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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by lxdude View Post
    For those who don't know, COBRA is a federal law which allows continuation of insurance for a period of time after someone leaves a job for any reason. The former employee takes over the premiums, plus as much as 10% for administrative costs.
    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986 that mandated separated employees whose employers had been providing medical coverage be offered continued participation for up to 18 months -- 36 months in certain cases -- limited the administrative surcharge to 2%, not 10%.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    Why are they uninsured???? And will be insured in four months???? A typical private family premium comparable to employee benefits would cost $30,000 per year with a 5,000 deductible and 250K lifetime cap. Lose your job and a single serious illness will bankrupt you for decades. Yeah, you can
    go onto Cobra for a year or so for about $1200 per month per person, but how long can that last if you're out of a job. Lots of heath care workers don't even have health insurance, unless they're unionized. If you're conspicuously poor there are sometimes provisions, but anyone middle-class with a health issue who loses their job is gonna become poor really fast, because there's a huge gap in coverage for them until they're old enough for Medicare to kick in. It's easy enough to go from a modest six-figure income to outright homeless over a single health incident. Seen it happen plenty of
    times around here, and we've got the strongest economy in the country.
    Drew, I don't dispute any of the terrible results of lacking insurance. Both of my grandmothers were wiped out by my grandfather's illnesses. I have had to buy my own insurance before. Your $30,000 is nonsense. I just priced $500-1000 deductible policies for a family of 4 in Colorado at http://www.ehealthinsurance.com. It showed 9 plans from 5 different insurers and they ranged from $680 to $1336 per month. None had a lifetime max. It may no longer be allowed.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  3. #83

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    Just wait until the dust settles (pretty hard to tell, given all the election fluffing of the cat fur at the
    moment) ... I don't know about Colorado, but it's just a matter of time until Calif rates will spread
    unless there's considerable Fed intervention. Here the Calif exchange is already legally operative,
    and starting next month people will be able to shop rates per 2013, regardless of what the Feds do.
    Supreme Court already settled that one. But otherwise, it's pretty gloomy. The only major hospitals
    making money are Kaiser, which is self-insured, but not practical to folks in rural areas. And even
    they are badly short-staffed. The only thing keeping me on my day job is the insurance issue. I've
    been healthy all my adult life, and will be eligible for Medicare in two yrs anyway. I'd like to go into
    printmaking full time, but my wife is younger and can't get affordable insurance even in the medical
    profession!

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    a couple of years ago, it was $3000 - $3600 per month for very good coverage for my wife and I and our two kids.
    How do people manage to afford these huge premiums and why is thought of as acceptable?


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    How do people manage to afford these huge premiums and why is thought of as acceptable?


    Steve.
    I don't know where these numbers are coming from. Ehealthinsurance.com shows $500-1000 deductible plans in area code 90210 to be $842 - 1197. The MOST expensive plan, a Healthnet HMO was $1705.
    Last edited by pbromaghin; 10-12-2012 at 04:14 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: correct a typo
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  6. #86
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    So what is a deductible plan? Is it one which doesn't pay out fully but expects you to make up the shortfall?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbromaghin View Post
    Ehealthinsurance.com shows $500-1000 deductible plans in area code 90210 to be $842 - 1197.
    That's still about ten times the amount I pay for NHS cover.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986 that mandated separated employees whose employers had been providing medical coverage be offered continued participation for up to 18 months -- 36 months in certain cases -- limited the administrative surcharge to 2%, not 10%.
    OK, I just went to the COBRA FAQ at dol.gov, and it verifies what you say, and does not mention any exceptions for health insurance coverage.


    I'll relate what happened to me to explain where I came up with that 10% figure.

    I was laid off from a job May 31, 2007. My employer had paid 100% of the premium. The HR director told me that COBRA would cost me the premium of $502, plus 2% administrative charge, bringing it to $512 and change. When I contacted the insurer, (can't remember the name) I was told it would cost $552, including 10% admin cost. I relayed what my HR person had told me, and the answer was "That's wrong. I wish people wouldn't say that, it's not correct." So I paid the $552, and thought no more about it, except that I thought it doesn't cost any 10% extra to administer my account.

    I'm going to go dig through my old papers and see if I still have any relevant records, and if I have sufficient records, I'm going to contact the Department of Labor.
    Last edited by lxdude; 10-12-2012 at 05:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  8. #88
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    Today, the workers at the UofR (University of Rochester) began a very noisy rally on campus due to cuts in their health care benefits. It seems that this trend is becoming quite wide spread.

    PE

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    So what is a deductible plan? Is it one which doesn't pay out fully but expects you to make up the shortfall?

    That's still about ten times the amount I pay for NHS cover.

    Steve.
    Oh, you pay for it alright. Only it's part of your taxes instead of a direct charge.

    A deductible is the amount one has to pay before insurance starts paying. After the deductible is met, you may have to pay a small percentage of the cost until you reach what is called the "out of pocket max", whereupon the insurance company pays everything.

    I have a policy called a Preferred Provider Organization, or PPO. The insurance company signs up doctors and facilities who agree to prices far below the artificially inflated prices they charge someone with no insurance - discounts of 75-90%. The doctors do this because they have access to a large number of customers and are assured payment without having to chase non-payers all over the place. This is a big deal for them because a lot of people outside of these networks never pay their bill.

    In the past I have had a Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO. In these, the company pays pretty much everything from the start and you never see a bill. The drawback is that you are usually severely restricted as to the doctors you can see. Oh, and they cost more.

    Understanding coverage is difficult, even after 30+ years of being insured. It's always changing, with new nomenclature to learn.
    “You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt

  10. #90

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    You're in a dreamworld if you think you will actually get a family program around here for anything
    remotely resembling what you're describing, at least after you read the fine print. Insurance companies are about statistical risk and net profit. Just look what is going to happen to Colorado
    home insurance rates after your big forest fires - they have to spread or zone out the increases.
    The whole state could hypothetically be affected. Same here. We have a limited number of regional
    trauma centers who can't pick and choose who to serve. The regular people pay for all the shot-up
    gangbangers and drug overdosers from the bad neighborhoods in our big cities. And what if another significant earthquake comes along here, or some unexpected big tornadoes in Denver, out
    your way. Somebody has to pick up the tag, and believe me, the ins companies have plenty of ways
    of weaseling out of their obligations.

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