Monday, March 23, 2009

30-Day Economic Stability Challenge: The great health insurance debate

I watched Sicko the other weekend. Well, I watched part of it. Okay, 15 minutes. Then I had to turn it off.

Anxiety rose up in me because I knew what the people Michael Moore interviewed experienced could easily happen to me. I'm self-employed. I'm on individual health insurance. And I discovered by reading the fine print of my renewal notice at the end of last year two things:

My insurer will increase my premium twice this year.

Once for the annual increase and again when I turn 35 and jump to the next age bracket. I'm anxiously waiting for that letter informing me of how much I'll be paying.

My insurer will review my "membership" in their health plan monthly this year, instead of annually.
Meaning? I assume it means if I get some dread disease in June, I'll be out of health insurance in July. I'm grateful I'm healthy, but I shouldn't have to be lucky. I should have some kind of decent health insurance that does what it promises it will do--cover me for any expenses that develop from a new health condition. I don't trust them. Nor should I.

Still, I know I am lucky to have health insurance, which has covered my allergy spray and treated me for an abscess on my back last year that just finished healing. If I didn't have that, I don't know what shape I'd be in now, financially or physically.

Since this blog is about serenity, I will not subject you to the blood-pressure-raising statistics about healthcare and bankruptcy. But I will say that this is such a major component of economic stability in this country that it's getting a full week of posts on the subject.

I'll cover the options available and whether you should consider them, with the help of some experts.

But today, I want to ask you two things:

How does having health insurance contribute to your self-employed serenity, however you define that?

Where do you get your insurance and do you recommend it to others?

If I get some good tips, I'll incorporate them into future posts.

Photo by allaboutgeorge.


C. Steven Tucker, President SBIS said...

I actually sat through the entire Sicko movie and have never seen anything more ridiculous in my entire life. Not only was the movie based entirely on emotion, but the producer promotes health care provided by the federal government much as it is in Canada. However, those with even the most basis knowledge of how the health care system works in Canada know better than to promote such an ideology. If one wishes to watch a real documentary regarding the Canadian Health Care system, based on facts and not emotions take 20 minutes or so and watch Stuart Browning's documentary on what's really going on in countries like Canada where the government controls all sectors of health care. These videos can be seen at
The other Stuart Browning documentary which should also not be missed can be found on You Tube here:

Anonymous said...

C. Steven Tucker's comment would be much more compelling if he weren't the president of an insurance company.

Anonymous said...

I've never watched Sicko, so no movie reviews here, but I'd suggest that it is the absence of emotion, or at least compassion, in the conversation that prevents our health care and insurance industries in the US from moving more boldly toward reform or new ways of thinking. As a two-freelancer household, my wife and I make do with high-premium, high-deductible plans that can't compete on cost with group plans offered to corporate and even NGO organizations. This burden doesn't add to my serenity, but I have hope that the growing ranks of freelancers and consultants in the US in the next two to five years will increase the demand for more competitive group plan options in every state for all of us.

Unknown said...

Wait til you turn 40 - then insurance gets really fun! Nice photo of you by the way!