Health Insurance - Something Learned

hayjud_mnJanuary 7, 2003

My husband retired a year ago at 62. I'm five years younger then he. We kept the group Health Insurance from the company he worked for. We are both doctoring with our hearts, so we were afraid to try changing for fear of the physical or something.

Last year we were able to afford the policy, but this year there was a 100% increase in the monthly cost! This was not possible. It was going to cost us over a thousand a month! This group policy was with BcBs, so we checked with them to see if we could find a better policy.

To shorten the story a little, we now have the same coverage for half the cost! We are both non-smokers, non-drinkers, and in pretty good health (agent called it GOOD health.) He told us that the GROUP policies for a large company figure on at least 30% of their people needing addiction programs and counseling. We were able to write off all that stuff. I just can't tell you what a relief it was to get that taken care of. When Medicare starts, then we can get the supplimental to go with it.

I just wanted to share this incase anyone else is in the same situation.


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Well, There goes "Good Ideas" We just got rejected!
No idea what we are going to do now!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2003 at 12:13PM
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Hayjud......anything new?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2003 at 2:03PM
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We went back to the BCBS office and asked what we could do. The over 1000 a month was NOT poossible, that was over half our income.

In our state (MN) there is a state insurance policy that is available to anyone who is turned down by any other insurance. We have applied for that, and it will be about 400 less per month less. We are now waiting to hear from them, hopfully before the end of the month. This is still hard to handle, but will improve when my husband starts Medicare (two more years.)
We are under the impression that this is something that CAN'T be turned down.
Thank you for asking.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2003 at 6:38PM
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Hope it works out well for you. DH and I have been in Medicare-HMO's plans for a few years. After comparing with medigaps, it was the best for the money. The first insurance co. charged nothing..that company dropped the Plan after a year. The next one and the one after that charged a little; but dropped Medicare when the year was up. The one we're in now charges $99. a month and has upped co-payments abit from last year -but this is the last HMO in CT. If it drops Medicare when the year is up; we'll have to go to a Medigap policy.

Well, we'll see. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2003 at 2:21PM
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We had some friends who couldn't afford to pay for private medical, so opted for Hospitalization only. They had to pay for office calls. I don't know how much it saved them, but they were happy with it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2003 at 9:17PM
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I see my General Practitioner when I feel like it - sometimes make an appointment, sometimes not.

Need see him only for medicals - thank God. I hear that if I get more than one a year, I may have to pay for at least part of the additional visit. As it is - no charge.

My family has history of prostate trouble, so I might be able to avoid that extra cost.

He has sent me for a couple of prostate tests - first cost $20., second (for more extensive checking) cost $40.

I had an MRI test for that about three years ago - think it cost me something, though was not major. In the ordinary course of things, I'd probably have had to wait for a period, so I guess he called it emergency.

When I see him for illnesses, no charge - to me.

If I need to visit a specialist, I understand that quite often it entails a substantial waiting period.

No charge if I make such visits for necessary service (e.g. if I want cosmetic plastic surgery, to pull my face up an inch or two, I must pay for that myself).

No charge when I visit hospitals. If I want semi-private or private room, there's a surcharge that I must pay, but ward service for most illnesses is at no cost.

Drugs while in hospital are free - but not after I leave. But, being over 65, I get a break on drug costs.

I live in Canada.

There is a major effort going on at the moment to open our doors to U.S. style private medical system - which many of us are trying to forestall.

We hear that major medical costs are the primary reason for personal bankruptcies in the "good old U.S.A.".

Good wishes for health of mind, body, spirit - and pocketbook - to all of you seniors.

joyful guy/Ed

P.S. U.S.ers in nearby states are reputed to come to Canada by the busload to fill their prescriptions - and a major drug company is threatening to cut off supplies to some of the Canadian pharmacies who make them available on a major basis (largely via internet) to U.S.ers. EB

    Bookmark   February 11, 2003 at 3:04AM
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Sorry joyfulguy, You "make it" sound good butI won't trade my "good old U.S.A." health care for Canadian care under any circumstance.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2003 at 9:29AM
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A higher percentage of your Gross Domestic Product goes to healthcare than is true here - and our percentage is much higher than that in a number of European countries.

But standards of care are much closer than the costs would indicate.

A further "but" - about a tenth of your population isn't covered by insurance, and many say receive inferior service.

Not my idea of a good time.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 13, 2003 at 2:54AM
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I just realized that I didn't get back here!

We now have ins. with a MN pool called MN Comprehensive. It's expensive, but not as bad, and it appears to have good coverage. We have a deductable that is so high that we aren't likely to reach it, so that is about the same as having major med only, except it is costing us plenty monthly and we will be paying as we go. I'll be glad when Medicare starts (two more years.)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2003 at 12:29AM
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HI HayjudI am in Minnesota also and have health Partners along with Medicare.What I wanted to tell you in case you don't have drug coverage go to or and look at there drug prices. We have no coverage and my husbans medicine is 127.00 We now foumd we could get it thru the mail for 37.00 Boy is this going to help.I know the legislature is trying to come up with something I wonder why they don.t know about this.It is probably cheaper than whatever they come up with anything if they ever do.I am forwarding this information to Mark Dayton

    Bookmark   March 14, 2003 at 1:25PM
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How do you decide which health insurance company offers the best plan for you? A good place to start is by evaluating your needs, including the age and general health of all family members including this does not automatically mean affordable health care coverage. Visit to know the whole coverage of your health insurance.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 2:13AM
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I feel for you and your family.

Sorry that you have such a serious concern with which to contend.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you guys for the next two years. Well, yes - for after that, as well.

Appreciate your posts.

ole joyful

P.S. What's up with you guys - shipping all that water to Canada, where the river grows to what - 17 kilometres (over 10 mi.) wide?

And Winnipegers are thankful for the past couple of years that they spent all of those millions building that bypass channel around their city.

Otherwise their last words would have been, "Gurgle - gurgle".

o j

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 1:59PM
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Wow! I haven't looked at this forum for a LOOOOOOOOooooog time. It has been over 3 years since I first started this.

A lot has changed since then. DH is on Medicare with a supplemenal and he also has the advantage of being able to go to the local Veterens Administration Hospital for his care. Most of that costs us nothing. I still have a private medical ins. policy that isn't really killing us (just a strangle hold! lol) I have gotten my blood preasure under control and I am feeling much healthier then I was 3 years ago.

joyfulguy, I have often noticed that Canadians are every bit as proud of being Canadian as we Americans are proud of being American! It just doesn't work to run socialistic programs and also have the freedom to make choices on your own. The majority of Americans prefer freedom. Yes there are people in the USA who don't have medical ins, but in many cases it was their choice, or because of makeing VERY bad choices in their lives. As far a statistic in our country, they are very flexible. They can be figured in many different ways to come out with the results that are desired. As an example, I am counted among the unemployed. I have always been a "stay-at-home-Mom" and continue to be a homemaker. "Employed" according to statistics means bringing home a pay check! I choose to stay at home, and make and do things for our family rather than paying someone else to make or do those things, therefore, no pay check. With that choice, we also have the freedom to choose more conservative ways to live.

NOW ABOUT THAT WATER! LOL I bet you wish that continental divide was a lot farther North! I really don't know where so much is coming from after our dry summer followed by a dry winter. At least they are ready for the next big one!
Keep your feet dry!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 3:30PM
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