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Last Post 12/10/2009 11:03 AM by  Joe60
Health Insurance review
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Joe60
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11/30/2009 10:10 AM

     

      I would appreciate the collective wisdom of the CADO readership with this problem. Unicare, my health insurance carrier, is no longer doing business in the state of Texas, after January 1st. I am in the process of reviewing my health insurance needs and options. BCBS has guaranteed coverage to existing Unicare customers, but in my case, at nearly double the cost. I am in reasonably good health and 49 years of age, so I probably have options. I am leaning towards a higher deductible policy ( $2000.-$5000.) and taking the difference and contributing to a Health Savings Account, something I should have done years ago. The HSA funds roll over year to year, are contributed to pre-tax, and accumulate tax free. These are not the same as the old flexible accounts. Different business structures are affected differently, for tax purposes. Comments will be appreciated.

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    dougbrsrd
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    12/04/2009 9:40 PM
    Buying individual coverage has been a problem for many people since I first became an agent some 25 yrs ago. Unicare has been a strong competitor in the Texas market and in my opinion the only insurer of choice for individuals due to their pricing structure. 1st and most important is to procure coverage without underwriting and no restrictions. Thus the incentive to sign with BCBSTX. By all means look at the higher deductibles and use the HSA high deductible plans. Once you have coverage you can take your time to shop other carriers and possibly reduce your costs. In your age bracket it is only going to get more expensive as your approach the years prior to qualifying for Medicare. Who knows maybe the politicians will come up with a way to bring individual health coverage into the realm of affordability. I'm not counting on it. That's my input for you, good bad or indifferent.
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    Joe60
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    12/06/2009 8:02 PM

    Thank you. You've read my mind exactly. I feel like I'm on the right track and you have helped confirm this.

                                                                                                                              Joe

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    JimGary
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    12/06/2009 9:39 PM
    When I had my agency, I offered BCBS to my PC clients. I personally found them preferable to the other companies around. At that time they had a basic no frills coverage. I found most agents did not like them because of the lower initial commission structure. But in the 12 years I had my agency, I never had a complaint about the BCBS policy. I have seen several companies come and go, and usually the ones that went had a premium that was to low to sustain profitability in the state. They would get a lot of business and agents would flock to them. It helped my business once folks got the letter stating their coverage would end. IMO, go with BCBS + HSA and you can't go wrong.

    JWG
    I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they're right!
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    Atfulldraw
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    12/10/2009 1:20 AM
    I'm with BCBS and have been off and on for fifteen years.

    I just wish they would write a policy they can live with.

    Every few years they reinvent the wheel, jack up the rates to get people to drop and make me look elsewhere.

    Then I come back, and buy the new policy at a lower rate when they have decided to increase their market share again.....
    Rod
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    sbeau4014
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    12/10/2009 8:25 AM
    One thing that all you happy campers out there need to consider when getting your coverage is whether the company you go with has a very broad national network to choose from. You may think that you have a great policy at a very good price, but what happens if you are half way across the country working a storm and should need it for something catastrophic and find that you have no network coverage where you are at. All of a sudden that good price doesn't seem so good anymore. Make sure you ask the agent about the network coverage away from your home base.
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    Joe60
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    12/10/2009 11:03 AM

    I appreciate the input. I applied at BCBS with a $5000 ded. and will set up a HSA after the first of the year. All of the posts were extremely helpful. Protecting the means by which one earns his income is essential to successfully managing a small business, even if it is a business of one. Thank you.

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