Friday, January 21, 2011


So, I found out yesterday that I am completely uninsurable on an individual policy. Three companies all told me, in no uncertain terms, that I don't even qualify for their high-risk/high-deductible plans. One operator even had the gal (or maybe guts, I honestly haven't decided) to tell me "look, as far as the number-crunchers are concerned, you are guaranteed to get sick again, and that costs us money."

So, there it is. Money aside, I can not get medical insurance without getting a job that offers it as part of a group policy. Presently the insurance offered by my employer is capped at about $3,500 in coverage. (And if you want to hear something really cheesy, the monthly rates would add up to over $4,000 a year) So, after applying for as many jobs as I have this past year, I think I am starting to understand why people are so desperately applying for government jobs.

Oh, and I'm not done yet. Guess what else is no longer available in the individual health insurance market: maternity care.

Thats right, even if we were well-to-do, insurance companies are no longer offering maternity care coverage on individual policies. To translate that into raw numbers, the cost of my wife having another child just got appraised at about $25,000 out of pocket, between prenatal care and delivery (required c-section).

So there is it, I am officially on my own, and my wife and I have the very simple option of making sure our birth control never fails, staying celibate, or risk having to file for bankruptcy.

You would think at first glance that I would be sold on at least some elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Think again.

I asked one other question, just off the top of my head, to the insurance companies I was talking to. I asked them if they had any cost estimates regarding rates when the brunt of the legislation kicks in (specifically, the part that prevents preexisting conditions from disqualifying you).

The short form answer was this: 1) Yes, they did. 2) I couldn't have afforded it even if I was making twice what I am making now (and even then I wasn't even close to being able to afford it). And the individual mandate they are talking about, its a "wet noodle" when compared to the costs of even basic health coverage by today's standards. (and I am deliberately not even speculating as to what the market will look like when the last of the major provisions kick in in 2014.

So, my situation is this: I can A) stay healthy, or B) get sick, get care out of pocket, and then go broke.

Oh, and something you might not have thought about. Background checks for certain security jobs DO take into account your current debt level. If you owe more than a certain percentage of your annual income, no mater how diligent you are at paying them, some companies will not hire you or allow you on their site.

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