Can someone explain the dirtbag options for health insurance?

Original Post
JeffL · · Salt Lake City · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 15

I'm currently in Argentina traveling, but will be returning to the states for 2-3 months for the spring season. I will not be working, but I wish to have adequate coverage in case of an accident, or if I simply need to visit a physician for a prescription.

I was working a government job until Sept last year, if the low income options depend on my 2016 salary, I won't qualify. If they depend on 2017 I will.

I had some short term insurance in October/November last year. It seemed like I was insured on paper, but if I wanted to actually use the insurance, they covered nothing.

Thanks so much for reading this far

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 5

Hey Jeff,

Unfortunately the open enrollment period for the ACA marketplace ended January 31st. I am not sure if your travels qualify you for a "special enrollment period" but you can check. You may be eligible for medicaid, but that's state-specific. You'd have to apply through whichever state agency your permanent address is in.

Otherwise, your best option is likely an insurance broker. If you don't purchase on the Exchange, I don't believe you're eligible for a pre-paid tax credit but you will get a chunk back when you file next year.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

Have you contacted an insurance broker, as Jimmy suggested above?

Brian Carver · · Boulder, Co · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

If it comes down to it, you can get a non-ACA approved insurance for cheap. I believe the only thing these plans don't cover are maternity, substance abuse, one other thing (I can't remember). I urge you to do your research with these companies, as they can be very shady.

The cost of a non-ACA insurance plus the cost of your ACA penalty (depending) will most likely be cheaper than the cost of an ACA insurance plan.

When I was shopping for insurance as a healthy 33 year old male who never goes to the doctor the cheapest ACA plan was $260 a month.

john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

I'm assuming nothing pre-existing ? You can longer get "temporary insurance, I believe up to 6months...some suck and some are decent. Qoutes on I believe

If you can get an ACA exception, any subsidies and credits are based on anticipated income (2017). Only silver plans get the cost share reduction as well.

You get what you pay for, everyone shops premium first..kinda depends on if you think you will need to use the insurance ? A bronze or catastrophic plan has a low or no premium but a huge deductable and even higher out of pocket .

you should have a decent network of options in SLC

NRobl · · Hyrum, UT · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 0

Some international health insurance options will cover you for a couple months when you get back to the states. I've used International Medical Group (IMG) many times while overseas and I know they have an option that provides coverage for up to two months when you get home. How good that coverage is, I don't know as I've never had to use it, but it may be worth considering.

JeffL · · Salt Lake City · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 15

I just got short term medical through a broker. Insurance company is National General, it uses the Aetna PPO. I got quoted for $61.22 a month? sounds outrageously cheap. It has Max $1 million coverage and a $2.5k deductible.

Can someone shed some light onto how this is so cheap, where I am getting scammed? I'm not really planning on using the insurance, but I was expecting $100 to $250 per month.

JRM89 · · New Haven, CT · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 315

I think it's because they don't expect you to exceed your deductible. That sounds about right, to me.

I would also be careful about exclusions and terms RE pre-existing conditions.

Piper Neddenien · · Richmond, VA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0

Hi, healthcare admin here.

I think, based on that rate, you may have gotten what is called a "catastrophic plan".What that means is that you will likely have to pay, as the above poster noted, out of pocket for all medical services to a certain point (usually like 5k to 10k, depending on the plan), but then after you meet that deductible, your insurance coverage will kick in at a predetermined rate based on the individual services.

So, if you are a healthy person that doesn't expect to see the doctor during that time or need any kind of medical care normally, you should be fine. The plan is called "catastrophic" in the industry because it basically only serves to protect you from going bankrupt from a super unexpected accident/emergency that would result in a combined emergency room visit/acute hospitalization and/or emergency surgery/imaging/diagnostics all in the same encounter.

Definitely give the terms of the insurance a thorough look-through before visiting a primary care provider or emergency/urgent care facility, for sure!

And it is sometimes really important that you go to only specific "participating" providers with some plans, so again, before you walk through the door and check in anywhere -- call the number on the back of the card and ask who you can go to.

  • end informative but probably a little too long rant*
john strand · · southern colo · Joined May 2008 · Points: 1,575

careful with OP max,,you might have a deductable of say 3K..but an OP of 10K..common.

next work is everything..IMO there is no doubt that you get what you pay for.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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