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Health Insurance

by RJones
posted 02-04-2009 04:17 PM

34 replies so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4091 days

#1 posted 02-04-2009 04:44 PM

Canada has a national health care system, amogst the best in the world.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4019 days

#2 posted 02-04-2009 04:51 PM

RJ, health insurance is a necessity and not a luxury. It should come first on the tool list.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16280 posts in 4416 days

#3 posted 02-04-2009 04:52 PM

Options are pretty limited. About the only way to save money is to look into a catastrophic illness insurance plan. With these types of plans you get no benefits for your standard medical expenses, but they kick in should you have a major illness.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 4144 days

#4 posted 02-04-2009 04:56 PM

Really depends upon your age and general health status. Bottom line is, health insurance is an overhead that needs to be factored into your overall calculation of whether you can afford to be in business for yourself. Probably not what you wanted to hear. I agree with Scott, it should be high on the tool list.

View RJones's profile


317 posts in 4352 days

#5 posted 02-04-2009 04:57 PM

Thanks guys, other than moving to Canada I agree I need something not to mention accident insurance like aflac or something would help pay the bills should something happen. I guess I would get at least 3 months of COBRA if and when I get laid off but that’s still 600 or so, I guess it’s just another cost of doing business.


View PetVet's profile


329 posts in 3685 days

#6 posted 02-04-2009 04:57 PM

I agree with Scott, you can’t afford not to have health insurance. I was surprised when I read in AARP that the #1 cause of bankruptcy among retired people is a major medical problem. I think that probably could be extrapolated to the general public. Any groups you belong to that might offer a group policy?

-- Rich in Richmond -- Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

View RJones's profile


317 posts in 4352 days

#7 posted 02-04-2009 05:04 PM

I agree that it is a not an option to be without nor that it’s not a cost of doing business however I would be looking to keep costs low. I like the thought of the group policy. That’s an idea I will look into!


View dalec's profile


612 posts in 4086 days

#8 posted 02-04-2009 05:26 PM

I fully agree with all the comments about the essential need for basic health insurance. A trip to the emergency room can easily cost thousands of dollars. The idea of group insurance is very good idea.


View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4512 days

#9 posted 02-04-2009 05:30 PM

Many us us see Health Care as a luxury we can’t afford. Really wish I could. They charge me $1000.00 an hour to talk to a nurse. When I started in the trades most employers offered medical. At least in this part of the country it is rare. I don’t care about your politics, both parties have dropped the ball. I’m tired of paying the taxs for the governments health care when mine is far out of my reach. You might have to do what I do…Pray you don’t get sick.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4177 days

#10 posted 02-04-2009 05:36 PM

Hi Ron;

I always assumed you already were a pro, based on your work.

Health insurance, while a blessing at times, it’s like a parasite most of the time.

Mine is close to $ 1,200 a month, and I still get abused with co-pays, and the need for referrals, and I am in a group policy.

You may want to consider the other obligations as well, such as Zoning laws, Business licenses, Business Insurance, Business Structure, ( Incorporate, sole proprietor, LLC) Taxes, and all the other FUN stuff that goes with it.

There is a lot of overhead that’s always there, even when the work isn’t!

Just a few thoughts to help complicate things.

If I can be of any help with questions, p.m. me. Keep in mind though that I’m just another starving artist!

Best of luck;


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4091 days

#11 posted 02-04-2009 05:42 PM

Having studied both the American Health Care System and the Canadian Health Care System I thank my lucky stars that to date, I am some glad to be Canadian albeit our system is starting to show cracks and parts of yours should be implimented here

Just an observation. On a releatively recent ski trip to the interior of the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia (paid for by a client) my friend (client) dis-located his collar bone. We all sat in the pub at the resort, people from Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA and of course the friendly conversation turned to his injury. The injured fella said that the doctor told him it would be OK to ski if he took it easy. The American guests immediatly jumped onto “Go, ski and get hurt, you can sue him”.................

I thought to myself, its no wonder your health care costs ar so high and pointed out a fundemental difference between Canadians and others in that we go to the doctor to get fixed, you (and I dont mean all of you) go to sue them. Albeit the conversation stayed friendly I was a tad disturbed by that attitude.

After reading the above posts, I realized once again what I take for granted.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


518 posts in 3794 days

#12 posted 02-04-2009 05:47 PM

All of my neighbors are self employed and this is a regular topic of discussion. For a while the local town’s chamber of commerce was doing a good job at providing a group health insurance plan. Then it stopped doing such a good job and people started going out and shopping for their own.

I know one of my neighbors basically gets a new plan/provider/policy every year or so. It is somehow cheaper to do this. I don’t recall the details. I think you can get lower premiums the first year and then they try to raise your rates, so by jumping from company to company every year they always get first year premiums.

Good luck.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View RJones's profile


317 posts in 4352 days

#13 posted 02-04-2009 05:49 PM

Good thoughts Lee and thank god I started this 3 years ago!!!! I am set up as an LLC, have a great accountant who’s always watching my back, I am good to go at my residence as long as I don’t have any employees, signage or noise complaints from neighbors (it helps to give them deals on woodworking, maybe that’s a bribe, LOL)
I must say being part time for 3 years has taught me sooooo much about the business and unfortunatly the reality of it:( Guess it might be time to sink or swim, better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all!!!


View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3668 days

#14 posted 02-04-2009 08:47 PM

its no wonder your health care costs ar so high and pointed out a fundemental difference between Canadians and others in that we go to the doctor to get fixed, you (and I dont mean all of you) go to sue them.

While I agree some tort reform is in order here in the USA and something must be done to guard against ever rising costs of healthcare due to frivolous or fraudulant litigation which causes skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums, to state that americans go to the doctor to sue the doctor rather than “get fixed” is rather enflamatory. I think it would be more accurate to point out that people take advantage of those resources to which they may be availed rather than positing some sort of character differences established by a border separating our respective homelands. I wager that were canadians burdened with a similar system of healthcare managment as those in the US that similar numbers would be realised on the court dockets regarding malpractice suits. Or perhaps you feel that your canadian heritage embues you with some character traits morally superior to those of your southern neighbors. It’s the system that’s broken, not the people.

View Beeguy's profile


179 posts in 3834 days

#15 posted 02-04-2009 11:18 PM

I am typing this three weeks into my new knee. I find it quite funny when reviewing the medical bills. My surgeon billed the insurance company $5000. The insurance company paid $1200 which was accepted. I think health care in the US is at the top. The problem is with how it is managed. Frivolous lawsuits, uninsured individuals showing up at the ER and not being turned away all add to the problem. I digress.

Depending on your health you can get a reasonably priced policy if you are willing to assume some of the cost in the way of a higher deductable. I always look at it that somehow I can come up with $500 or $1000 if I have to, but I can’t come up with $50,000. That is where the insurance has to come in.

Good luck.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3668 days

#16 posted 02-05-2009 04:19 AM

....Depending on your health you can get a reasonably priced policy if you are willing to assume some of the cost in the way of a higher deductable

maybe…ever had a preexisting condition or a high risk grouping? Insurance isn’t healthcare…what do people that can’t get insurance do…jump off a bridge? To a large extent insurance is little more than wealth redistribution through risk managment …those that don’t need it pay for those that do. Health care for profit has definite failings.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4512 days

#17 posted 02-05-2009 05:14 AM

Ron you can not get reasonable health insurance if you have a history of just about anything. My parents have very good insurance plus suplimental insurance and it still cost them close to $2000.00 a month in co-pays. Something stinks in the good ol USofA.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3964 days

#18 posted 02-05-2009 05:14 AM

Check with your local Chamber of Commerce.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View RJones's profile


317 posts in 4352 days

#19 posted 02-05-2009 03:48 PM

Thanks for the input guys!! Man 1-2k a month seems crazy!! It seems that I can do the cobra thing for 18 months or so after I get canned. With any luck maybe I get put back on the payroll in a year or so and with any luck maybe the woodworking trumps the old job and I never come back? Only time will tell.



View RAH's profile


414 posts in 4074 days

#20 posted 02-05-2009 04:12 PM

I don’t have a suggestion just an experience. I had to drop my health insurance to remain in business and keep my house. That saved me about $1600.00 a month. Well I was using a paring knife the way my mother told me not to use it ( thought I was old enough to use it that way now) and I sliced my hand. Thirty minuets in the emergency room and three stitches, $1700.00. That was two weeks ago and the hand is fine, never hurt however the bill hurt.

-- Ron Central, CA

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4072 days

#21 posted 02-05-2009 04:36 PM

A couple of stories about my experiences with health insurance companies …
Signed up at $450 a month for self, wife, three kids. It was lousy insurance – something like $5k deductable and 60% after that – but we figured at that rate we could set some money aside to cover the deductable. They kept raising our rates and automatically deducting the increase from my checking account. I don’t mean yearly or quarterly: monthly increases. Within six months we were at $850 a month plus several overdraft fees because they didn’t bother to notify us when they were increasing and auto deducting. All this with no change in our medical situation and no claims against the insurance. We had to drop it.

Then Marianne had a job that gave her really good insurance, and so we added the rest of the family. $500 deductable, max out-of-pocket of $3k. It was expensive, but we were covered. My daughter came down with a bad resperatory infection (basically pneumonia, but included bronchial and sinus) and spent about a week in the hospital. Of a $12k bill, we had to pay just over $8k. Insurace figured out how to exclude almost all of the charges … and took over six months to decide what they would pay … and told us if we paid anything while they were deciding, that we assumed responsibility for the bill and they wouldn’t reimburse us … and in taking so long to pay and insisting that we not pay, got us turned over to collections. In the end, 12 hours in the emergency room and a week in the hospital and insurance basically gave us back that year’s insurance premiums.

-- -- --

View ellen35's profile


2739 posts in 3630 days

#22 posted 02-05-2009 05:12 PM

I am a health care provider (nurse practitioner). I can certainly tell you who to stay away from: Mega Life.
They are available in many states and they advertise that they are for self employed people. We had a few patients with this “insurance” and they do everything possible to pass the costs on to the patient. You will be paying premiums and getting nothing in return. My advice is to find a major insurance company through your chamber of commerce or any business group in your town/city and sign up for a lower tier plan – sometimes the deductables are a little higher but they tend to cover everything. If your income is truly low (and I hope it is not!), you can sometimes qualify for a “state plan”. I have seen self employed carpenters who own houses qualify for MassHealth (Massachusetts State Plan). I agree with those above who say that one illness without insurance can have you paying $100/month (or more) for life! Hope this helps.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View RJones's profile


317 posts in 4352 days

#23 posted 02-05-2009 05:31 PM

This is some good stuff guys and gals thanks!!!


View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3668 days

#24 posted 02-06-2009 05:16 AM

BTW I thought Barry was going to give everyone in the universe free medical….except canadians of course. :)

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 3601 days

#25 posted 02-06-2009 06:01 AM

As with any place with national health care we all pay for it in taxes. The great part about Canada is the rich subsides the poor who don’t pay as much tax but in theory get the same health care. Works out good for us not so rich Canadians that way.

-- Alan, Prince George

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 4063 days

#26 posted 02-07-2009 12:02 AM


On the right side under “Trusted Services” click on the “ELP Health Insurance”

Fill in your information and submit.

Dave is a must for anyone who doesn’t want to live in debt forever. The “Endorsed Local Providers” that he suggests are great people and have the heart of a teacher. They will listen and answer questions and make sure that you know what it is you really need and what you are really paying for when it comes to any financial product.


P.S.: I am an insurance agent, but because of the company I work for I can’t be an ELP (really sucks). I still suggest this option because I know it is the best out there.

-- He said wood...

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4297 days

#27 posted 02-07-2009 12:21 AM

My wife and I ran into a situation that made me see how important health insurance is and when I returned from working in Ohio I shopped around. Due to our situation the health insurance would be no less than our monthly house payment at the least. What we wanted would be $1250.00+ per month. That was not going to happen so I went and got a part-time job at UPS in May of 2008. I work an early, early a.m. shift as a part-time supervisor and I have some stable money and good health benefits. If I had a choice I would not be there but I have peace that I am providing some protection for my wife.

Have you looked into business insurance yet? I am at $400 per month for covering my shop, tools, truck, and liability. Being legal ain’t cheap.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3668 days

#28 posted 02-07-2009 06:09 AM

No Barry not everyone…Just ME!

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4221 days

#29 posted 02-07-2009 10:29 PM

This is a hot topic I’ve seen here before. I raised three kids being self employed and never had insurance and paid as I went. I feel lucky I could do it. My wife talked me into insurance three years ago and I was paying $400 a month for a policy that I found out would not do much if I needed it. I canceled it last month trying to lower my monthly expenses, cutting back as many are doing. My wife has recently trained for Primercia (after losing her job six months ago) and we are eligible for a policy through them with good benefits that will cover both of us for $410.00 a month. I will start this up as soon as my income picks up a little in a few months. It is hard when you are self employed.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 3646 days

#30 posted 02-07-2009 10:55 PM

being a former health insurance agent, for 10 years…I have a some ideas/thoughts…...
1. are you in good health?
2. what medications are you on?
3. ht/wt in line?
4. age and tobacco use

these are the things that affect your cost…...

now with that said…the plan I like the most is called a HSA, Health Savings Account, get a good agent to explain the benefits of this type of account for an self employed person… me if you have some questions…I think this is the best way to go…....

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View RJones's profile


317 posts in 4352 days

#31 posted 02-09-2009 08:46 PM

Again thanks for all the awesome info!!


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4185 days

#32 posted 02-09-2009 09:23 PM

I got 18 months of COBRA when I left my job, and they extended it for another 18 months after that for a total of 3 years.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3589 days

#33 posted 02-15-2009 07:47 AM

Insurance for just me, on a private policy, costs about $560.00/month. It would be much lower, but I have high blood pressure and migraines. It does help a bit that I am only 33, when I hit 35, it’ll go up another 40 or so bucks. If you have Kaiser Permanente in your area, they always seem to be cheapest….. at least thats what I noticed.

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3919 days

#34 posted 02-15-2009 05:29 PM

Check out my posting on US Family Health Care: If eligible, it can save you $$$$ for decent health care.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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