My “to do” list for today included “shop online for health insurance”. I must have lost my mind along the way, because that is something no one wants to do. However, in light of my recent 34 day hospital stay, for which I have already received bills totaling more than half a million dollars, I figured I needed to find out how much I it will cost me to insure my old self.
So, I googled “pre-existing condition health insurance” and got 3,760,000 results. I started on the first page. All of the websites I visited require that you put in your name, address, phone number, and email address before they tell you that someone will call you. I do not like this type of shopping, because I want to be able to look at the plans and pricing before I talk to someone. I want to have time to get my questions written down, so that I will have a chance to sound like a sane and intelligent person. Anyway, I went ahead and filled out three forms, for three different companies. I have received two phone calls so far.
The second phone call was a very nice lady who told me that because I have diabetes, I am NOT eligible for major medical insurance. I can only get an “indemnity” plan. Because I didn’t know the difference in major medical and indemnity plans, I had to look it up. This shopping for insurance is harder than it has to be.
I googled “what is an indemnity plan” and this very helpful page came up. So, the idea is that with an indemnity plan, you are allowed you to direct your own health care and visit almost any doctor or hospital you like. The insurance company then pays a set portion of your total charges. Indemnity plans are also referred to as “fee-for-service” plans.
According to Finweb, there are essentially two classes of comprehensive major medical plans: those that provide first dollar coverage, and those that do not. With first dollar coverage, as soon as covered medical expenses are incurred, the policy immediately begins to pay benefits. Consequently, policies with first dollar coverage effectively have a deductible amount of zero. Without first dollar coverage, the insured must first pay out-of-pocket a specified deductible amount, and when that amount of incurred covered expenses has been paid, the policy will then begin to pay benefits.
So, because I don’t qualify for major medical, there is no further need to discuss or look at them. The very nice lady sent me a link to two plans that I AM eligible for. One of them costs $159 a month, but for any PRE-EXISTING CONDITION, I would have wait 12 months to be covered. That includes anything related to my colostomy and intestinal tract, diabetes, kidney stones, and plantar fasciitis. Those would be the most probable reasons I would need to go to the doctor.That is like paying premiums for a whole year for absolutely nothing.
Of course, the very nice lady told me that starting January 1, 2014 if you have pre-existing conditions, they will be covered immediately. But, that is a year and a half away. I need coverage now. And then I thought, that is ONLY six more months than
Sooo, do I chose the cheaper plan and hope that the only reason I would have to go to the doctor would be something new to me, OR do I choose the more expensive plan, at $228 a month, and only have to wait 30 days for doctor visits for any reason to be covered??? Decisions, decisions, decisions!