The last “real” job I had….you know, the one where I had to be there at 9 and had to stay till the end of the day, came with health insurance. Well, it didnt really come with it, but I had to pay for part of it. $100 per month, to be exact. Not bad, right? But the problem with their insurance choice was that the deductible was so high, I ended up paying for almost everything anyway, in addition to the $100 a month I was already spending. And don’t get me started on the dental plan…I don’t think I saw $1 in benefits. I know this was all because they had a very bad group plan through BlueCross, but for $100 per month, I thought it was the best scenario. Then, I got married.
When I got married and wanted to add my wife to my insurance, they wanted an additional $650 PER MONTH to add her because she is of “pregnancy” age and they figured they might have to pay out the expenses for that as well. My boss at the time said he would cover most of it, but I would have to pay some of it. Well, I had no choice and started paying it. And then I left my job to freelance/sit on my ass, leaving us with really only 2 choices for health insurance….COBRA or personal insurance from BC or another provider.
COBRA was going to be ridiculous…about $850 per month to cover both of us, with the same deductibles as before. No way in hell I was going to pay that for two people near 30 years old that are healthy. So we started looking into just getting regular old personal insurance. Because we are healthy and don’t go the doctor that often, and because my wife is of “pregnancy” age, we decided to take a plan that had a high deductible and covered maternity costs. Total monthly bill for the 2 of us? $216. We can still go to the doctor for a $40 co-pay, generic drugs are still just $10, and for most tests etc we pay 30% of the agreed upon fee. The only time we would run into a high bill is if one of us ended up in the hospital, but at most I would be out $5,000. Since COBRA was going to cost me an extra $600 per month X 12 months for an extra $7200 PER YEAR, I don’t mind taking the chance of paying $5000 for major surgery if it happens. I would be paying it out over the course of every year on COBRA anyway!
So, a word to the wise…if you leave your full time gig for whatever reason, before you sign up with COBRA, check in to regular old private insurance…get a high deductible…and you could save yourself a TON of money.