sad people with conditions (many no fault of their own) are denied healthcare in a civilized country.

  31. GirlCat says:

    I’m insured and my husband’s employer picks up the whole tab (for now–we’ll have to start contributing in 2011).

    I think another interesting health insurance poll question might be “Have you ever seen any doctor for longer than two years?” Because I’m 44 and since I graduated college I’ve seen a new doctor almost every two years. (In those 20 years, I’ve lived a total of 3 years outside of NYC.) Every time I switch insurance carriers, it’s all new docs.

  32. dolemite says:

    There should be a category under the first choice: “Yes, but my employer doesn’t really pay much, and it still costs a family of 4 about $900 a month, with a $2200 yearly deductable per person, so it is almost unaffordable.”, but I guess that would be a tough fit.

  33. vaguely says:

    I am without. It is always a crapshoot when I go outside or really wake up in the morning, because the slightest medical stay would financially devastate me. I work a minimum wage job that rarely gives me enough hours and no one in my area is hiring. And I definitely can’t afford it out of pocket.

  34. kurtmac says:

    My employer pays 50% the monthly premium, only for health insurance. I don’t get dental because my boss’ brother is a dentist from whom he gets free service, so he doesn’t see the need to add dental to the company’s plan (err, what about me?).

    Regardless, at the end of 2009 our insurance provider Unicare bailed-out of Illinois and turned us over to BCBS, who promptly raised the premiums by 300%. So, I’m going to jump on my fiancee’s plan (health, dental, optical, 1/4 as much) who requires us to be living together for 6-months in order to qualify as a “cohabitant” and extend coverage to me. Wheee…

  35. ElizabethD says:

    After my severance runs out, it will be a different story….

  36. BettyCrocker says:

    My husband’s employer paid partially for his but he was layed off last year. My employer supposedly does not have enough people interested to get the entire staff insured – just the managers. (yes – that’s a crock)

  37. sponica says:

    I aged out of my mom’s plan in December. I work for a nonprofit where a good chunk of the employees work the most amount of hours legally allowed without benefits (35 in my state) so I had to buy my own. I was DENIED personal insurance bc of an abnormal pap where my doctor literally said it was nothing to be concerned about but come back next year (this is where insurance and medical judgment don’t agree). So I had to purchase the high risk health plan (which is much more expensive). The one good thing about the plan is that the prescription copays are fairly reasonable. Granted they only cover generics, but a tier one generic only costs 10 or 15 dollars. I pay everything for the first 2500 dollars and then the health expenses are covered. Supposedly I will be made full time with benefits at the start of the fiscal year.

    Needless to say, I’ve been searching for a higher paying job that does offer benefits

    • dolemite says:

      I was denied personal coverage a few years back because I had taken lamisil for my yellowish toenails.

  38. SecretAgentWoman says:

    I need life-saving surgery. I have no money, no job, no insurance. I also have no doctor that will touch me. All they do at the hospital (4 ER visits in 2 months) is stabilize me, send me home, and say “call us when you get money.” I’m in Texas, where to qualify for medicaid I have to be younger than 21, older than 65, pregnant or disabled.

  39. MsFab says:

    I have health insurance but my employer (a huge international company with over 100K employees) is totally nickel & diming us. Under our current plan, you pay for everything out of pocket until you meet your deductible – office visits, bloodwork/tests, diagnostics, even prescriptions you pay at regular retail until you meet the deductible. After that, any future charges are covered at 80/20 (you pay the 20%). The company does give you a “fund” to help cover some of your expenses you have to pay before you reach your deductible, but it still requires that you be out a substantial amount of money before they start paying anything. So I have to contribute each pay period to the health plan, yet I have to pay my health costs out of pocket until I reach my deductible. If I don’t reach my deductible, well then I’m just screwed & I spent a year paying for health insurance for nothing.

    At my old job we had a similar system, but prescriptions were covered on the 80/20 percentage & those charges didn’t contribute to your deductible. I miss that plan :-/

  40. LogicalOne says:

    I just started working for a big name contracting firm. I pay ~$50/week premium for myself and my spouse. My employer calls it a “high quality, affordable, and extensive group medical coverage plan.” For an ER visit, it pays a whooping…are you ready for it?….$100.00 !! That’s not my copay, that’s what the insurance pays in total.

    This is what I call, “Checkbox” insurance. Technically, it counts as insurance and it can be listed on job ads, but it’s woefully inadequate should you ever need to use it.

  41. DH405 says:

    We have insurance thru my wife’s employer, but it sucks. $1500 deductible, $450/mo for the two of us.

  42. energynotsaved says:

    After the hubby of 30 years dumped me for the hide-e-ho, my lawyer arranged for 3 years of COBRA coverage for me. (He pays.) However, at my age and with my pre-existing conditions, I am very worried that I will be “bare” in 23 months. And yes, I am back in school trying to get an updated education so I can find a job. I just hope I am able to find a job that provides access to insurance.

  43. JackieEggs says:

    I voted No.

    Even though I’m on Medicare, it is Part A – I think that’s for ER visits only.

    God/s forbid I ever need a doctor or meds or a padded cell.

  44. doodlebug says:

    I’m a full time college student over 30. The insurance available through the college cuts off at age 30. I priced buying my own policy, but it cost more monthly than I made in a month at that time. My state government only has insurance for children, pregnant mothers and some people with disabilities. I was actually told by a state employee to get knocked so I could get on the insurance.

    No thanks.

  45. smo0 says:

    Here’s my plan:

    Plan Prices
    You only $1,025.00
    You and spouse Not Current Choice
    You and child Not Current Choice
    You and family Not Current Choice
    General Medical Expenses
    Annual deductible In Network
    $250 Individual; $500 Family
    Out of Network
    $500 Individual; $1,000 Family

    Primary doctor office visit In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Specialist office visit In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Out-of-pocket maximum: Individual/Family In Network
    $2,000 Individual; $4,000 Family; includes deductible
    Out of Network
    $4,000 Individual; $8,000 Family; includes deductible

    Lifetime coverage limit In Network
    $2,000,000; includes med/mental health and prescription
    Out of Network
    $2,000,000; includes med/mental health and prescription

    Coinsurance percentage In Network
    85% covered; after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered; after deductible is met

    Inpatient Room and Board
    Hospital semi-private room In Network
    85% covered after plan deductible
    Out of Network
    65% covered after plan deductible

    Outpatient Care
    Outpatient surgery In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Outpatient laboratory services In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Emergency room (not followed by admission) In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Prescription Drug Expenses
    Prescription drug vendor Medco Health Solutions
    Prescription drug Web site medco.com
    Prescription drug member services 1-800-xxx-xxxx
    Annual prescription deductible In Network
    Out of Network

    Annual Rx out-of-pocket maximum In Network
    Not applicable
    Out of Network
    Not applicable

    Prescription benefits are covered under medical deductible No
    Retail generic In Network
    You pay 20% with a $5 per Rx min or cost of drug, whichever is less; up to $100 per Rx maximum
    Out of Network
    Same as in-network plus difference in cost between full retail price and network price not covered

    Retail brand name In Network
    With generic equiv you pay lesser of 20% coins or drug cost+brand-generic diff; $25 min – $150 max per Rx; with no generic equiv you pay lesser of 20% coins or drug cost; $25 min – $150 max per Rx
    Out of Network
    Same as in-network plus difference in cost between full retail price and network price

    Third Tier In Network
    With generic equiv you pay lesser of 50% coins or drug cost+brand-generic diff; $50 min – $300 max per Rx; with no generic equiv you pay lesser of 50% coins or drug cost; $50 min – $300 max per Rx
    Out of Network
    Same as in-network plus difference in cost between full retail price and network price

    Mail order generic 3 month supply; you pay 20% with a $10 per Rx min or cost of drug, whichever is less; up to $200 per Rx maximum
    Mail order brand name 3 mo supply; w/generic equiv you pay lesser of 20% coins or drug+cost brand-generic diff; $50 min – $300 max/Rx; w/no generic equiv you pay lesser of 20% coins or drug cost; $50 min – $300 max/Rx
    Third Tier 3 mo supply; w/generic equiv you pay lesser of 50% coins or drug cost+brand-generic diff; $100 min – $600 max/Rx; w/no generic equiv you pay lesser of 50% coins or drug cost; $100 min – $600 max/Rx
    Oral contraceptives In Network
    Retail and mail order available; covered same as any prescription
    Out of Network
    Covered same as any prescription

    Fertility drugs In Network
    Not Covered
    Out of Network
    Not Covered

    Traditional PPO (Aetna)
    Adult Preventive Care
    Physical exam In Network
    100% covered; deductible waived
    Out of Network
    Not covered

    Pap smear In Network
    100% covered; deductible waived
    Out of Network
    Not covered

    Mammogram In Network
    100% covered; deductible waived
    Out of Network
    Not covered

    Family Planning/Maternity Care
    Maternity In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met; see hospital for facility charges
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met; see hospital for facility charges

    Prenatal care management Yes
    Fertility services In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met; diagnosis and or medical treatment to correct cause of infertility covered; services and procedures to induce pregnancy not covered
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met; diagnosis and or medical treatment to correct cause of infertility covered; services and procedures to induce pregnancy not covered

    Well-Baby/Well-Child Preventive Care
    Pediatric exams In Network
    100% covered; deductible waived
    Out of Network
    Not covered

    Immunizations (child) In Network
    100% covered; deductible waived
    Out of Network
    Not covered

    Alternative Care
    Chiropractic In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met; limited to 60 visits per year
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met; limited to 60 visits per year

    Mental Health
    Mental Health: Combined with substance abuse In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Mental Health: Outpatient coverage In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

    Mental Health: Inpatient coverage In Network
    85% covered after deductible is met
    Out of Network
    65% covered after deductible is met

  46. vdragonmpc says:

    I have a cool plan called Anthem Healthkeepers here in Virginia. They are awesome! I just had my sons claim for his orthopedic surgeon ‘selectively paid’. You see they decided they would only pay a portion of the bill and not the rest. It seems that the doctor at the hospital ER doesnt take Anthem and the hospital didnt say anything as they DO take Anthem.

    So to wash their hands of the mess Anthem sent ME a check for less then the billed amount, denied the portion of the bill that we refer to as ‘examining my child to see whats wrong’ and paid half the surgery fee for fixing his broken arm. Now the hospital wants its deductable and my response was that my allowable charge was half that. They dont respond to that. Neither does the Doctor or the Anthem billing when I asked for a portion of my insurance returned to pay the bill.

    I have put plenty of money into this plan but gotten squat back. Every time its some game. How do I pre-qualify my son’s doctor while he is in pain in the ER? I had no idea I had to ask those questions (you do now as you are responsible for this action)

    I really cant find any business plan where I can decide how much of a bill I feel like paying and then walk away with no issues. I have to send appeals to the company and hope the doctor will at least give me the cash discount ( I may as well be uninsured as the payment is over 700$)

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      go to a sit down meeting with the hospital billing department and negotiate a payment plan. they’d rather get some than none

  47. Miraluka says:

    I currently have health insurance that is paid for (at about 75% of premiums) by my employer. For 3 years leading up to my employment, I was without health insurance.

    I was lucky that in the years without insurance I remained healthy (no sicknesses outside of occasional 24hr colds and no injuries that some athletic tape and ice couldn’t solve.)

    Just 3 months after enrolling into a health insurance plan I injured my right knee and over the next year required surgery, 7 MRI’s, 4 x-rays, multiple bloodwork lab tests. This was 2008-2009.

    Now, just a month ago, I injured my left knee and just got out of surgery.

    Needless to say I’m happy i’m gainfully employed and have a health plan that provides a reasonable deductible (for a HDHP) with more than adequate coverage for all my medical needs. I’d be flat broke and in some ridiculous debt if I needed to pay for my above procedures without health insurance.

    • VA_White says:

      My husband is active duty military so we have a pretty sweet deal. My medication (which costs over $38,000 a year) costs me $18/month copay. Every person who whines about Tricare should come read these comments and see how bad it really can be outside the military health system.

  48. Benny says:

    I pay out of pocket for my own health insurance plan and for my wife and son. The price are okay but it has a $5000 annual deductible, and I have to constantly fight with them to pay claims. Most of time its really pain in the rear, I wish the government would just take over and make it Nazi style because I don’t think it can get any worst.

  49. EBounding says:

    I have health insurance through my employer for my wife and I. I pay $100 a month for a $3000 deductible. They pay 20% after the deductible and 100% after $10,000 has been paid out of pocket. So yeah, not really that great at all, but the employer does contribute $90 to an HSA a month and “preventative physicals” are free. :/

    Even though this is “crappy insurance”, I think if everyone had a high-deductible health plan, costs would be much lower for everyone. It basically covers catastrophies, which is what insurance is supposed to be about. Yeah, I have to pay $100 to see a doctor. So? People spend that much at the vet for their dog or on their cellphone or their car. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to budget for sick visits to the doctor and for drugs. Unfortunately, lowering costs wasn’t what the previous “health care reform” was about.

    • qualia says:

      That all sounds great unless you have a chronic condition. No, it’s not only $100 month if you do, it’s more like $350, even if absolutely nothing about your chronic illness would make you more catastrophe prone AND no catastrophe even remotely related to your condition is covered.

      So I get to pay $350 a month I don’t have because I don’t have on top of the 1000 a month I already pay, with no reduction in cost? I’m sure it’d be cheaper for “everyone” if I did, but I HAVE NO MORE MONEY. Get your blood from some other stone.

  50. TehLlama says:

    Yes, as it’s an implied job perk of my occupation. The care, however is secondrate at best, except when in war-torn third world countries, in which case it maintains it’s status as simply adequate.

    My job pays far less than any civilian counterpart, but valuing insurance, and that it covers my wife it comes out quite well.

  51. keepher says:

    We’re under COBRA right now. Without the govt subsidy we would be trying to pay over 800 out of pocket. With the subsidy its almost 300.

  52. glater says:

    Nope. I’m a poor student. Late 20’s going to college for the first time; no job anymore, school full-time. Can’t afford independent insurance – too many pre-existing conditions inherited directly from my folks (thanks guys), diabetes (type 2, thankfully. diet and exercise are moderately controlling it) being only one. I miss my former job’s fully-paid health plan, but I don’t miss the PTSD-inducing environment. I’m kind of screwed, though – anything shy of “actively dying, go the ER” and I’m in for weeks of waiting and paying cash to see someone, plus cash for prescriptions. VISA is the worst health care money can buy.

  53. Wburg says:

    Yep, my employer being my parents.

  54. sheriadoc says:

    None for me. I’ve been unemployed for over four months now. Purchasing my own isn’t even an option since I would be denied, no doubt. There is a free clinic in town, so I can go there for minor things. And, if things get bad, well, I guess I can go back to Massachusetts and try to get back on their free health insurance.

  55. BradenR says:

    We have excellent health care provided by our former employer (retired). Very low cost of co pays for doctor’s visits and meds, One tiny catch not all current or retired personnel receive the same benefit. As a health care/ pharmaceutical, they do require you maintain their health standard. Routine yearly exams are always forwarded to the company. No poor eating habits, no smoking, and we are pretty well set Unless there is a buyout and the new owner isn’t as generous.

  56. veronykah says:

    31, freelancer and bartender, no insurance.
    I had insurance in college, that was nice.
    As a single person with no employer to foot the bill the rates are astronomical and cover virtually nothing beyond major catastrophes.
    At this point, I’m forced to gamble without and pay for things like dental, vision etc out of my pocket.

  57. MickeyMoo says:

    My friend on BlueCross PPO needed an emergency appendectomy – 2 nights in the hospital (not including the actual surgery/anesthesia/etc) JUST the hospital stay and they billed his insurance $44,000.00 – no, seriously. It is just a total scam to move costs around instead of actually addressing the problem.

  58. george69 says:

    Yes I do its free and covers everything, and no co-pay.

    / I am in Canada

  59. esquared333 says:

    Both my parents work for a large healthcare provider and have ridiculously great coverage under their employer. So when I turned 25 and became ineligible to be covered, I had two choices: take my employer subsidized, high deductible, low coverage health insurance or suck it up and elect COBRA. I picked the latter and although it sucks to write that check each month….there is peace of mind knowing if anything were to happen in the next 21 months left of my COBRA coverage medical-wise, I won’t be drowning in medical bills. Unless I lose my job and can’t pay my monthly COBRA bill.

  60. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I just graduated in May and am scheduled to lose the coverage I had through school at the end of July. I haven’t been able to find a job so I am not sure what I am going to do… probably get some kind of individual plan with a really high deductible and don’t go to the doctor unless I feel like I am at death’s door.

    I have medication that I can get a savings card for through the drug manufacturer.

    Anyone have suggestions for plans with low premiums but good coverage after the deductible? (in case I do get very ill/need hospitalization)

  61. ShreeThunderbird says:

    We own a duplex in California. One of the tenants has incurable liver cancer. The only hope he has to survive is a liver transplant. The price tag is $800,000.00. He and his wife are in their mid-20s. They have a baby. They both need to work and have full time jobs. They have no insurance because it is not available through their employers. Because they both work they make to much money for the husband to be ineligible for Medi-Cal. Tell them American doesn’t need the public option.

    • Anonymously says:

      Hey, it’s OK if some people die who could have been saved, as long as they don’t raise taxes, right? We must avoid being socialist at any cost, right? right?

  62. ShreeThunderbird says:

    We own a duplex in California. One of the tenants has incurable liver cancer. The only hope he has to survive is a liver transplant. The price tag is $800,000.00. He and his wife are in their mid-20s. They have a baby. They both need to work and have full time jobs. They have no insurance because it is not available through their employers. Because they both work they make to much money for the husband to be ineligible for Medi-Cal. Tell them American doesn’t need the public option.

  63. Cantras says:

    I pay for it out of my own pocket. My work offers a type of insurance, i don’t think it’s exactly qualified as insurance, only seems to cover things like checkups and not surgeries? For aboout half of what I pay for real coverage.

    That said, I do pay over 200/mo for insurance, and every aprril they raise my rates (starting with the april some 6 weeks after i signed up, when my first ticket was more than i was quoted in the first place). This infuriates me because i have less coverage than my husband does, *and* no maternity coverage (i realise they’re still required to pay for maternity emergencies, but they cover nothing routine), and i still pay some 50 more per month than he does.

  64. SillyMama says:

    My husband got fired a week ago today after 6 years with his company and our benefits ended that day, so this is a timely question. For all the bitching my husband did when they signed the Universal Healthcare bill and my pointing out that he would be thankful for it if we lost our coverage, you can bet your sweet patootie I neener-ed an “I told ya so” at him.

    Granted, hopefully one of us will get a job and coverage again before we’ll be able to take advantage of the Universal Healthcare but still.

  65. creativecstasy says:

    I had insurance until I graduated college AND turned 24 in the same month. Dad’s insurance kicks kids off at that latter of those two instances. Now I’m counting down the days to the fall, when I can get back on his insurance until I’m 26.

  66. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Even if you have health insurance it doesn’t mean your set for anything. Just ask me and my bankruptcy attorney $100,000 later. I guess it’s better than the $500,000 I would have had to pay had I not had insurance. But then again, I should have had a $100,000 emergency fund just in case. Dummy me.

  67. XTREME TOW says:

    Don’t Socialize Healthcare! Capitalise it!
    It costs an average of $5,864/year to insure a family of 4.
    The Solution? TAX EMPLOYERS $11,600/year for every employee they don’t provide FULL Coverage for.
    The Result? Hospitals will not have to “Pad The Bill” to insurers, Insurance companies will save money in the long run. Employers will not have to pay as much for coverage. Employees will not be making each other sick at work, increasing productivity. Everybody Wins!
    Or, is this just another “Unknown Ideal”?

  68. Tallanvor says:

    I’m in Norway, so I chose the 3rd option since it’s government-run. That said, the second option would also apply because 7.5% of my paycheck goes towards health care. Of course, my employer also provides special insurance in case of any workplace accident, so even option 1 is somewhat true.

    For me, the health care I can receive is more or less equivalent to the standard insurance employers usually cover in the US, minus dental and vision coverage. I pay a copay for visiting the doctor and getting a prescription, but if I’m admitted to the hospital, I don’t pay for anything. There is also a limit where if you’ve paid however much in co-pays, you don’t have to pay anything further for the year.

    It’s worked well for me so far, although I’ve only had to visit the doctor once in the two years I’ve been here.

  69. madtube says:

    My wife and I are under military insurance. She is active duty and I am the broken one. While there are more hoops to jump through, the military insurance is excellent. A lot of people that are currently using it tell me how much they hate it and cannot wait to get out and have “better” insurance. These people are 18 years old and never had a full-time job with benefits. We have tried to tell them that right now, this insurance is the best there is. They do not want to listen. They will find out the hard way.

    Full Disclosure: I am an almost 30 year old male who just found out he has extensive spinal injuries and is trying to get them fixed. I have worked as a professional auto mechanic for about 10 years (kinda where I got the said injuries). My wife came into the military late in her life (late, by the armed forces standards). We spent 13 years working full time and shopping the insurance field for a while.

  70. momtimestwo says:

    I’m a stay-at-home mom, the kids and I are covered by my husbands health insurance from his work.

  71. dewsipper says:

    I think another good poll question would be “How many work a job they really don’t like for the insurance?”

  72. sweaterhogans says:

    My fiance and I have been freelancers and contractors pretty much since we graduated college. Being male, he didn’t care about insurance. I got a plan as soon as I wasn’t covered under my parents. I had a full time job with decent insurance but of course it was a real estate company and I got laid off. COBRA is insanely expensive, and I can’t understand why anyone would want it (unless they have a condition). Luckily, I was only 26 at the time and had no problem going back on my own insurance. I contracted after that, and now I recently accepted a fulltime. I was excited to finally have insurance, but I still find it completely worthless.

    I go to the doctor 1-2x a yr. I will never meet my deductible for my plan or the employer plan. I pay $90/ mo now, but with the employer plan I’d have to pay $300/mo?! I may as well save that money in case I get injured. And to add a spouse it’s 2x as much? How is a benefit of marriage insurance?! It’ll be cheaper if we both got our own and one of us covers our future kids. The whole thing is a sham, and I’d almost rather take my chances.

  73. TxJosh16 says:

    I am a retired teacher with my health insurance partially subsidized. However, my retirement has not gone up a penny in over eight years while my part of the health insurance has gone up over 300%, my copay has gone up 500%, and coverage has decreased as other fees and payments have gone up in the same range. My sister, also a retired teacher, went to the ER in the middle of the night for a few hours with what turned out to be a kidney stone. That is costing her — with insurance — over $1500 so far and counting. And we are considered to have “good” medical coverage.

  74. TxJosh16 says:

    I am a retired teacher with my health insurance partially subsidized. However, my retirement has not gone up a penny in over eight years while my part of the health insurance has gone up over 300%, my copay has gone up 500%, and coverage has decreased as other fees and payments have gone up in the same range. My sister, also a retired teacher, went to the ER in the middle of the night for a few hours with what turned out to be a kidney stone. That is costing her — with insurance — over $1500 so far and counting. And we are considered to have “good” medical coverage.

  75. TxJosh16 says:

    I am a retired teacher with my health insurance partially subsidized. However, my retirement has not gone up a penny in over eight years while my part of the health insurance has gone up over 300%, my copay has gone up 500%, and coverage has decreased as other fees and payments have gone up in the same range. My sister, also a retired teacher, went to the ER in the middle of the night for a few hours with what turned out to be a kidney stone. That is costing her — with insurance — over $1500 so far and counting. And we are considered to have “good” medical coverage.

  76. bushidoka says:

    Yes, I live in a civilized country. Called “Canada”

  77. qualia says:

    Insurance would double my already high medical bills without actually covering anything. It’s already 1.5 times my rent, no, I can’t get insurance. Yey preexisting mental health condition. Apparently I’m not poor enough for food stamps etc. because I decided to go back to school so I COULD get a job with insurance and didn’t have a kid way too young.

    I don’t know what I’ll do in an emergency. I assume I leave the taxpayer the bill. I’ve got no compunction with this, personally. Fix the system so I CAN pay or shut up. Once preexisting condition crap is gone, I can afford it.

  78. RockTheShazbot says:

    I have health insurance thanks to my wife’s job, but I have had to use it twice in the last year. Before I had insurance, I was perfectly healthy. Just a coincidence I’m sure.

  79. 89macrunner says:

    i have incredible health insurance…thanks mom!

  80. the_wiggle says:

    caveat: i cannot afford to use it – 3K deductible/no max OOP. it’s only there in case i don’t die if run over in traffic :(

  81. Texasnana says:

    ok we are facing a strange dilemma with health insurance renewal at my husbands employment. My hubby is going to be 61 in November, I will be 60 in October. I have a question for anyone with knowledge concerning rights. This year we are required to go to an independent agency who is working for my hubby’s employer. We are required to have the following range in order to keep our insurance premiums from increasing: Waist circumference: F/35 M/40, Blood Pressure; F & M – 130/85; HDL Cholesterol: F/55 M/45; LDL Cholesterol; F & M – 130, Glucose; F & M – 100. This is not aged based so we are being evaluated on the same bases of 21 year old. My husband has worked here for over 20 years. If you fail more than one out of 5 you have to attend all kind of health seminars, aerobics, etc. What is your thoughts on this? Should this be legal?