So, as I'm getting closer to setting out as a traveller, I have been reading through the forums on private health insurance. I called healthcare.gov today for some advice and (unlike my past experiences) they were less than helpful.
Here was my question: My state does not offer a plan that covers me outside of that state. The HC.gov employee told me that I would have to apply for coverage in a close state (closest is Virginia - a state I may or may not plan on travelling to)and get a multi state package through them. Not sure how to do that when I have no affiliation with the state whatsoever...
The other option she gave me was buying HC insurance through a private company - the costs of which look astronomical, in premium, copay and deductible.
While I could theoretically get the coverage offered through my agency, Ned always suggests working with multiple agencies - what if I flip between them for work the way I flip with local agencies now?
I'm pretty lost and discouraged before I've even started. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance...
Jun 25, '17
Quote from Apples&Oranges
While I could theoretically get the coverage offered through my agency, Ned always suggests working with multiple agencies - what if I flip between them for work the way I flip with local agencies now?.
COBRA is still in effect. You can extend any current insurance through an employer for up to 18 months after leaving them. You are responsible for paying the full premium plus a 2% fee to your former employer for administration. Very friendly law for workers, especially travelers.
Jun 26, '17
Thanks, Ned, I was hoping you would comment. COBRA is an option (an expensive one, but still an option.) I guess I'm wondering what other options are out there, what people do when COBRA runs out. I know this has been discussed. I know that my first few assignments will be about the experience, not making a ton of extra money, and I'm nervous about spending soooo much on health insurance when I know there will also be other expenses tied to travelling that I am not anticipating.
Here's another question: my current coverage is only for my state. Would a COBRA plan be any different? I know I can get emergency care anywhere, but would I be charged a huge premium if I needed to use it? I know these are probably questions best asked to my company, but any anecdotal experiences would be appreciated.
Jun 26, '17
You COBRA the existing policy as is, no options unless your employer offered them to your originally.
You have to get out of the mindset that insurance is expensive. You are paying for it in full right now as is every other worker in the country. If your employer didn't chip in, your hourly would be that much higher.
No insurance if you are young and healthy.
Call Virginia exchange and see what it takes to obtain coverage. I assume a mailing address a minimum which is cheap and easy but start with an assignment there if the info is favorable. You will want to find out if insurance has an out of state in-network coverage. You also want to find out how long you can keep insurance if you move. You certainly don't want it if you discover the plan will deny coverage if they discover you live somewhere else. Resist any urge to cheat.
Vote Democrat. The next move depending on the mess the Republicans make could be single payer with progressive increase in Medicare tax (meaning the rich will subsidize the poor and the middle class (us) may even end up with lower out of pocket expenses like every other industrialized nation.
Move to Canada or any other first world country.
Jun 26, '17
I've been thinking about Cuba for a while - current cost/benefits of socialism, evolving capitalism, and much better weather than Canada :-)
Jun 26, '17
Actually, for healthcare, Cuba is in many ways better than we are in terms of health and longevity. The pay sucks big of course, and for me, the language barrier would be huge. No language skills at all - I know because I've studied several.
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