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Mick Haensler
NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 5:27:58 pm

Hey Everyone

I need to get off of COBRA with my previous employer's insurance plan. My wife and I are both self employed now. We just met with a rep from the National Association of the Self Employed. After shopping for health plans elsewhere, it appears they have the best deal we could find. Anybody here use them and if so, what has been your experience. If not, who are you using and what has been your experience.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Todd Terry
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 5:45:14 pm

[Mick Haensler] "who are you using and what has been your experience."

Well, I too COBRA'd for as long as I could before seeking other insurance. After that, as a single-person company I got Blue Cross / Blue Shield as an individual.

Now that we have employees, we have BC/BS as group insurance. My employees would probably mutiny if we were to change to anything else.

They're ok, I suppose... I will probably never rave about any insurance company... but at least there's the knowledge that Blue Cross is pretty much accepted anywhere and everywhere.

We also make supplemental policies available for accident, intensive care, and cancer coverage from AFLAC.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Ron Lindeboom
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 5:48:44 pm

The NASE insurance program is a good one if you qualify and pass their entry exam, etc.

We are not on it but we have heard good things about NASE.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
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Mick Haensler
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 7:49:17 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "The NASE insurance program is a good one if you qualify and pass their entry exam, etc."

That's interesting, our rep made no mention of an exam at all. The only issue was some pre existing conditions that might not be covered for a year.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media





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Scott Whitney
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 8:03:17 pm

If it's the same group I'm familiar with, it's underwritten by MEGA Life and Health Insurance. Unfortunately, I can't say that my experience has been the best with this outfit. Again...I'm basing these comments solely on some of the adventures I've encountered. I can't say that dealing with their customer service people has been an altogether pleasant experience. I've had people tell me one thing about what my plan covered, and then another agent say something totally different. I've also had some major difficulties trying to upgrade my plan as well. If I had more time to invest in researching another Health Insurance company, I'd do so. If you decide that it's in your family's best interest to go with them, I hope your service is better than what I've encountered.
____________________________________________

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Bright Circle, Inc.
"We put the Idea in Media"
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Mark Landman
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 9:56:42 pm

I had their insurance for about 3 years. I can't say that I've been impressed. After having my premiums increase over 50% in the span of 3 years (and that was without filing any claims) I decided to look elsewhere.



Mark Landman
PM Productions
Champaign, IL


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 12, 2008 at 10:18:31 pm

Thanks for your feedback, Mark and Scott.

Kathlyn and I felt bad when we were turned down by NASE because of pre-existing conditions. Now, I don't feel so bad reading your feedback.

Well, if any of you other readers have anything positive about the program in your experience, feel free to add your thoughts.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Christopher Wright
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 13, 2008 at 12:22:08 am

I would also say stay away from NASE. I had my initally affordable rates go up three times in one year with no claims. I finally gave them the boot when I had a $5K deductible and they still wanted $450.00 a month.

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Bob Cole
US health insurance must change
on Mar 13, 2008 at 2:47:57 am

[Christopher Wright] "I had my initally affordable rates go up three times in one year with no claims"

That seems excessive. But it seems as if it is fairly common practice for insurance companies to increase rates even for non-claimants, forcing them to reapply for a new policy, which means they have to requalify, at which point any new problem with their health can be used to justify a higher premium &/or excluded condition.

Over time, if you stay with the same policy, your insurance "tranch" (correct word??) tends to become sicker and sicker, and the premiums higher and higher. People who get sick find it impossible to get new insurance and tend to stick with the old policy, driving up premiums for all in that "tranch," until the premiums reach absurd levels that the now sick-and-out-of-work policyholder can't afford to pay....

... unless you're a member of Congress or some other highly protected govt. or corporate employee.

It's a system that will be extremely difficult to change, because the privileged people who are happy with their insurance will oppose anything that hurts them. Nor will the multi-trillion dollar insurance industry want to give up their power and profits -- and the last I heard, they donate a lot more money to Congress than the uninsured and the underinsured.

Cynically yours,

Bob C


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Mark Nancetor
Re: Healthcare? Eat more fiber says the cat!
on Mar 13, 2008 at 11:43:17 am

Nice comments, Bob, but there's far more chance that this cat will medically benefit from its high fiber diet, than we'll ever see the American healthcare industry change.

Enjoy!





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Tim Kolb
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 13, 2008 at 2:59:44 am

I think to be clear here...the problem with the most inexpensive health insurance you can find will be that it's the least expensive health insurance plan you can find.

(Of course this discussion has to do with the USA. Outside our borders there are citizens of other countries that have nationalized healthcare to varying degrees...)

Even reputable companies have plans that are cheap...why do they cost less? Because they give you less...it's pretty straightforward.

The NASE stuff that has been presented to me over the years looks like a catastrophic stop-loss thing to me. If you get cancer, they have some coverage...if you want your monthly prescriptions to be aggressively discounted...probably not.

Insurance is an odds game. You can sell a policy for a lot less money of the threshold where you start to pay is higher. For most of us a 5,000 dollar deductible sounds pretty high with a 450 dollar per month premium, but if you move to an HMO with really good coverage and a small co-pay, the same customer may pay more like a thousand a month...you just shelled out 6300.00 scheduled dollars (550/month extra) to save yourself 5000.00, which may or may not have occurred if you weren't sick much that year.

For an insurance company, most people have some prescription medications, most people have a few office visits for physicals, cholesterol checks, etc... If an insurance company covers those in a policy, the likelihood of them having to pay out is very high over any given population of people. With a 3,000 dollar or higher deductible, the insurance company doesn't have to pay for small stuff, making they're odds better, meaning they can lower the premiums.

Somebody has to pay one way or another... How pre-existing conditions and other things are handled is another discussion, but for low premiums, you kind of have to expect low benefit.

One thing to look seriously into in the USA is a medical savings account where you can deposit a given amount of your income and avoid income tax and only use that money to pay out and fill the gap with those high deductible policies, which often best serve as coverage for catastrophes, and use your medical savings account money for the smaller, everyday expenses.

It's a jungle out there...no doubt about it.




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Mick Haensler
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 13, 2008 at 1:36:40 pm

Great thread, thanks for all the responses. It's interesting, I've posted about other insurance plans we've looked at in other forums with about the same response. It seems it really doesn't matter who you go with, the consensus is "ALL INSURANCE PLANS EITHER SUCK OR COST A FORTUNE".

I like the idea of the medical savings plan. The policy we chose with NASE has something similar built in that rolls over. We are also doing one ourselves through a money market. The main problem with going outside of a group plan like NASE or maybe a trade association is very limited catastrophic coverage. I couldn't find any individual program that covered more than $50,000 for cancer or other catastrophic illness. And at the end of the day, we were able to put together a pretty high end plan for around $550 a month, which is less than what I was paying out of pocket at my old job.

Also keep in mind there are some new tax laws this year regarding medical deductions that make those large premiums a little more palatable.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Christopher Wright
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 14, 2008 at 7:57:25 pm

The system is completely broken.
I for one think every American should have a right to quality health care. This is supposed to be the most advanced country in the world. If even a fraction of our taxes went into a "health fund" and most of it wasn't totally flushed away by bad decisions and bad governing like it is today, I feel a lot more people would be a little less reticent to see their hard earned dollars being torched in front of their eyes every April 15th. At least they would be guaranteed good health care.
There are many doctors who are VERY tired of dealing with all the paperwork, middlemen, and slow reimbursement due to all these HMOs, and insurance companies always trying to duck out of covering anyone truly needing the services they paid the companies to cover. And even if they do cover a procedure, they will then either cancel your coverage for being a "high risk," or raise your rates through the roof so you can't afford to keep with thme anyway.

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Bob Cole
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 15, 2008 at 2:03:33 am

[Christopher Wright] "There are many doctors who are VERY tired of dealing with all the paperwork, middlemen, and slow reimbursement due to all these HMOs,"

You got that right.

A tale of three doctors I know personally:

One wonderful young doc I knew from his childhood, a truly great person, recently had to devote a huge part of the budget of his medical practice to hiring an aggressive insurance wrangler, because his previous person almost killed the practice, by failing to harangue, harass, and pursue the insurance companies.

Another doctor I know went from a full-time independent practitioner to a part-time hospital doctor, when she realized that each new patient actually cost her money. I don't understand that, but I have no reason to doubt her honesty. At any rate she makes more money for two days a week than she used to make full++ time.

My own doctor abandoned his practice and went to one of these "boutique medicine" deals -- you pay $1500/year for the privilege of being his patient. He's now my ex-doctor.

I would like to see the Congress stripped of all its medical insurance and special medical access until it straightens out the entire system.

Hurrumph.

bob

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Tim Kolb
Re: NASE health insurance
on Mar 22, 2008 at 5:43:12 pm

The system is definitely broken...

However, I think the population of the US shares responsibility (there are many Cow users who aren't from the US of course and don't care, or would counter that their system, which some residents of the US may pine for, is differently, but perhaps equally broken).

The population of the US, somewhat uniformly, points to how the finances of the government are severely mismanaged, constantly elects or re-elects politicians who promise to lower taxes, and then demand that the government fix the system...which would require more government revenue and bring more service delivery under the management of the government...

The governments that distribute healthcare uniformly to entire populations collect the funds necessary to do that, and the citizens who make more money pay the healthcare bills for those who don't make enough money to pay enough taxes to cover their share. It's interesting to me, just in anecdotal encounters with people that I've known in my life that most citizens of the USA seem to be very altruistic until it means drawing money from their pockets.

It's amazing how many people I've known that have been borderline communists in their political leanings in their "salad days" and as soon as their professional lives take off, they go into "horde my own wealth" mode and start voting republican and wearing 300 dollar shoes...

At the end of the day, it's every man/woman for him/herself or it's not...even our current administration whether you agree with them or not, can't have as detrimental effect on our situation as we can over the long term...



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

CPO, Digieffects


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Tawnia King
Re: NASE health insurance
on Sep 4, 2008 at 11:44:03 pm

Hi Mike!

I too just signed up with NASE and then was informed by a friend who used to work for them that she had to quit as she was bombarded with calls from clients who couldn't get their claims paid. An Internet search turned up the same info. I'm curious to know how your experience has been so far?

Thank you!
Tawnia



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