RE: Contracting and Health Insurance

Subject: RE: Contracting and Health Insurance
From: "Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com>
To: <beth -dot- tripp -at- verizon -dot- net>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2007 12:11:10 -0500

I recall this thread a few weeks (months?) ago.

As you might have already ascertained from other responses to your
questions here, one big downside of being self-employed (via either a
self-owned corporation or just you yourself winging it independently) is
finding and KEEPING affordable health insurance.

Right now here in metro Atlanta, there is a TV commercial that runs just
about every hour on almost any station you watch. The TV ad urges
everybody to stop taking abuse, be your own boss and run your own
company. OK, so here I am - out in the cold seeking work to provide me
with money for food, clothing and shelter, but also seeking protection
from financial catastrophe brought on by illness / injury.

Can I find affordable health care for small (one- or two-person)
companies like mine? Yep. At least for the first year or until I file a

I've talked to a number of independent contractors (both individuals or
small companies) that have learned the hard way what my now-retired
insurance salesman cousin told me: "The business of insurance is to NOT
pay." One would think that processing and paying claims ethically and
properly would cause a company to grow because of word-of-mouth positive

But instead, it's "Give 'em a low-ball first-year premium, then blow
them out of the sky at the first claim."

And this isn't for only tech writers, but any profession.

One of the engineers here who contracts independently told me his own
premium-went-sky-high story. And the guy is 50 (I think), in pretty good
health, but last year had a routine physical, etc.

KAPOW!!! Up went the premium. He and his wife (whose employer does not
offer health insurance) purchase their own Blue Cross / Blue Shield
health coverage. It costs them a hell of a lot.

He told me the way it goes is like this:

1. Their first-year premium 4 years ago was about $275 per month each
(but billed as a single premium).

2. The premium increased markedly at the one-year anniversary.

3. The premium increased again markedly at next anniversary renewal AND
even more when his age hit a multiple of 5 (age 50).

4. The premium increased again markedly at next anniversary renewal AND
even more when his WIFE's age hit a multiple of 5 (age 45 I think).

5. The premium will increase again markedly at next anniversary renewal
AND even more when the policy hits a multiple of 5 years.

He knows his monthly premium (for he and his wife) will be about $1,400.

Is it legal? Yep. Is it right? I'd say no, and even lots of insurance
company staffers agree with me. But you can't fight the system.

There are only so many health providers and plans to go through before
it's obvious that the options for health care for the small-time
operator are few and far between.

Insurance companies see us (small-time operators) as nothing more than a
money pit.

Where's the money? In high-number employee "pools" where the cost of
doing business is diluted.

And now I run the risk of being accused of being anti-business.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of beth -dot- tripp -at- verizon -dot- net
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 3:01 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Contracting and Health Insurance


I'm new to the list and have searched for information on health
insurance while doing contract work and didn't find anything in the

I currently work through a recruiter so I can have health insurance. (I
took a pay cut to ensure that I was covered.) What do other writers do
that are self employed? Those in Canada need not reply. :o)

Can I become an LLC to get around the self-employed? Does anyone know a
great insurance broker that can beat the system?

Insurance companies are very picky about who they will insure. Out here
on the left coast I've tried to roll-over a health plan from group to a
single account but didn't qualify because I have had prescriptions
filled. I feel another migraine coming on.

The last quote I received for coverage was between 1000.00 and 1500.00 a
month just for me, and that was through the state (only for 18 months).
After the 18 months, the state expects you to be
able to get insurance. And no that wasn't COBRA that was after
COBRA runs out.

I'm planning ahead to when the husband retires in 2 years and we move to
northern Wisconsin. Hmmmm, it's only an 8 hour drive to Canada....

I've tried AARP, no luck. Yes, I'm over 50 but too young to collect SS
and medi-care, I have to wait another 12 years or so.

Thank you for any guidance.

Beth Tripp

Senior Technical Writer

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Contracting and Health Insurance: From: beth . tripp

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