View Full Version : Health Insurance- What's a lot?

03-31-2007, 12:30 AM
My DH has gotten a job with a big company here in Charlotte, and has been with them now for 7 mo. Well, he finally received his 6 mo. raise, and they offered him a little more $, which is good, but want us to pay for our own health insurance, which we've never had to do in the past (completely). Well, our old coverage runs out tomorrow with his old job, so we can continue with them doing Cobra, at $680/mo- family of 4, inc. dental. Does that seem like a lot? To me it does, but maybe I'm just clueless about this! It's pretty good insurance (pays 80% on most things), but $680?? Just curious if I'm crazy thinking that's a lot!

03-31-2007, 06:49 AM
We pay about 115.00 a week (so 460.00 a month) and that is with his employer paying a large percentage. What are your copays like? We pay 5.00 for doctor visits and 25.00 for most prescriptions. There is no deductible though. It is expensive but necessary.

03-31-2007, 07:04 AM
Honestly, to me it doesn't sound like that much if you are paying 100%. Depending like merlinmagic4 says on what your deductible and co-pays are.

My company pays a portion, but we are forced to take family coverage even though it's just DH and I. I'm paid bi-weekly and $270 comes out of each check. With what the company pays, that would be right in line with what your proposed payment would be. Our plan is also a higher deductible - $3,000 so if you have a lower deductible, factor that in and I think you'll still be coming out around average - at least by the standards in my area. Sad but true.

As a side note, be sure to research alternatives while you still have COBRA since it is temporary. I think it's at 18 months now (maybe someone in HR could verify this). Purchasing health insurance on your own and not part of a group plan is not only horribly expensive, but darn near impossible unless you have no medical history whatsoever. They will disqualify you (or raise your rates) over an ingrown toenail! Good luck! Aren't insurance companies fun?!?:unsure:

03-31-2007, 07:18 AM
We are currently paying $630 a month for a family of four. We have a $5,000 deductible per person per year. They do not cover anything until we have paid this out of our own pocket. To get full coverage for a family of four with a $20 deductible it is over $1200 per month. The quote for full coverage is from a few years ago so it is probably more. That did not even include any dental coverage. We have 2 employees and we do not pay any part of their health insurance. We left it up to them, in order to pay part of their insurance we would have had to cut their hourly pay rate by quite a bit so they chose to get their own coverage.
We are currently considering raising our deductible to $10,000 because it is killing us to pay over $600 a month for insurance. It is a huge problem for small business owners here in Maine and I'm sure all over the country. We are not big enough to qualify for any kind of group discount so we a left out in the cold. We have so many friends in our field who just can't afford any health insurance at all. If we quit working and let the welfare system take care of us we would have full coverage for free. I feel like the working person is being punished for working. Sorry I won't get started on that subject. Sorry this was so long. To answer the op question, that is not alot for full coverage, at least not here in Maine.

03-31-2007, 08:22 AM
I see the bill my company pays for its health insurance coverage. $680 / month actually sounds pretty good for family coverage. Of course deductible, co-pay, and network will play a large roll in the cost. Will the new company allow him to go on their policy? If so you should find out their cost and compare. Iím not positive, but I think you can only stay on cobra for 18 months. Also, check to see if the cost is tax deductible (it should be.) If you go with the new company, they should be able to deduct it right from his paycheck and it will automatically be deducted from his taxable gross income.

03-31-2007, 08:25 AM
If we quit working and let the welfare system take care of us we would have full coverage for free. I feel like the working person is being punished for working.Welcome to America. :rolleyes:

03-31-2007, 01:43 PM
I work with company's here in New York State on their insurance plans and here's what I suggest.

Take the highest deductable plan that is offered and use supplementle insurance to fill the gap.

Your plan sounds like it is in line with the rest of the U.S. Now call the company that has the cute little duck and ask about their programs.

To Tinkerfreak....... the company I just wrote about can help you if you'll give them a call. I saved many small companies like yours a lot of money over the years. PM me if you'd like and I'll give you more info. :D

04-01-2007, 11:20 AM
One other thing about COBRA, I don't know if this policy varies from state to state (or company to company for that matter), but our handbook states that you can elect COBRA up to 60 days after your last day of employment. If there are similar regulations where you live, then you would not be eligible for COBRA from your husband's former employers. I could be wrong, but I think that's a federal guideline.

Also, double check to see if the 18 months of COBRA coverage is 18 months from your last date of employment, vs. when the coverage actually ended. If it's from the last date of employment, it means if your husband has been gone 7 months, you can only take the coverage for 11 more months, then you're on your own.

For permanent coverage, I'd suggest like some others did to find out about adding to your existing company's policy.

I can't even count the job offers I've turned down for more money because their insurance coverage wasn't adequate for our needs. Health insurance is a huge benefit in today's world and, although our current policy isn't the best ($3,000 out of pocket for just around $600/month - 2 people), it's better than not having any at all.

Good luck! I hope you are able to find a suitable, and affordable, solution!

04-01-2007, 12:19 PM
I just checked my paystub and I was pretty shocked, actually, to see how much our benefits cost us.

First off, I don't think they're really that great. We have like a $20 copay for office visits and about the same for most prescriptions. I don't think we have an annual deductible amount, though, and we are in a PPO so we don't have to deal with referrals and stuff like that. As long as we go to an in-network provider we're covered.

Even so, I still think our coverage is a little above adequate and here's what it costs for family coverage ...

We pay 151.50 each pay, so that's $303 a month from us. My employer pays $352.82 each pay, so that's another $705.64, which means our total cost per month is a whopping $1,008.64!!

That's incredible ... health insurance in this country is such a problem ...

04-01-2007, 02:46 PM
Isn't it incredible what we have to pay? I really had no idea. And I had forgotten that Cobra is only 18 mo, so we'll have to keep that in mind. I believe we have a $500 deductible pp, then 80%. (no co-pay for doctor visits), and we pay a small % on prescriptions. So I guess it's not so bad, compared to what some of you are paying. I still can't believe how much insurance is though! My DH worked for the local Union back in WA, and the way it works is you're eligible depending on the amount of hours worked. So even though he left the Union back in Aug., he had enough hrs. accrued until Mar. 31. And I believe the letter states we have 60 days from then to decide. He had been with them for 15 yrs, so to be honest, I never even thought about what we paid! This is a whole different ball game now. Just one of the hurdles to overcome when moving, I guess. What gets me is this is a huge company across the US, but only offer their insurance if you're salary-which is what he was originally told would happen in 6 mo! (That and other promises that we're not kept.) So frustrating, you want to be with a stable company, and the pay is ok, (what we've heard for this part of the country), but this is going to be tough. Sometimes I just don't understand how companies so big can get away with so much, and be so successful. We'll see, maybe it's time to shop around. After all, it was the first job he applied for since moving here. And he's so good at what he does, that's what bothers me. They're completely taking advantage of him. I'll definitely show my DH these posts. Thanks so much for all your help- One more reason I love Intercot so much! :thumbsup:

Donald A
04-01-2007, 04:40 PM
I am sorry to say that you are paying probably less than average. That is pretty good. Mine is about that for just my wife and I. I believe my boss also pays half of mine.

04-01-2007, 05:47 PM
Here's something to think about.

I recently switched the family over to a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) with an HSA. My insurance has a $1500/$3000 Individual/Family deductible. The HSA is a fund that I and my employer contribute to up to the amount of the deductible. My contributions are PRE-TAX which actually is a nice benefit.

We went from about $95 a paycheck down to about $25 a paycheck for the insurance. I then contribute about $50 towards the HSA. It's a small savings, but every bit helps. The good part is, I keep that HSA money. Even if I leave my employer, etc. I can use it towards any medical expenses.

The HSA is meant to pay for uncovered medical expenses, INCLUDING the deductible. The way I look at it is, I'm paying $40 less a month for the same coverage, AND I don't have to worry about copays, etc. Once I hit my deductible, I'm at 100% coverage, while with a HMO or PPO you're looking at copays no matter what.

It's really worth taking the time and looking at your options. While HDHP plans MAY look unattractive, when you couple them up with an HSA I would say that 95% of the poeple will be saving money. People it's NOT good for are those with TONS of prescripions. Not your typical kids gets sick they get antibiotics, I"m talking those with 7 or 8 pills a day they take on a regular basis. You need to do the math though.

04-02-2007, 10:13 AM
My work wanted to charge me over $200/wk for myself and spouse... we ended up going through Esurance as our agent and are with Blue Cross/Blue Shield paying less than $125/wk... our copay is $25 which isn't great, but I'm seldom sick.