[Baypiggies] Career Advice

Steve Piercy - Web Site Builder Web at StevePiercy.com
Thu Feb 17 00:42:57 CET 2011


Yes, I should have added the disclaimer that I went solo in my 
40's.  I also have no pre-existing condition, was never denied 
coverage or had my coverage canceled, and I avoid high health 
risk behaviors.  If you are not in that group or you are in your 
50's or older, then be prepared to be priced out of the market.

For shopping around, I used this site:
http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/

I went with a high-deductible ($5000) health plan (HDHP) for 
myself, and later added my wife when she got laid off from her 
job.  Solo I paid $159/mo, but together $179/mo.  No dental or 
vision, as that is more expensive than paying out of pocket.

To pay for medical expenses up to the deductible or for 
non-eligible medical expenses, we use a Health Savings Account.  
An HSA allows you to reduce your taxable income up to the amount 
of an annual contribution limit, but you must have an eligible 
HDHP to have an HSA.  Our HSA also allows us to invest in a 
brokerage of our choosing, so the savings can gain or lose value 
depending on what we invest in.  We use a debit card tied to the 
HSA account to pay medical bills and other non-eligible items.

Without these affordable options available to me, I may have 
paused and stayed in the employment sphere.

--steve


On 2/16/11 at 10:46 AM, roderick at sanfransystems.com (Roderick 
Llewellyn) pronounced:

>Hello,
>
>I just wanted to put my two cents in one Steve Piercy's advice. 
>I agree with a lot of what he says. But when he says "I set 
>aside my fears of not having  medical benefits", I have some 
>cautions there based on my experience. I too gave up on them 
>when I went to doing all contract work. I acquired individual 
>insurance. As long as you can get that, get it right now. The 
>problem is that when you reach about 50 years old (I know that 
>for some of you that seems basically infinitely far away.... 
>let me assure you that it is not, and this advice is meant for 
>you!), you become extremely undesirable customers for insurance 
>companies. You will get endless offers from car, fire, and life 
>insurance firms, but you won't hear word 1 from medical 
>insurance companies. They will use any possible excuse to deny 
>you coverage. Again, if you are a 20 something or even in your 
>30s, this seems totally irrelevant: insurance is cheap, you 
>never get sick, you really would rather have a fast car, and 
>hey, you're immortal, right?
>
>Now what happened to me was I took a full time job with good 
>medical coverage, and my own insurance was getting expensive, 
>so I dropped my individual coverage. Within a year I tired of 
>the full time job and quit. Lo and behold, since I no longer 
>had individual coverage, no firm was obligated to cover me 
>(thank you Republicans!). So they all turned me down. In 
>America, you have no right whatsoever to medical insurance. 
>That's what we call "capitalism". What it means is that if you 
>have a major disaster, you will be essentially bankrupted. 
>Everything you have made in your entire life will be dissolved 
>to pay for that liver transplant or whatever.
>
>As long as you have an existing individual plan, very easy to 
>obtain when you are young and healthy (but not, unfortunately, 
>immortal), and you keep paying your premiums, your insurer will 
>keep you on and cannot kick you out. You want to do this until 
>you are eligible for Medicare. Again, I know this seems so far 
>away as to be practically unimaginable to many of you, but 
>consider that all the retirement plans, 401Ks, stock equity 
>you're drooling over, that house you picked up cheap during our 
>bust, etc.... all could be lost because of one disease. Even 
>that fast car! So it's pointless to plan for all of those 
>things and not focus on this insurance issue.
>
>This is the true tyranny of the American system. If you are a 
>full-time employee, you get free or nearly free medical 
>coverage. But if you leave employment, you only get Cobra 
>(which by the way if you are gay, it does NOT cover your 
>partner, because it's a Federal program and as you probably 
>know, the Feds only recognize the existence of gay people in 
>one context: you can't serve in the Army), which lasts 18 
>months (plus 18 more covered by California). Once that time 
>expires, you are on your own. And if you are now 50, forget 
>about getting medical insurance. This in turn will force you to 
>take full time work to get coverage. But guess what: hi-tech 
>firms want to hire 50 year olds about as much as medical 
>insurance companies want to cover them!
>
>So my advice is to think very carefully about this issue. Don't 
>just assume that "if I need it I can get it". That's like 
>saying "I won't buy fire insurance until my house burns down." 
>Surely you don't think the insurance companies are that stupid, 
>do you?
>
>Good luck,
>
>Rod Llewellyn
>
>
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-- --
Steve Piercy               Web Site Builder               
Soquel, CA
<web at StevePiercy.com>                  <http://www.StevePiercy.com/>



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