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Backroads

Possible job switcharoo

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I may have mentioned in my meanderings here we've been thinking of moving me to part-time. Well, today I interviewed for and was offered a part-time job-sharing job at a school that just seemed awesome. Good vibes, something about it, the team I met with were great. I told the principal I would have my answer on Monday.

Why?

Because now that I have been offered a part-time job, we're a little nervous, me more than the Husband. While the pay decrease wouldn't break us, the concern is insurance because I have been carrying it since February. Husband's company is still in that awkward growing phase and does not yet offer insurance (though the government is starting to breathe down company's neck).

Part of me says, hey, buy a catastrophic plan to satisfy the government, use what would have been premium money for health incidentals. Another part of me says, "But Baby had bacterial meningitis and bad things happen!" and that we should go out and buy insurance, me picking up some online teaching gigs and/or Husband working more hours (almost impossible not to do in his company).

So, thoughts. Thoughts on everything, taking the job, the importance of being home/the importance of women sticking it to the man in working/the fact Backroads actually likes working, thoughts on insurance and health strategies, etcetera, etcetera.

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

With the pay cut, will your kids qualify for S-CHIP or Medicaid?

Looks like we'd be on the edge, depending on Husband's hours and if he winds up taking shifts for crazy paranoid rich people (they pay a ton in this field).

 

No, I looked at again and the above is a big fact lie. We'd have to slack off a lot to qualify.

Edited by Backroads

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Congrats on the offer!  My parents raised all of us kids without insurance and there were rarely any issues over the years so it can be done. Look into home remedies. You might be surprised how effective (and cheap) they can be ... and without the side effects that doctors prescribe.

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Would the job you're leaving offer COBRA? That would give you some time to explore your options without a lapse in coverage. It might also give his job some time to offer insurance. Does your state have an online marketplace for insurance? In some states, if something catastrophic happens, you can get short term Medicaid (in my state, there are women who are on it for one year if they have a difficult pregnancy, for example).

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1 hour ago, Backroads said:

Part of me says, hey, buy a catastrophic plan to satisfy the government, use what would have been premium money for health incidentals. Another part of me says, "But Baby had bacterial meningitis and bad things happen!" and that we should go out and buy insurance,

My little family has done the high-deductible low-cost plans, and contributed to our health savings account, for years and years now.  HSAs rock.  (Not the MSAs, the HSAs.)  All your medical costs, paid with pre-tax dollars?  Me likey.

 

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4 minutes ago, seashmore said:

Would the job you're leaving offer COBRA? That would give you some time to explore your options without a lapse in coverage. It might also give his job some time to offer insurance. Does your state have an online marketplace for insurance? In some states, if something catastrophic happens, you can get short term Medicaid (in my state, there are women who are on it for one year if they have a difficult pregnancy, for example).

Possibly.

Husband's company keeps discussing/checking insurances, so it might be happening eventually.

We have an online market place, but the prices are depressing. I could easily pay occasional office visits in cash with those premiums.

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1 hour ago, my two cents said:

My parents raised all of us kids without insurance and there were rarely any issues over the years so it can be done. 

I should clarify. My parents put God's promises to the test and 'sought first the kingdom of God' with all that entails and were blessed because of it.

Who does God’s work will get God’s pay...

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If everyone in your family is healthy most of the time, and no one needs anything other than generic prescriptions on a consistent basis, then I would personally recommend getting a high deductible health plan, even catastrophic if needed, and then setting up a private HSA account with Vanguard or another low fee institution that provides quality investment options.

Find out exactly what you paid out of pocket in medical bills last year, or in the first 6 months of this year (x2) by contacting your current insurance company and getting the total patient responsibility dollar amount.  Plan over the course of one year to contribute into your HSA the combined total of the difference in premium cost, if any, as well as the cost you paid for all medical expenses last year (or in the most recent 'bad' year).

Completely fictitious example math:

Work insurance costs $500/month

Private catastrophic plan costs $475/month

Annual plan cost difference: $300

2016 (bad year) health expense total: $1846.12

Combined total of cost difference: $2146.12

Resulting HSA contribution (per month):  $178.85

As much as I know the ACA has increased insurance costs and would like to see its repeal, it is the law right now and you should still check to see if ACA coverage, catastrophic or otherwise, is eligible to you with a subsidy in your state.  Losing coverage is a qualified life event allowing you 60 days to enroll in a new plan as if it were a normal open enrollment period.  Your or your children might also qualify for medicaid or other state or local coverage depending on various factors.

By using the above formula and contributing as if it were a bad year you are helping yourself to prepare against that possibility while not actually paying more than what you paid in those bad years.  Eventually you may have new options open up and can consider those, however, you might have multiple good years and save thousands!

For most sicknesses and doctors visits, avoid the emergency room, or even an urgent care center whenever possible.  Verify if 'telehealth' is legal in your state and if so, download a telehealth app such as Amwell or MDlive.  'Visiits' via these apps can be paid for with your HSA dollars (but do not count toward your medical plan deductible).  The average cost is around $50 at the most for a consultation and these doctors (in most states) can prescribe antibiotics and other medications for strep, UTI, ear/eye infection, cold, flu, etc, etc.  These services are generally available 24/7.  For any visits you do not believe can be handled over the phone based on the symptoms, first use an in-network primary care doctor every time possible and only use the urgent care centers and emergency rooms when there is no other option.

Disclaimer:  My recommendations assume what I laid out in the first paragraph based on what I interpreted from your post.  I am happy to analyze any additional specific details you wish to provide.

Credentials for advice:  I have worked in the insurance industry for the past 4 years.  I am a licensed health and life insurance agent in all 50 states.  I work for a fortune 500 corporation and am the supervisor of a two person team (myself included) tasked with working one on one with every eligible employee across the country and/or their family in regards to health needs and insurance coverage.  Specifically I work with them to analyze their specific medical costs and health needs to help them determine the best coverage options available and recommend the options that will provide the most appropriate coverage (both through my employer or otherwise, where applicable).

I also have a high deductible health plan and am coming from personal experience. By using this method and being blessed with multiple good health years my family now has over $10,000 in our HSA.  Personally 75% of my HSA is invested in a mutual fund and has built an additional $1000 on top of my own contributions (this part is not something I recommend to everyone, and I only recommend considering it once you have enough in your HSA to cover the out of pocket maximum for one person for one year).

I am sure some of this advice may be information of which you were already aware, however, it could be useful to others.  While many people here and elsewhere will have excellent life experience in regards to the insurance industry, where applicable, I am always happy to contribute advice based on my personal and professional experience.  I hope this information is helpful in some way!

Edit: Sorry to hear that ACA prices are ridiculous in your area.  It's a terrible law that has not been effective in the touted objective.  Sadly, although rare, it is sometimes worth considering the risk of going without medical insurance, as it appears you may have also been considering.

Edited by person0

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Guest MormonGator

Not to be a buzzkill, but I'm putting insurance on the shelf for a minute. 

 

Before you make any big life change (and this is certainly one of them) you need to ask yourself "Why am I doing this? Will it make me and my loved ones happier? Will we have to sacrifice things we like? Am I running away from anything?" Sure, leaving a job isn't like leaving your hometown or breaking up with your boyfriend-but it's still important enough to ask these questions. 

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On 7/21/2017 at 4:30 PM, Backroads said:

buy a catastrophic plan to satisfy the government

I know Anatess has talked about how they used to have a plan like this but I thought she said the insurance companies did away with them when Obamacare became mandatory.  I LOVED the plan she talked about (last year sometime I think?) as it was a 'hospital only' type plan and would have been perfect for our healthy and non-doctor needing-generally-speaking-family. 

Second thought:  I thought Trump took away the penalty for not carrying insurance....  has this kicked in yet?  You wouldn't have to satisfy the government if that has kicked in.

Third thought:  Someone mentioned COBRA above.  HUGE cost.  We had to use it twice in the past 14 years when my husband was switching jobs/companies and we had to wait 3 months for the new programs at the new job to kick in.  You can keep your current coverage but you are paying the entire monthly premium.  OUCH.  We did cover only the kids the first time as they were young and in numerous sports and we just knew if we didn't have it... THAT is the time our son would be hit in the face with a baseball or something (LOL).  The second time around I figured out the dates for 'retroactive coverage' were within the time period where you don't have to pay a premium but if something happened (major) you could pay the previous premiums all at once and your coverage would be activated - so we 'floated' on the belief nothing would happen (and it didn't) but knew if something huge DID, we could cough up the $3000 for 2 months premiums and the 80/20 would kick in retroactively.  

WHEW - sorry for all that but perhaps it would help someone wondering about COBRA.  LOL.  Nice to have the option when leaving a job but so expensive.

 

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Whoa, I missed this post.

In the post-Obamacare, Trump-Administration, stupidest-GOP-majority-in-existence world... the super amazing Hospital and Surgical plans are illegal and cannot be offered.  But... there is an alternative!  Yes, Trump-Administration is not collecting fines for non-coverage so these new-fangled insurance-free Direct Access Medicine is popping up all over the place!  See if they have it in your area and if the rates are affordable to you.  Basically, you pay a monthly fee directly to the doctor and if anybody gets sick you call the doctor directly... to his cellphone even.  All regular treatments - cough and colds, flu, ear infections, etc. etc. - are free of charge (better than having to pay copay or meet deductibles with insurance).  The doctor offers you all labwork and medicines in the same or lower prices as what the insurance would have paid them for it.  The primary doctor allies with specialists to drastically lower the cost of things like surgeries.  Just check it out and see what they got in your area.

Edited by anatess2

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18 hours ago, Budget said:

Backroads - can I ask?  What did you decide?  (Did you post it somewhere else and I missed it?)  :)   New job or no? 

I chose not to take it. For reasons other than the insurance (I think.) It ultimately didn't feel right. 

I still sort of feel bad about not being a stay-at-home mom, but to be honest (and I know a few people here are going to chew me out for this and for probably good reason), it's largely because of societal pressure. And heck, Husband is part of this but with current medical bills he is a little iffy about being able to gather enough extra hours to make up for it (Husband hates debt more than Dave Ramsey). But in the end, this didn't feel right. So I'm sticking with this other job for now. Perhaps mid-year when we get the rest of the bills paid I'll quit and do VipKids or something.

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We have an adult kid on this. So far so good and it is el cheapo.

https://www.libertyhealthshare.org/3-program-options

As for the possibility of taking the part time job with the associated pay cut: I'm thinking that someone who does that shouldn't then go to the govt for govt (schip / Medicaid)healthcare when they placed themselves in that position by purposely taking a pay hit. Not saying you would do that, but it was suggested to you. Part of me thinks that would be a bit dishonest and actually fraud (not literally, but morally) if you ask me. Being able to pay for it before, but going part time not because you have to, but because you want to and then now the taxpayer has to cover it.

 

 

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11 hours ago, paracaidista508 said:

We have an adult kid on this. So far so good and it is el cheapo.

https://www.libertyhealthshare.org/3-program-options

As for the possibility of taking the part time job with the associated pay cut: I'm thinking that someone who does that shouldn't then go to the govt for govt (schip / Medicaid)healthcare when they placed themselves in that position by purposely taking a pay hit. Not saying you would do that, but it was suggested to you. Part of me thinks that would be a bit dishonest and actually fraud (not literally, but morally) if you ask me. Being able to pay for it before, but going part time not because you have to, but because you want to and then now the taxpayer has to cover it.

 

 

I think I largely agree with that. My greater preference would have been just buying insurance privately rather than going to SCHIP or Medicaid (though it's just so nice to have it through an employer.)

On the other hand, and perhaps this is hypocritical, I figure as someone who has worked for a good chunk of my adult life there's ultimately nothing wrong with me taking some of those benefits if needed.

But beyond that logic, it does feel weird quitting work and going for public benefits. In our situation, it was largely concerning losing my pretty great insurance.

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20 hours ago, Backroads said:

On the other hand, and perhaps this is hypocritical, I figure as someone who has worked for a good chunk of my adult life there's ultimately nothing wrong with me taking some of those benefits if needed

The last two words probably sum it up best. That is why those benefits are there. When they are needed, not when someone  creates their own need.

I'm all for women staying at home to raise the kids and all, but when one marries and has those goals, part of attaining that is setting oneself up to be able to financially afford it. I have lds friends and family who don't think my that is even a factor. lord says multiply so we are; who pays for it matters not the ends justifies the means. Of course random things happen, people lose jobs or whatever, but quitting so you can have more time isn't likely the intent of the program. 

 

 

Edited by paracaidista508

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