How About Some Information On Insurance?

Until yesterday, I was covered by COBRA insurance. I converted the policy, because I have some chronic health problems, to the tune of $594 a month. I was just wondering how list members are dealing with health and disability insurance. Are most of you covered as dependents on a spouse's policy? Are any of you covered by the NCRA insurance? If so, how do you like it? The thought occurred to me that perhaps we could form a group for insurance purposes. Any interest out there?

I have formed my own group for BC/BS. It was very easy. I had to show them my tax returns to prove that I really was in business for myself. And viola. I had some pre-existing conditions and they had to accept me because I had continuous coverage. I started at $130 in 1995 and am now at 180/month.

Disability has been another story. I rec'd a letter back from a company saying that my height didn't match my weight! I chuckle about the way they phrased it. They didn't even mention the tobacco use that I admitted to.

I would love to get involved in disability insurance was the upshot of that last antecdote.

I would be interested. I recently left full-time employment and my boss is keeping me on the plan without telling the insurance company, and I am paying the firm the monthly premium of $271.50. I thought that was a little high, but yours is worse. I have Aetna U.S. Healthcare and I know they only require 4 people to enroll for a group policy. However, we are all in different states, so I don't know how that would work.

I don't have health insurance either. It's very worrisome as I also have some chronic health problems. I was on my husband's insurance as a dependent, but they raised the cost so high that I had to drop off of it. Unfortunately, I don't have any answers. Sure couldn't afford to pay something to the tune of $594 a month. It has become such a big rip-off on the insurance coverage. If you don't have insurance, you end up paying twice as much for your medical needs as what will be paid to the provider via the insurance company because of their "so called" negotiations to get a discount. Boy-o-boy, this whole subject really gets me ticked off. I recently had to undergo an inpatient procedure and the surgeon told me that I needed to see him a week or so afterwards. Made an appointment and went in and the ONLY thing that he did was tell me the test results. He charged 130 bucks for that! That was with insurance coverage at that time. He could have called on the phone and told me that! What a big rip-off! And then he sends that in to the insurance company and gets paid for nothing. As far as I am concerned it was just a drummed up office visit and charge so he could come out with more money in his pocket after the insurance company got through with him.

I was surfing the Web last night and found the site for NASE, National Association for the Self-Employed. They seem to offer disability as well as health insurance. Maybe that's a source for your disability insurance. I was trying to fill out the application and the box for age was screwed up and then when I tried to send it, there was an error message. Has anyone out there dealt with them? Unlike health insurance, continuous coverage doesn't help.

As far as cost for health insurance, I was paying $297 for my coverage before I had to convert. I had to double the premium for the conversion policy. Anything out there is going to be expensive. Age is factored into the equation as well as pre-existing conditions. In other words, if you need it, you can't afford it but nonetheless you can't afford not to have it either. Bummer!

I got to the correct web site for NASE today and sent in the application for a quote for health insurance. I know they do offer disability insurance. There is a membership fee for NASE but it looks like they have a lot of benefits. Their most expensive membership covers home office protection and accidental death benefits, in-hospital ($200 a day), a legal plan for small businesses and numerous other things. The url is: Take a look. They tell you up front that someone will call you.

When you leave an employer where you've had group insurance, they are required to offer you a continuation of that coverage on an individual basis for 18 months via COBRA (Continuation of Benefits something-or-other). They should automatically send you the paperwork after you terminate employment and you have 90 days (I think) to sign up for it. While this doesn't remain available to you indefinitely, it would certainly be an option to consider until something else is lined up.

I am a few days late with this response, but I noticed somebody asked the same question that I did a while back about health insurance. I have not had time to get specific details on what I found out, but I did promise to follow up on that, so here goes: I was told to check with your local Chamber of Commerce. When you join and pay the yearly dues, which aren't that much, you can get health insurance at group rates. I also contacted my local Small Business development Center here in Arizona and they told me that I should contact the Arizona Small Business Administration. They said that for around $90 per year, you can join that organization and get health insurance at group rates as well. That's as far as I have gotten. I still need to contact both of these organizations to find out what they have to offer. Anyway, just thought I would share that much since I saw that question come up again. If I find out anything else, I will pass that along as well. Hope this helps!

I checked with the Small Business Administration Answer Desk and they do not provide health insurance, but they gave me two contacts to try. I've listed them below. Haven't gotten ahold of either one yet, but I'm still looking.

Health Insurance Association of America
(202)824-1600 or


National Small Business United
1-800-345-6728 or

I checked into AARP health insurance and received the following reply. Unfortunately for those of us seeking a healthcare plan, and not having medicare it looks like we'll have to look further.

AARP wrote (in 11/01):

"Thank you for visiting our web site.

"You are eligible as an AARP member to purchase prescription medications through the mail order service. A $2.25 shipping and handling charge will be applied to each order. Call toll-free at 1-800-289-6031 for a price quote, to place an order, or request a catalog. To order prescriptions through the web site, please access

"For information concerning AARP Pharmacy Services Member Choice Program, you may call toll-free 1-800-439-4457.

"If you prefer to write, the address is:

AARP Member Choice Program
P.O. Box 40019
Roanoke, VA 24022-9921

"AARP Health Care Options provides supplementary health insurance only.

"At this time, AARP Health Care Options does not currently offer major medical coverage for members. We continually look for new products that are affordable for most AARP members and/or changes to existing products to better serve the health insurance needs of all members.

"Currently, we offer Hospital Indemnity plans to AARP members both under and over the age of 65. In addition, we offer Hospital Advantage plans, which are medically underwritten and available to members age 50 to 64. These products do not include all of the benefits offered in a major medical plan, 1but do provide valuable coverage at an affordable price. The AARP hospital indemnity insurance plans feature a choice of benefit levels at competitive rates. Benefits are paid directly to members, unless otherwise indicated,at a fixed dollar amount for each day of a covered hospital stay. Also, certain Hospital Indemnity and Hospital Advantage plans provide benefits for certain outpatient hospital services.

"We are sending materials describing our current plans of insurance. A package will be sent via the United States Postal Service and should arrive in 5-10 days. Coverage may be added or changed by returning the enrollment application to our office.

"If you need help in comparing the benefits of these plans, please contact our office.

"AARP's Group Hospital Plans are indemnity plans that are available to any member (and spouse) age 50 or older. These plans pay a variety of benefits depending on the particular plan selected. All Group Hospital Plans pay a fixed dollar amount for each day of a covered hospital stay. Each of the plans pay an additional benefit equal to the daily amount for confinement in an intensive care, coronary care, or burn care unit.

"Some of the plans available provide limited benefits for outpatient hospital care. The monthly costs vary from plan to plan because the Group Hospital Plans pay varying levels of benefits.

"AARP's Hospital Advantage Plans are medically underwritten and are available to members (and spouses) between age 50-64. These plans pay a fixed dollar amount for each day of a covered hospital stay (beginning the second day of confinement), inpatient/outpatient surgery (does not include assistant surgeon, anesthesia, or facility fees) and inpatient/outpatient physicians visits. These plans also pay benefits for post-hospital care which includes outpatient prescription drugs, nursing home stays, and home health care.

"If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us via e-mail, or call our office toll-free 1-800-523-5800, weekdays from 7 A.M. to 11 P.M. or Saturday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., Eastern Time. AARP Health Care Options Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you."

Can a scopist make enough to pay for health insurance?

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